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Stranraer FC 2
Annan Athletic FC 3
20th August 2013
,  Peter Watson,  Kenny MacKay,  Steven Black,  ,  Peter Weatherson,  Steven Sloan,  David Hopkirk,  Matthew Flynn (Steven Swinglehurst, 69),   (Scott Davidson, 78),  Iain Chisholm (Kieran Brannan, 46),  
,  Alex Mitchell,  

QUARTER FINAL TIE BECKONS FOR ANNAN

Stranraer 2 Annan Athletic 3

Stranraer – C Aitken pen 42min, M Grehan 86 min. Annan Athletic – K MacKay 18,35min, D Hopkirk 87 min

Annan Athletic’s promising start to the season continued to gather momentum at Stair Park on Tuesday evening as Stranraer became the latest team to taste defeat at the hands of Jim Chapman’s team. The SPFL Division 1 team crashed out of the Ramsdens Cup as Annan gained the upper hand in a promising first half display where they swept into a deserved two goal lead before presenting a life line to Stranraer by conceding a needless penalty just before the break to set up an exciting and nail bighting second half.

Stranraer started the match promisingly but without really penetrating the compact Annan defence, gradually Annan got a foothold on the game and in the 18th minute Matty Flynn carved open the Stranraer defence with a perfectly weighted ball into the path of Kenny MacKay and the Annan striker clipped the ball over the advancing David Mitchell and into the net to give Annan the lead.

Stranraer were unlucky in the 25th minute when David McKenna’s low shot cannoned off the base of the post but it was Annan who looked the more adventurous team and it came as no surprise when they increased their lead in the 35th minute. Hopkirk picked the ball up wide on the left and he cut in along the bye line finishing with a low cross to the advancing Kenny MacKay who connected with the ball from close range to give Annan a two goal cushion.

David Mitchell pulled off an important double save in the 37th minute to deny Ally Love and David Hopkirk as Annan threatened to over run the home team, minutes later Hopkirk was released clean through on goal from a Flynn through ball but with time on his hands the Annan striker failed to take advantage of the situation.

Annan looked to be edging towards half time with a comfortable two goal advantage but in a moment of madness they conceded a soft penalty when Peter Bradley pulled the shirt of Jamie Longworth when there appeared to be little or no danger and from the resulting penalty Chris Aitken hammered the ball into the centre of the net.

Stranraer made a couple of changes at the start of the second half in an effort to gain the advantage with Winter and Grehan being introduced at the expense of Docherty and Corcoran. Annan were forced on replacing the injured Chisholm with Brannan. The changes gave the home team a much needed lift. David McKenna weaved his way into a promising position in the 54th minute but the shot sailed over the bar and as the home team pressed for the equaliser Jamie Longworth came close when his low shot went narrowly past the post. Ally love and Kenny Mackay both had efforts on target but it was the home team who pressed hard for the opening but they found the Annan defence hard to break down.

As the game entered the final 5 minutes Stranraer struck gold when Jamie Longworths well struck shot from the edge of the box managed to go through a ruck of players and Annan keeper Kenny Arthur could only parry the effort into the path of substitute Martin Grehan who prodded the ball into the net.

Annan’s reply was immediate when straight form the kick off Hopkirk picked the ball up and unleashed a stunning 20 yarder which flew into the bottom right hand corner of the net past the outstretched arms of David Mitchell. There was no coming back for Stranraer who had worked hard to get back into the game but over the 90 minutes Annan did enough to progress to the Quarter Final.

Annan boss Jim Chapman heaped praise on his team for claiming another scalp, “the players deserve the plaudits they played well and responded magnificently after conceding a late equaliser. It is all down to hard work and working together as a team, there is a good spirit in the dressing room. Saturdays match against Albion is another big test for the team so we will bring them back down to earth on Thursday and get them focused on the main priority which is the League”.

Stranraer – D Mitchell, D MacGregor, M Docherty (S Winter ), S Robertson, F McKeown, C Aitken, A Stirling, G Gallagher, D McKenna, J Longworth, M Corcoran ( M Grehan 45 min). Substitutes not used L Kinnaird, K Woods, C Fahey.

Attendance 290

 

 
 
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