Annan Athletic v Stenhousemuir at Galabank, Annan on 12.11.13
William Hill Scottish Cup Second Round Replay Att 421
Annan Athletic – Alex Mitchell, Sloan, McNiff, Andrew Mitchell, Watson, Swinglehurst, Todd [Mackay 87], Jardine [S.Black 87], Weatherson [Davidson 101], Hopkirk and Love. Subs not used – Brannan, Bradley, Flynn and G.Black
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin [R.Smith 88], McKinlay, Malone, McMillan [so 96], Brash, Dickson [Ferguson 104], Rowson, Gemmell [b77], Lynch and Douglas [McNeil 62]. Subs not used– Watt, Shaw and Doherty.
Referee – Des Roache Assistants – Alasdair Ross and Alan MacFadyen
An amazing turnaround in this game saw the Warriors victorious in extra time after it looked as if they would crash out of the competition. In the previous meeting between the clubs they were second best in the first half and the pattern was repeated this time as the Warriors were second best throughout the entire first period and it was no surprise when Annan took the lead in the 31st minute when Josh Todd bundled the ball home from close range, Stenhousemuir were insipid in this half and the Annan keeper was not called into action.
The Warriors did eventually create an opening in the 48th minute when Sean Dickson had a strike cleared off the line following a goalmouth scramble. It looked as though any comeback was stopped dead in its tracks a minute later though when Annan scored their second goal when David Hopkirk exploited the gap in the Stenhousemuir defence, as Eddie Malone was off the pitch receiving treatment, and rounded the keeper before tucking the ball into the net.
The introduction of Ross McNeil to the forward line gave Annan different problems to think about with his pace and he was to have a major impact on the game. He certainly tested Mitchell in the 68th minute with a powerful drive that moved in the air and the keeper only stopped the ball with his thigh, and worse was to follow for the keeper when he tripped McNeil in the 77th minute and the referee Des Roache eventually awarded a penalty. John Gemmell thrashed the ball into the net to reduce the Annan lead to a single goal with only 13 minutes to go. After that Stenhousemuir took the game to Annan as they pushed for the equaliser. They certainly raised their game from the earlier play but when McNeil saw a shot saved after bursting through the middle in the 84th minute and a minute later Ross McMillan saw a header cleared off the line it looked as if it was going to be a case of too little too late.
With two minutes left Martyn Corrigan brought on Ross Smith and pushed him up into the forward line to try and add another aerial threat to help John Gemmell. This had the desired effect and Gemmell and Ross Smith combined to play the ball into the path of Sean Dickson who swept the ball into the net. Almost immediately after this the referee blew for full time and in a reversal from the first game it was Stenhousemuir who benefitted from an injury time goal.
After getting back into the game it looked as if they had a mountain to climb once again when Ross McMillan was sent off in the 96th minute for deliberate handball after he stopped a ball over the defence 35 yards out. Annan’s Andrew Mitchell powered the free kick just over the bar. To Stenhousemuir’s credit they didn’t let this setback affect them too much and they continued to look the more likely to score. Sean Lynch flashed an effort just past the post in the 99th minute but he was to be more successful in the last minute of the first period of extra time. Substitute Brown Ferguson, on for the injured Sean Dickson, played the ball into John Gemmell and he flicked it through to Sean Lynch who curled a beauty into the top corner of the net.
The start of the second period saw the Warriors extend their lead and it was through the perseverance of John Gemmell who charged down a clearance before rushing to the byeline before whipping a cross into the middle for Ross McNeil who fired home from close range.
Annan tried to get back into the game and Ally Love shot wide before Chris Smith was called into action to deny Kenny MacKay and then Martin McNiff in quick succession. In the end though the Warriors saw the game out without too much difficulty, a scenario that looked very unlikely for the majority of the game and goes to show how easily a game can turn on its head.
This victory sets up a home tie against Fraserburgh in the fourth round but at the moment the opposition is not important but the fact that they are still in the competition is.
|November 12, 2013||7:30 pm||William Hill Scottish Cup||2013/2014||90'|
|Galabank Park, Annan|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|