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Annan Athletic FC 2
Albion Rovers FC 1
22nd February 2020
Alex Mitchell,  Peter Watson,  Cammy Clark,  Michael Hewitt,  Steven Swinglehurst,  Mark Docherty,  Jordan Wooding-Holt,  Nathan Flanagan,  Niyah Joseph,  Lewis Mclear (Kyle Wilkie, 78),  Tommy Muir (Christian Nade, 83),  
Peter Murphy (Manager),  Lyle Avci,  Ayrton Sonkur,  Kyle Bradley,  

Could this be the result that turns Annan’s season around after they ground out a narrow 2-1 victory over fellow strugglers Albion Rovers at Galabank on Saturday , with 11 games to go and 33 points up for grabs could Annan get themselves back into the play off zone this is the question that the majority of  supporters are asking themselves.

Annan boss Peter Murphy’s line up was more or less what was expected there was no starting place for Kyle Wilkie , AyrtonSonkur or Kyle Bradly and Alex Mitchell was give the nod ahead of Lyle Avci in goals and with Niyah Joseph and Nathan Flanagan out wide there was pace in abundance out in both flanks with Tommy Muir and Lewis McLear being given the responsibility up front to score the goals so there was plenty of optimism that Annan could possibly bring to an end their miserable six defeats in a row.

As the game turned out there was very little between the 2 struggling teams on Saturday and their tasks were made all the more difficult by the windy conditions which made it very much a game of two halves. Annan playing with the wind in their favor in the first half scored two goals in the opening 24 minute period and could have had more but Albion Rovers scored 2 minutes into the second half to make it an anxious half for Annan to see out and at the end of the day Annan were relieved to get over the line with 3 precious league points  and with over a quarter of the season to go who knows where it will end up.

Annan made their intentions known from the start taking the game to Albion Rovers but it took them until the 18th minute before they made the breakthrough and it was a fortunate chance which fell to Tommy Muir down the right as the ball was played into his path by an Albion defender which made the Annan player onside as he homed in on goal before drawing goalkeeper Ryan Goodfellow and finally squaring the ball to the awaiting Niyah Jospeh who had the simple task of slotting the ball into the empty net.

Annan were playing with confidence and Lewis McLear was unfortunate minutes later with a delicate flick on which went narrowly over the bar. Annan doubled their lead in the 24th minute and it was a good strike form Nathan Flanagan from 16 yards which gave Goodfellow no chance. Annan continued their attacking intent and in the 24th minute Lewis McLearsquandered a glorious scoring opportunity when the goal opened up for him and with the Albion Keeper stranded the Annan striker failed to hit the goal. It was however promising from Annan who continued to dominate the half and the Albion goal fortunately survived unscathed to half time.

The second half was a different story and within 2 minutes Albion were right back in the game after Holt lost possession and Albion broke down the right flank with Ousman See slotting the ball past Mitchell to give the visitors just the opportunity they needed. Declan Byrne had a good effort in the 58th minute which Mitchell saved. Annan conceded a free kick 24 yards out and it took a very good save from Mitchell to deny Scott Roberts whos low shot appeared to be creeping in at the post before Mitchell pulled off an important save.

Roberts was then presented with a similar opportunity from an almost identical position but this time the ex Annan strikers effort failed to hit the target.

Annan defended well against the wind and although Albion threw everything at them there were no clear cut scoring opportunities and it ended with Annan lifting 3 points for the first time in seven weeks . Albion Rovers are in a similar position to Annan but there is so little between all the middle to lower end teams that there is still a lot to play for.

ANNAN ATHLETIC – Alex Mitchell, Michael Hewitt, Cameron Clark, Mark Docherty, Peter Watson, Steven Swinglehurst, Niyah Joseph, Jordan Holt, Tommy Muir ( Christian Nade 83 min ) , Lewis McLear ( Kyle Wilkie 78 min ) ( Scott McLean 88 min ), Nathan Flanagan. Subs not used Lyle Avci, Ayrton Sonkur, Kyle Bradley, Peter Murphy .

ALBION ROVERS – Ryan Goodfellow, Jason Krones ( Lewis Wilson 27 min ), Ross Clarke, Bryan Wharton , Nicholas McAllister ( Aron Lynas 31 min ), Giuliano Morena ( Ewan East 72 min ), Scott Roberts, Will Graham, Ousman See,  Declan Byrne, Daniel Scally . Subs not used Nickie Paterson, Daniel Potts GK, Cameron Breadner, Lewis Wilson,Gary Phillips.

Referee.   David Lowe Assistants – Ross Haswell and Michael Williamson

Crowd 322

It was another week when the weather caused havock with the fixtures , the Elgin City versus Cowdenbeath match and the Stirling Albion versus Stenhousemuir match also fell victim to the weather . Cove Rangers defeated Queens Park to maintain their march towards the title and , Brechin City picked up a precious point against Title contenders Edinburgh City in a goalless draw a point which will give them something to cling to as the season enters the final qaurter.

Next week Annan face Queens Park at Hampden with a kick off 3-00pm

 
 
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