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Annan Athletic FC 2
Stenhousemuir 4
12th November 2013
,  Martin McNiff,  Steven Swinglehurst,  Peter Watson,  Steven Sloan,  ,  David Hopkirk,  Alex Mitchell,  Josh Todd (Kenny MacKay, 82),  Peter Weatherson (Scott Davidson, 102),   (Steven Black, 82),  
Gary Black,  Matthew Flynn,  Kieran Brannan,  ,  

Annan crash out of the William Hill Scottish Cup after throwing away a two goal lead

Annan Athletic were only a minute away from earning a place in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup for the first time in their history when Sean Dickson scored a dramatic equaliser for Stenhousemuir to send the game into extra time. It was a similar situation to that experienced in the first match but on this occasion the roles were reversed with the away side grabbing the last minute goal to keep their cup hopes alive exactly what Annan done in the previous game after Keiran Brannan had deprived them with a last minute goal.

It was an exciting cup tie but it is a game that Annan will look back on with some regret, in the first half Annan totally controlled and outplayed Stenhousemuir and deservedly went in at half time courtesy of a 31st minute Josh Todd goal and when David Hopkirk doubled Annan’s lead in the 48th minute you could only see one winner. But as so often happens the balance of play from here on in swung heavily in favour of the visitors as Annan elected to play deep in their own half and when John Gemmell converted a 76th minute penalty to pull a goal back it was backs to the wall as Annan were forced to defend deep and you could sense there would be a sting in the tail as Stenhousemuir piled on the pressure.

Annan dominated the opening 20 minutes and their neat composed football had the visitors on the back foot but for all their territorial advantage at this stage in the match Annan failed to seriously test Smith in the Warriors goal. In the 22nd minute Andrew Mitchell’s low near post shot tested the keeper and minutes later a promising move ended when Chris Jardine skied the ball over the bar from the edge of the box. Andrew Mitchell then had a good effort which went narrowly past as Annan went in search of the goal that their play merited.  The vital opening came in the 31st minute when Hopkirk sent in a dangerous near post ball and once again Josh Todd was at hand to nip in at the post to give Annan the edge. Steven Swinglehurst then rose above everybody to connect with a Love corner but his effort went over the bar.

Stenhousemuir started the second half positively and close range shots form Dickson and Douglas were cleared off the goal line but it was Annan who went further ahead in the 48th minute. The goal however was a due in some part to bad defending when Devlin’s short pass back was intercepted by David Hopkirk and the Annan player calmly rounded the keeper to side foot the ball into the empty net.  From here on in it all went downhill for Annan and they invited Stenhousemuir by defending deep and as the visitors gathered the momentum Mitchell in the Annan goal was called into action depriving Douglas, Dickson and substitute McNeil.

The opening arrived in the 76th minute and it came from the penalty spot after Alex Mitchell was adjudged to have fouled Ross McNeil who made the most of the collision and John Gemmell blasted the ball right down the middle to bring Stenhousemuir back into contention. As the game edged towards full time Malone was deprived when Swinglehurst cleared off the goal-line. Then came the dramatic equaliser that sent the game into extra time when Sean Dickson turned in the box to guide the ball into the corner of the net from eight yards.

Stenhousemuir were dealt a blow minutes into the added  time when Ross McMillan was sent off for handling a ball played into the path of Kenny MacKay minutes later Andrew Mitchell had a good effort which clipped the top of the cross bar. John Gemmell came close when his effort slipped past the post. In the final minute of the first half Stenhousemuir went ahead when Sean Lynch clipped the ball over Mitchell form 15 yards. Annan’s misery was completed at the start of the second half when Gemmell hit the bye line and his near post cross was despatched into the net by Ross McNeill.

 

 
 
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