Rothes FC v Annan Athletic FC
Annan Athletic got their William Hill Scottish Cup Campaign off to a winning start with a narrow but deserved victory over the well organized Highland League side Rothes.
Photo’s courtesy of S.F.A
Manager Peter Murphy introduced keeper Alex Mitchell and Steven Swinglehurst straight back into the Annan defence with on loan Kyle Bradley taking up the right back role in place of Ryan Sinnamon who was suffering an illness. Rothes were at full strength and they were cheered on by a higher than normal Speyside crowd who came in the expectation witnessing a cup upset against an Annan team who have failed to progress beyond this round in the last 2 seasons.
The outcome of the match was decided in the 35th minute by a glorious David Wilson free kick which was whipped round the wall and into the bottom corner of the net past Robert Donaldson in the Rothes goal. It was a goal fitting to win any match and provided Annan with the cushion that they required.
The opening 30 minutes produced few if any scoring opportunities with both defences being rarely troubled. Annan started to exert pressure on the home team in the 34th minute Scott Roberts managed to get his header away from Chris Johnston’s cross. Minutes later Annan struck again Roberts was at the heart of the move which lead to the free kick when he collected the ball out on the left cut inside and was fouled on the edge of the box. The scoring opportunity was taken brilliantly converted by David Wilson who managed to beat the defensive wall and the keeper from 20 yards.
Rothes were denied four minutes later by an excellent save from Mitchell who pulled off an important save to deny centre forward Steven Anderson, it was a rare chance for Rothes to unlock the Annan defence.
The second half started well for the home team who exerted pressure on the Annan defence without really making an impact, Rothes had claims for a penalty brushed aside as Swinglehurst and Anderson tussled for a through ball. Annan made their first substitution in the 61st minute with Tommy Muir replacing Chris Johnston, minutes later Rothes made a double substitution. With 70 minutes on the clock Annan made a double substitution with Aidan Smith and Max Wright replacing Scott Roberts and Tony Wallace as manager Peter Murphy made his intentions clear to provide an attacking threat to Rothes.
Max Wright within a minute of his introduction had a good opportunity to put the match to bed when he was one on one with keeper Robert Donaldson who pulled off an important save to deny the Annan substitute. At the other end Mitchell pulled off a fairly routine save from Scott Davidson. David Wilson and Owen Moxoncombined well with Wilson’s shot going well wide of the target.
On loan Elgin player Ali Sutherland’s 79th minute shot from the edge of the box went narrowly over the bar as the home team tried in veinto unlock the Annan defence. Rothes made a late substation bringing on Maclellan for Maley but it was Annan who looked the most likely going forward in the final 10 minutes of the match.
Rothes played well but their inability to penetrate the Annan defencewas a major contributor to Annan’s victory, the return of Swinglehurst to the heart of the Annan defence in particular gave Annan a real backbone that they have sorely missed.
Rothes – Robert Donaldson, Alasdair Stark, Dale Wood, Martin Mac Donald, Jamie Duff, Jack Malay ( Iain Maclellan 81 min), Scott Davidson, Kris Duncan ( Ali Sutherland 64min), Steven Anderson, Craig Cormack, Jamie Wilson ( Gary Kerr 64 min) . Subs not used – Ashley Ballum, Ewan Neil, Bruce Milne, Darren McConnachie
Annan Athletic – Alex Mitchell , Kyle Bradley , James Creaney , David Wilson, Ayrton Sonkur, Steven Swinglehurst, Chris Johnston ( Tommy Muir 61 min), Owen Moxon, Scott Roberts ( Max Wright 70 min), Ross Ferguson, Tony Wallace ( Aiden Smith 70 min). Subs not used Scott Hooper , Jonny Jamieson,
Referee – Stuart Luke Assistants – Steven Traynor and Darren Westmacott.