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Queens Park 0
Annan Athletic FC 1
22nd February 2014
,  ,  Martin McNiff,  Steven Swinglehurst,  Peter Watson,  Matthew Flynn,  Steven Sloan,  ,  Josh Todd (Kieran Brannan, 46),  Scott Davidson (Iain Chisholm, 77),  Kenny MacKay (, 86),  
Steven Black,  ,  ,  Alex Mitchell,  

Kenny Mackay scores the only goal to secure all 3 points for the visitors!

Annan Athletic returned from their first visit to the Excelsior Stadium at Airdrie  with three valuable  points which keeps their play off hopes alive and the victory  went  some way of appeasing their faithful  band of supporters who had to endure the  below par performance against East Stirlingshire the previous week.

Annan boss Jim Chapman rung in the changes with Kenny MacKay and Ally Love both  making a welcome return from injury and Peter Watson returning after a 2 match suspension,  Queens Park coach Gus McPherson had the luxury of a full fit squad at his disposal.

Annan were first to show forcing a corner in the 4th minute from which Scott Davidson tested Lucas Birnstingl in the Spiders goal. Queens however soon got a foothold on the game, Blair Spittal’s 11th  minute free kick was directed straight into the arms of Kenny Arthur and Sean Burns free kick minutes later was blocked by the Annan defence as the home team went all out to break the deadlock. Annan found it difficult to get any rhythm into their play with Queens Park enjoying the bulk of possession but without really causing any alarm in an Annan defence.

Peter Watson making a return from a 2 match suspension picked up a yellow in the 20th minute but minutes later Annan struck on their first real attack , it was a well constructed  move created by Josh Todd in the centre of the park when his perfectly weighted pass into the path of Kenny MacKay split open the Queens Park defence and MacKay one on one with the keeper lofted the ball over the advancing keeper  who’s indecision made it easy for MacKay. Blair Spittal’s 35th minute dangerous free kick to the back post was well defended by Annan . Towards the end of the half Annan started to press, Andrew Mitchell delivered an inviting ball to the heart of the Queens defence and moments later MacKay skipped past the challenge of Fisher to finish with a low crisp shot which flashed past the post. Ally Love was presented with an opportunity but his shot did not test the Queens player .

Annan were forced to make a change at half time with the injured Josh Todd being replaced by Kieran Brannan and Queens Parks Lee Davidson coming on for Paul Gallagher . Chances were few and far between in the second half but Lucas Birnstingl pulled off the save of the match to deny Scott Davidson in the 73rd minute when he tipped the net-bound shot from the edge of the box over the bar for a corner.  Annan looked menacing when they broke and the pace of Mackay once again caught the Queens Park defence in all sorts of bother when he latched on to a Sloan through ball but keeper Birnstingl saved the day with a last gasp tackle on MacKay.

With the game deep in injury time Annan survived strong claims for a penalty when Sloan’s well timed tackle on Davidson averted a dangerous situation. Andrew Mitchell had a good effort and Sean Burns free kick in the last minute of added on time went narrowly past.

 

Annan boss Jim Chapman commented “We have played a lot better and lost games it was not pretty today  but  credit to the players they grinded away and won the three points,  that’s the positive that we could take from the match. Queens had a lot of the ball but they did not really hurt us today that’s because we got the basics and fundamentals right. We are making things difficult for ourselves. Last week against the Shire we did not get the basics right and suffered.  The last few weeks we have grinded away without key squad players .our top strikers and the most experienced player in the division, Peter Weatherson, David Hopkirk and Kenny MacKay have been out long term  injured , Kenny’s job is to score goals and we are developing him at this level there is more to come from him  he has still a wee bit to go, Josh  Todd and Scott  Davidson are a great foil for MacKay .The victory today as I said previously was all about grinding away and working hard for each other and that is the sign of a good side with spirit and everybody doing their job. Kenny Arthur has not had a lot to do but at the death he pulled off a good save . The only thing that is not certain in this league is the outcome of each game it is almost impossible to predict the outcome of each match. Gus MacPherson has got Queens well organised and  structured they have got some good youngsters coming through . Queens  played some good football today but thankfully we got the negative side of our game right today, They are a decent side and make no mistake about it they will hurt a few teams before the end of the season, we go back in against them on Tuesday night and we know it will be tough but  we know what we are facing , we have got a lot more to offer and providing we get the fundamentals and work ethic right on Tuesday we have a chance . Josh Todd has taken a bang on his shin and will probably need an x ray , one bit of quality from Todd sets MacKay up for the goal they are young players willing to learn and providing they work hard we will develop and coach these young players to make them better players.

Queen’s Park: L Birnstingl, P Gallagher (L Davidson ht ), B Coll, R Fisher, J Brough, J Baty, S Burns, T Wallace( T Collins 90 min), L Gormley, D Anderson ( C McVey 63 min), B Spittal.   Subs Not Used: T Quinn, S Gibson, J Vitoria, B Lockhead.

Annan Athletic: K Arthur, S Sloan,  M McNiff, P Watson, S Swinglehurst, M Flynn, S Davidson (I Chisholm 81 min), A Mitchell,  K MacKay ( D Orsi 90 min), J Todd ( K Brannan ht),  A Love. Subs not used S Black, P Bradley, C Jardine,  A Mitchell

Referee: N Walsh.                 Assistants J Lawson and L Butler.   Crowd : 356

 

 
 
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