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Elgin City FC 2
Annan Athletic FC 1
10th February 2018
Alex Mitchell,  Jack Brannan,  Scott Hooper,  Steven Swinglehurst,  Jamie Henry,  Evan Horne,  Ben Armour,  Aidan Smith,  James Creaney (Peter Watson, 77),  Conor O'Keefe (Cameron Salkeld, 56),  Scott Roberts (Owen Moxon, 66),  
Peter Murphy,  Jim Atkinson,  Ayrton Sonkur,  Ryan Sinnamon,  

Annan were forced to make changes for this match with both Blair Henderson and Rabin Omar suspended but there was a welcome return back from injury for Ryan Sinnamon and Owen Moxon who both took their places on the substitute benches. With only 1 point separating the teams before kick off there was an incentive for both teams to win this match to keep their play off hopes alive.
At the end of the day it was Elgin who managed to lift the points with a narrow victory which leaves Annan with a lot of work to do if they are to have any chance of getting back into contention for one of the play off positions.
Annan started the match very positively and as early as the second minute they forced a corner which saw Swinglehurst connect with Evan Horns corner at the back post, with the resulting header going narrowly over the bar. It was a lucky escape for City but 3 minutes later the home team were undone after the same combination unlocked the Elgin defence when Swinglehurst’s header at the back post beat the keeper to give Annan the lead.
Annan’s lead however was short lived when 4 minutes later Thomas Reilley blasted the ball into the net from 8 yards through a ruck of players as he latched on to an Ali Sutherland cross ball after the Annan defence failed to clear their lines.
The game was evenly matched and in the 25th minute Reilley was at the end of a well worked move but his final shot brought out a routine save from Alex Mitchell. Moments later Aidan  Smith had a half chance when played in by Scott Roberts and almost immediately Smith had another opportunity but there was no real power in the shot and keeper Brett Long easily dealt with the effort.
Scoring opportunities were few and far between but on the half hour mark Brian Cameron managed to get a shot away from the edge of the six yard box which went narrowly past the post.
As the match approached half time Annan created a promising move down the middle ending with Aidan Smith back heeling the ball and at the same time there were genuine appeals for a penalty as the tackle on Smith saw him crashing to the ground. It was a promising end to the half for Annan, another opportunity arose when Scott Roberts latched on to a Mitchell clearance with Roberts going one to one with the keeper. Elgin were presented with an opportunity at the end of the half after Hooper conceded a free kick wide on the left at the edge of the box which saw Andrew McDonald heading Reilly’s free kick narrowly past the post.
After a fairly even first half it was the home team who made the early running and in the 48th minute the Annan goal survived a real scare after the Annan defence scrambled the ball clear with the home team coming close. It was a positive start to the second half by Elgin City and Ali Sutherland was next to test the Annan defence when his 55th minute shot brought out a routine save from Mitchell.
The home team were dealt a blow when they lost the services of substitute Chris Dodd who had only been on the field minutes with a suspected broken collar bone after falling awkwardly.
The winning goal came in the 72nd minute after the home team won corner kick and Andrew McDonald headed the ball into the net from close range after Cameron Eadie’s back post header found Macdonald with space to guide the ball into the net.
As the match entered the final 10 minutes Elgin were then reduced to 10 men having previously used all their substitutes after they lost the services of Cameron Eadie who sustained a cut to his knee after a challenge by Moxon.
This result and last weeks defeat against Edinburgh City have dented Annan’s hopes of making the play offs but with 12 games to go they must gain the lost momentum in the final third of the season.
ELGIN CITY- Brett Long (GK), Matttew Cooper, Jordan Allan, Andrew McDonald, Cameron Eadie, Jon Paul McGovern , Scott Smith (Chris Dodd 53 min ( Declan Byrne 60 min)), Thomas Reilly, Chris McLeish (Darryl McHardy 75 min), Brian Cameron, Ali Sutherland. SUBS NOT USED- Calum Ferguson, Stephen Bronsky, Trialist , Marc Waters GK
ANNAN ATHLETIC- Alex Mitchell (GK), James Creaney, Jack Brannan, Jamie Henry, Scott Hooper,Steven Swinglehurst, Connor O’Keefe (Cameron Salkeld 52 min), Evan Horne, Aiden Smith, Ben Armour, Scott Roberts (Owen Moxon 65 min). SUBS NOT USED- Jim Atkinson(GK), Ayrton Sonkur,Ryan Sinnamon, Peter Murphy.
Referee- Scott Martin Assistants – Callum Spence and Ryan Lee.
Attendance 574
It was a day in the SPFL where Montrose tightened their grip at the top of the table courtesy of an 80th minute Jamie Redman winner over play off candidates Stenhousemuir, Peterhead could only manage a goalless draw down at Edinburgh City which leaves Montrose 6 points clear of Peterhead who have 2 games on hand . Stirling maintained their challenge for one of the play of places with a late 85h minute goal to defeat Cowdenbeath 2-1. Clyde made it 4 wins on the trot when they defeated Berwick Rangers courtesy of an injury time David Goodwillie penalty kick.

 
 
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