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Clyde FC 0
Annan Athletic FC 3
5th April 2014
,  ,  Martin McNiff,  Josh Todd,  Steven Swinglehurst,  Peter Watson,  Kieran Brannan,  Iain Chisholm,   (David Hopkirk, 70),  Scott Davidson (, 70),   (Steven Sloan, 79),  
Dan Wood,  ,  ,  Alex Mitchell,  

 

Annan Athletic clinched a place in the Second Division play offs with a convincing three nil victory over Clyde at Broadwood on Saturday and the victory ensures Annan still have a  slim hope of catching Peterhead who’s 4-0 victory over Montrose is still not enough to  secure the title spot for the Blue Toon.

Both managers were forced to make changes from the previous week with Jim Duffy being forced to make some late adjustments to his team, as Iain Gray failed a fitness test on a knee injury and Brian McQueen suffered a calf problem in the warm-up. Fraser McGhee and Ryan Frances replaced them. Annan boss Jim Chapman was without the suspended Ally Love and the injured Steven Black and Kenny Mackay with starting berths given to Scott Davidson, Kieran Brannan and Chris Jardine.

Annan  had the first chance of the match in the 9th minute when Kieran MacDonald was forced to clear an audacious effort off the line after Blair Henderson’s effort clipped the underside of the bar. Clyde responded in the 18th minute when a patient build up led to Kieran MacDonald finding space in the box and his low cross found Stef McCluskey, but the striker was closed down before he could get a shot away.

At the other end, Jamie Barclay pulled off a magnificent save to deny Steven Swinglehurst  who’s downward header from a Mitchell corner was pushed on to the underside of the bar. Stuart McColm then missed a great chance for The Bully Wee, when Fraser McGhee’s long cross  whipped in from the right dropped at his feet but he couldn’t make a clean connection with the ball which landed into the arms of Kenny Arthur.

Annan opened the scoring in the 41st minute  when Annan’s Scott Davidson picked the ball up from Andrew Mitchell and his 25 yard effort  flew into the top corner of the net over the arched contour of keeper Jamie Barclay to give Annan a slender half time lead.

Annan started the second half with a bang and within 3 minutes they doubled their lead after a penetrating run down the left by Martin McNiff ended with a ball being played into the near post and Josh Todd finished clinically with a shot into the corner of the net from 6 yards.

It was a set back to Clyde but they started to enjoy their best spell in the game  and in the 63rd minute Scott Ferguson  missed Clyde’s best opportunity to get back into the match when he found himself in front of Kenny Arthur after Iain Chisholms back header fell short but the Clyde winger somehow missed the target from 8 yards. The home side kept prodding for an opening but it was Annan who carried the cutting edge and in the 66th minute Annan broke swiftly from defence,  with Andrew Mitchell slipping the ball into the path of Josh Todd who brushed aside the challenge of Kieran MacDonald to finish with another stunning shot past the outstretched arm of Jamie Barclay to secure a comprehensive victory for Annan.

Annan boss Jim Chapman said “It was a comfortable win which was surprising because Clyde have done very well this season  but we knew it was going to be a tough game and we had to be on it from the first whistle, it took us a while to settle but  once we got the goal you could see the confidence develop. For the first 35 minutes there was not much in the game we just grinded away but once we scored all of a sudden you could see what we are capable of . We scored  some really good goals and our counter attacking play was excellent. It is a fantastic experience for Annan to reach the play offs with 4 games to go the players deserve credit  we were on our game today and we are now in the playoffs which is a fantastic experience for the players and the club.”

Jim Duffey  the Clyde boss commented “Annan were more hungrier than us today and displayed far more desire than Clyde, winning more challenges picking up second balls and a real threat going forward so we have no complaints. We have just got to accept that we were not at our best today.  Annan were the better side we have got to brush ourselves down and get prepared for Peterhead next week. We have a lot of work to do to make the play offs, the ambition is to make the play offs and I will be bitterly disapointed if we don’t improve on our performance today, so from our point of view there is a lot of work to do, we cant go overboard over the last few weeks we have played some decent football and today we have played some good football but when the chances came we did not take them.”

Annan – K Arthur, I Chisholm,  M McNiff,  P Watson, S Swinglehurst, C Jardine (S Sloan 79 min),  S Davidson ( D Hopkirk 70 min), A Mitchell, B Henderson ( D Orsi 70 min), J Todd, K Brannon.  Substitutes not used A Mitchell, P Bradley, J Moffat and Dan Wood.

Annan Goalscorer- S Davidson 41 min, J Todd 48min and 66 min

Clyde – J Barclay, F McGhee, K McDonald , N Janczyk (G Young 72 min),  D Marsh,  B McQueen, S Ferguson , J Sweeny, M Daly , S McCluskey (G Capuano 82 min), S McColm (P Scullion 80 min),  Substitutes not used  N Rajovic, R McKinnon, R Francis, R McBeth.

Referee – D Sommers       Assistants    S Kirkland and S Allan. Crowd 516

 

 
 
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