Played at Galabank, Annan on Tuesday, 14th August 2012 at 19:30
Annan Athletic v Stenhousemuir at Galabank, Annan on 14.8.12
Ramsdens Challenge Cup Second Round Att 449
Annan Athletic 0 Stenhousemuir 3 [Kean 24, Dickson 30, Rodgers 59]
Stenhousemuir cruised into the quarter finals of the Ramsden Cup with a fairly comfortable victory over Annan at Galabank. The teams had met pre-season in a friendly where Annan had been the strongest but this was a much different affair with the Warriors playing with much more purpose than the previous encounter where the result was not important.
There had been some debate about the team selection once the trio of Gemmell, Kean and Rodgers were all fit and eligible to play and manager Martyn Corrigan’s solution was to field all of them and when Darren Smith was added to the equation it meant that the Warriors looked as if they were going to be playing in an attacking mode for this game.
The Warriors started the game at a high tempo and in the second minute of the game Bryan Hodge struck the crossbar with a free kick from 25 yards out. This was followed shortly afterwards by another opening when Sean Dickson, John Gemmell and Darren Smith combined but the ball was cleared out for a corner kick. Annan were struggling to cope and Stenhousemuir came close once again when a short free kick by Stewart Kean to Bryan Hodge saw powerful shot pushed out for a corner.
In a rare Annan attack Callum Reidford was called into action to save an Ally Love angled shot in the 15th minute. Eventually Stenhousemuir took the lead that their play merited when Kean converted a rebound after Alex Mitchell had saved a John Gemmell header with his feet after 24 minutes. They increased their lead on the half hour when Sean Dickson played a one two with Darren Smith before slotting past Mitchell.
There was a scare in the 34th minute when Reidford slipped on the turf and was helpless when Ally Love shot towards goal, however the ball struck the post and a bizarre goal was averted. Annan did have the ball in the net before the end of the half but the flag had already went up to signal offside so the home side didn’t open their account
These warnings though were heeded and Stenhousemuir put on a professional performance for the rest of the game. The second half continued with the Warriors looking to add to their tally and they had came close on several occasions before they eventually extended their lead in the 59th minute of the game.
Steven Swinglehurst was adjudged to have made a pass back to Mitchell when he intercepted a Stenhousemuir attack. Referee John McKendrick much to the chagrin of the Galabankies awarded a free kick 8 yards out. With the wall defending on the line Andy Rodgers did well to fire John Gemmell’s short pass into the net.
This was the end of the scoring and although for a while Stenhousemuir showed a good appetite to extend their lead they were unable to do so and in the closing stages with minds possibly on Saturday’s match the game meandered to the end without major incident.
The win was Stenhousemuir’s first ever at Galabank the previous two encounters having been draws. It was a merited one for the positive way that the team went about their business for what could have been a potential banana skin against a team that has made the semis twice in the last four years.
Annan Athletic – Mitchell, Blake, Thorburn, Swinglehurst, McGowan, Chaplain [Watson 83], Sloan [b61], Jardine, Daly [McGachie 62][b75], Steele and Love. Subs not used - Summersgill, McKechnie and, Donley.
Stenhousemuir – Reidford, Ross, Dickson, Buist [b61], McMillan, Hodge [Brash 79], C.Anderson [Thomson 62], Rodgers, Gemmell, Kean and Smith [Love 82]. Subs not used - Lawson and Shaw.
Referee – John McKendrick Assistants – Ross Haswell and Martin McCarthy