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East Stirlingshire 2
Annan Athletic FC 1
12th April 2014
,  ,  Martin McNiff,  Josh Todd,  Steven Swinglehurst,  Peter Watson,  Kieran Brannan,  ,  Iain Chisholm,   (, 77),  Scott Davidson (David Hopkirk, 61),  
,  Dan Wood,  ,  Steven Sloan,  Alex Mitchell,  

Annan Athletic’s Scottish League Two title hopes ended with defeat to East Stirlingshire

 

Annan’s  misery against East Stirlingshire continued when they failed to beat Shire on for the fourth time this season. This game took a big step in favour of the home team in the 15th minute when Annan central defender Peter Watson was sent off for a foul on Max Wright, from here on in it was always going to be tough for Annan but they held out until the 88th minute when Substitute Kevin Turner bundled the ball over the line to secure the Shires third victory over Annan this season.

In all truth it was an uninspiring game with the strong wind making it very difficult for both teams and credit to East Stirlingshire who adapted to the conditions particularly in the second half whilst playing against the wind for containing Annan. Nathan Shepherd pulled off a good save from Kenny Arthur in the 12th minute as the home team pressed forward. Then came the incident in the 15th minute when Chris Jardine’s pass back to Watson was intercepted by Max Wright and as the alert Wright past Watson the Annan defender pulled his shirt. It was costly error by the Annan defender who was sent packing. Max Wright dusted himself down to take the spot kick which Kenny Arthur saved. The Shire continued to press forward and Scott Maxwell came close with a 30 yarder which went narrowly over the bar in the 20th minute.

Annan went ahead in the 26th minute when they won their first  corner in the 26th minute and from the corner Todd’s flick on was side footed into the net by Blair Henderson from 5 yards. The goal was a real bonus for Annan but it lasted only two minutes . Max Wright picked the ball up mid way in the Annan half and made a bee line for the Annan goal , finishing with a low shot from the edge of the box which beat Arthur to end up in the corner of the net. The Shire playing with the wind continued to take the game to Annan and shots from the impressive Maxwell and Max Wright tested Arthur in the 32nd and 37th minutes but generally Annan defended well until the break.

After the break Hopkirk replaced Davidson in the 58th minute and the Shire replaced Rickie Miller and Jamie Glasgow with Kevin Turner and David Greenhill minutes later. Annan’s best chance of the half fell to Josh Todd in the 63rd minute when Hopkirk’s cross was dummied by Blair Henderson and Todd’s effort from 15 yards was skied over the bar. Further substitutions followed with Lamie being replaced by Herd in the 63rd minute and Ally Love replacing Blair Henderson in the 75th minute. Love came close in the 84th and 86th minutes with 2 fine shots but it was substitute Kevin Turner who had the last say in the 88th minute when he scrambled the ball over the line after a cross form the right was only half cleared.

Annan boss Jim Chapman was not too despondant despite the defeat – ” my players have been brilliant, I thought they controlled the game. They  were outstanding and did  not look in any danger we defended well and looked in control of the game despite our disadvantage.  We had a couple of big decisions that went against us today and we suffered the consequences. The guys have done excellent and have done brilliant we have  a lot to be positive about and we must move on secure the runners up spot after Peterheads win at Clyde today .

East Stirlingshire – C Gordon, G McGregor, R Lamie ( D Herd 73 min) , C Townsley, M Bolochoweckj, S Maxwell, , M Wright, R Miller ( K Turner 61 min), J Glasgow ( D Greenhill 61 min), R O’Donoghue, N Shepherd. Substitutes not used P Quinn,  I Thomson, J Tapping, G Hay.

Annan  Athletic – K Arthur, I Chisholm, M McNiff,  P Watson, S Swinglehurst, C Jardine, S Davidson ( D Hopkirk 61 minutes ), A Mitchell, B Henderson ( A Love 77 min),  J Todd , K Brannon. .  Substitutes not used P Bradley, S Sloan, D Wood, D Orsi, A Mitchell.

Goal scorers, East Stirlingshire – M Wright 28min , K Turner 88min.      Annan -Henderson 26min

Referee – D Roach       Assistants  – D Potter and D Ingram

Crowd 301

 

 
 
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