Stranraer v Annan Athletic
Match Report by David Hastie
Annan put the disappointment of their opening day loss behind them with an emphatic 3-0 win against Stranraer at Stair Park. The Black and Golds made three changes to the starting eleven, with Charlie Barnes, Owen Moxon and Iain Anderson replacing Roan Steele, Lewis Hunter and Tommy Goss dropping out.
The visitors started brightly, and found themselves one up after just 13 minutes, with Chris Johnston taking advantage of sloppy ball retention. He picked up the ball in the centre of the Stranraer half, dribbling forward and unleashing a fierce shot low to the bottom right corner to pick up his first league goal of the campaign.
Stranraer had started slow and didn’t show any signs of waking up, with the ball mostly going Annan’s way, threatening the hosts goal with no reward for the pressure.
It took Stranraer until just after the half hour mark to have a chance, and it almost resulted in an equaliser. Iain Anderson was punished for handball, and Josh Walker’s strike pinged off the right-hand post after curling it over the wall.
Half time Stranraer 0-1 Annan Athletic
Annan started the second half in the same vain as they started the first, and doubled their lead just six minutes after the restart, with Aidan Smith receiving the ball directly from a throw in near the half way line. The Blues defence seemed to part like the Red Sea, and Smith fired home from outside the box low to the left-hand corner.
The Galabankies at this point were comfortable and had plenty of chances to extend their lead, but a mixture of good defending and poor finishing prevented this.
That was until 17 minutes before time, when Chris Johnston stripped the ball off the Stranraer striker, and after some nice triangular play, Moxon launched a wonderful cross field ball long to Tony Wallace on the left wing. Wallace progressed up the wing then held up the ball beautifully, waiting for Moxon, who put the ball threw the legs of the defender before smashing a wonderful shot high into the right corner, nicking the crossbar as he did, to extend Annan’s lead.
With the game won, the Black and Golds sat back on their lead, causing the game to fizzle out, but it was a wonderful performance from the team to get them up and running in the league, which will give them huge confidence going into the cup game against Lowland League side Celtic B on Wednesday.