Stranraer v Annan Athletic
This local new year derby provided plenty of talking points for the fans. Both team were forced to make changes with Stranraer manager Jamie Hamill taking over at the centre of defence alongside Ayrton Sonkur. Annan installed Tony Wallace at the expense of Dominick Docherty in midfield otherwise it was the same starting eleven that defeated Kelty the previous week.
The first half produced nearly all the talking points with Stranraer surprisingly dictating the first half against a lack luster Annan team who went behind in the 17th minute after Broque Watsons well struck shot took a deflection of Cammy Clark and past Annan keeper Greig Fleming . The goal was created down the right by Paul Woods who laid the ball into the path of Watson who’s low 15 yard shot found its way past Fleming. Just the start the home team were looking for.
Annan almost responded a couple of minutes later when Michael Garrity’s tricky run ended with a pass into the feet of Moxon who’s effort from the edge of the box went narrowly over the bar. This was followed by an Aiden Smith header from Charlie Barnes cross but the header went narrowly past the post .
At the other end Josh Walker tested Fleming who pulled off a fine save from his net bound shot. Fleming then once again came to Annan’s recue saving Paul Woods effort. Moxon then gifted the ball to the impressive Josh Walker who was once again denied by the impressive Fleming in the 35th minute. It was a purple patch for the home team as Annan were put to the test.
Baker and Wallace were both shown yellow cards in the 39th minute before the penalty incident in the in the 40th minute. Charlie Barnes was adjudged to have deliberately handled Scott Robertson’s low shot after the ball cannoned off Barnes foot and on to his hand and Barnes was sent off for deliberately handling the ball which appeared very harsh on the Annan full back, Up stepped the experienced Grant Gallagher to take the spot kick which was then superbly saved by Greig Fleming to give Annan a glimmer of hope heading into the second half . Tony Wallace then became the sacrificial lamb making way for Roan Steele.
Stranraer started the second half the way they finished the first half with Robertson and Walker having efforts blocked. Gradually it was 10 man Annan who started dictating the flow of the match with Stranraer defending their one goal advantage. Annan brought on Tommy Goss for Steven Swinglehurst as Annan altered their shape and went 3 at the back. Goss and Aiden Smith were shown yellow cards in the 66th minute.
Chris Johnston was increasingly along with Garrity and Moxon having a greater impact on the match but you could sense Annan by the way Annan were taking the game to Stranraer that they would break through . Stranraer held out till the 88th minute when Chris Johnstone’s cross was headed into the net by Tommy Goss. It was no more than Annan deserved and for Stranraer who had defended resolutely it was a bitter pill for them to swallow.