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Annan Athletic FC 1
Montrose 0
8th February 2014
,  ,  Martin McNiff,  Josh Todd,  Steven Swinglehurst,  Scott Davidson,  Matthew Flynn,  Steven Black,  ,  Steven Sloan,  Kieran Brannan (, 80),  
Zak Caldwell,  Dan Wood,  ,  ,  Iain Chisholm,  Alex Mitchell,  

annan josh todd

Josh Todd’s second-half strike was enough to give Annan Athletic victory over Montrose

Tight margins are the norm for matches in this league and Saturdays was no exception with a single Josh Todd goal proving to be  the only difference between the teams,  Montrose were more than a match for Annan and statistically possibly had more shots on target than Annan but the difference  between the teams was that Montrose  never really tested Kenny Arthur in the Annan goal or carried a threat up front which was liable to prize open a solid Annan defence . The main difference between the teams was the quality Annan had up front . Annans front pairing of Josh Todd and Scott Davidson carried the threat in the last third and in Andy Mitchell Annan had the quality on the right hand side that prized open the Montrose rearguard to set up Josh Todd with the simplist of goals in the 47th minute.

Two weeks ago Annan were in a similar situation when they found themselves defending a single goal lead, on that occasion Stirling scored right  at the death to deny Annan victory and this game had similar tones towards the end of the game as Montrose went all out at the death to cancel out Annan’s  goal advantage but on this occasion Annan stood firm to win the points that ensures Annan’s play off hopes are still very much a reality.

The wind and rain no doubt was a big factor in ensuring that the quality of football on show was not  top class and the opening 45 minutes was frustrating for both teams with scoring opportunities  few and far between. Andy Mitchell set up Todd in the 25th minute with the shot from the edge of the box flashing past the post. Callum Ferguson’s header in the 31st minute went over the bar for the visitors. The best and only move of class in the first half almost paid dividends for Annan when Todd and Brannon combined to set up Scott Davidson who’s shot cannoned off the base of the post in the 37th minute. Montrose threatened towards the end of the half and Paul Watson’s 44th minute effort was the nearest they came to scoring but the shot sailed over the bar.

Annan started the second half positively when Todd’s header from a Mitchell free kick went narrowly past the post but almost immediately from the resulting goal kick Brannon picked the ball up linked with Davidson who slipped the ball to  Mitchell who hit the bye line finishing with a low cross to the advancing Todd who managed to slip the ball under the keeper and into the net from 4 yards. The goal spurred  Annan into more action and  shots from Todd and Bradley were not enough to trouble Stuart McKenzie in the Montrose ‘s goal. Kieran Brannan had a golden opportunity in the 71st minute when Badley’s free kick eluded everybody to end up at the feet of Brannon who failed to take advantage of the opening. The introduction of McCord and Sturrock had a positive impact on Montrose  who started to push the ball about with confidence but it was Annan who looked the more dangerous epitomised by a swift move from defence ending with substitute Dan Orsi forcing keeper McKenzie to make a save low down. Deep into injury time Bryan Deasley squandered a great opportunity when he shot over the bar after a long ball eluded everybody and fell invitingly for Deasley. The most glaring miss however fell to Annan’s  Matty Flynn after Scott Davidson went clean through on goal and unselfishly squared to the unmarked Flynn who blasted wide and high.

Annan’s Jim Chapman said “We worked hard but lacked that wee bit of quality, work ethic was great and we had to grind away today but there was one or two good patterns of play which shows they are capable of doing it and they created several scoring opportunities. Probably the only thing was, we could make it a lot less stressful for us at the side of the park if they could convert some of the chances . That’s what you get in this division if you don’t punish teams when you are on top your going to get caught, Montrose kept going and had that fear in you and I said to the guys you have got to be prepared to go the distance. At the game at Stirling I thought we were robbed of two points but we are hanging in and I thought overall we deserved to get the win today the only disappointing thing was that we did not convert  more of the chances , the challenge to the team  is to push on forget whats going on round about you concentrate on what we are doing. Our defensive organisation is crucial that we don’t concede any needless goals and make teams work for their goals and defensively today we were solid.”

Montrose Boss Stuart Garner said “I was disappointed in the manner in which we conceded the goal straight from a goal kick but we never tested their keeper which was disappointing , we had one or two half chances towards the end  but the keeper has never been really tested. You win two or three games in this league and you are right back there in contention we believe we can still get to the play offs. We hoped to come down today and keep our recent run going even a point today would have been a good point as this is a difficult place to come to, overall I thought we deserved to get something out of the match.”

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Annan Athletic – K Arthur, S Sloan, M McNiff, S Black, S Swinglehurst,  , M Flynn , S Davidson, K Brannon( D Orsi 79  min)  A Mitchell, J Todd, P Bradley .  Substitutes not used   Z Caldwell, I Chisholm, C Jardine, J Moffat, D Wood, A Mitchell.

 Annan Athletic – J Todd 47 min 

Montrose – S McKenzie, J Crawford, R McIntosh, A Campbell, G Wood, G Webster, S Johnston,P Watson, C Ferguson (R McCord 67 min), B Deasley, J Reid (K Sturrock 76 min). Substitutes not used D Gray, C Wilson, C Duiguid, L Bonar, J McCafferty.

Crowd 354

Referee E Anderson                               Assistants  R Haswell and M Denne

 
 
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