Annan Athletic 1 – 2 Arbroath – Match Report
Match Day 11 – Ladbrokes League 2 – Season 2016 / 2017
Saturday 5th November 2016, Galabank, Annan 3.00pm kick off
The Lichties took to the road again on Saturday as they made the 340 mile round trip to Dumfries and Galloway to face Jim Chapman’s Annan Athletic.
The sides had only met a few weeks ago at Gayfield when a late goal by Ryan McCord rescued a point for the Lichties with the last kick of the ball.
Having previously named the same starting line up for the 3 prior matches, manager Dick Campbell made two changes to the side with Jassem Sukar and Bryan Prunty coming in for Gary Phillips and Steven Doris.
The tinkering of the team, didn’t effect the formation of the team and it meant Ricky Gomes was between the posts, with Colin Hamilton and Ricky Little continuing their impressive partnership in the centre of defence with David Gold at right back with Sukar coming in to play at left back. Omar Kader and Bobby Linn started on the right and left wings, with Ryan McCord and skipper Mark Whatley in central midfield with Martin Scott being joined by Prunty up front.
Josh Skelly returned from injury to make the bench alongside side Liam Callaghan, Gary Phillips, Gavin Malin, Steven Doris, Josh Thomson and Robbie Mutch.
Despite the glow of the setting winter sun, it was a bitterly cold day in Annan, as the home side ran out in their black and gold kit with the Lichties in their traditional maroon. A small group of Lichties had made the long trip to cheer on their team.
Bryan Prunty won a free kick for Arbroath in the opening minute just on the edge of the Annan box. Ryan McCord stepped up before his effort was charged down but as the ball broke it fell to Colin Hamilton who turned and smashed the ball, but his effort was also blocked as Annan escaped.
Annan Captain Barry Cuddihy had the first chance for the home side as he ran at the Arbroath defence before swinging at the ball on the volley but his strike spun high and to the right over the Arbroath goal.
It was Prunty who was again to be denied this time from an Arbroath corner kick. McCord’s curling kick was headed down by Hamilton and Prunty was the quickest to react, spinning and striking a shot at goal only to be denied by a fine save from Currie.
Arbroath were playing some nice football and David Gold was next to create an opening as he charged down the line before Omar Kader released the ball into his path but Gold’s teasing ball into the box was pounced on by Currie. Moments later and this time Gold had robbed the ball from an Annan defender but his quick cross on the counter was too high.
Both Gold and Sukar were offering valuable support at both ends as the Lichties started to dominate the game, pinning the Annan players in their own half.
A free kick won by Scott in the 31st minute was swung into the box by McCord which was met by the head of Scott but his looping header was somehow kept out by Currie who managed to tip away the ball, but only as far as Kader who turned and returned the ball to the back post but Little’s header was just wide of the target.
A minute later and Arbroath could have been awarded a penalty after another free kick from the edge of the box. As the ball was knocked down it looked to have struck the hand of Ryan Sinnamon, but despite appeals from the Arbroath players in the vicinity, referee David Lowe waved play on.
Referee Lowe get involved as he pulled out a yellow card for Peter Watson just a few minutes later when David Gold, who had popped up on the left wing used a nice piece of skill to trick Watson, forcing the defender to fell him to the ground.
Omar Kader also found himself in the referee’s notebook as Max Wright was tripped up as he tried to break free between Kader and Little on a counter attack.
Annan won their first corner kick of the game on the stroke of half time and despite the Lichties 66% possession of the first half they were made to pay as defender Swinglehurst leapt at the front post and connected with a Darren Ramsay corner to nod the ball down and into the Arbroath net.
Half Time – Annan Athletic 1 – 0 Arbroath
It would have been an interesting half time team talk in the dressing room as Arbroath had been doing everything correctly and playing some nice football with Gold, Sukar, Prunty and Whatley all enjoying fine performances but were just without that vital goal.
Liam Callaghan was brought on for Omar Kader as the winger wasn’t risked following his yellow card late in the first half.
The Lichties won their first corner kick of the second half in the 46th minute, followed by yet another as Ryan Finnie cleared the initial threat. This was to be the chance that Arbroath pounced on. As Little attacked McCord’s in swinging corner, the ball took a deflection before falling at the feet of Mark Whatley who smashed in a close range right handed volley. Game on!
Annan had their best spell going forward as they closed in on the Arbroath box but a clinical touch or a shot on target in the final third seen the openings squandered.
Another Arbroath corner allowed Colin Hamilton to have an attempt, but his volley was out of control, before Liam Callaghan was given the opportunity to take a free kick to the left of the Annan goal but his effort curled wide.
In the 66th Whatley made a surging run through the middle before a beautiful pass fed in Bobby Linn who took a touch ready to run round the keeper but Currie manage to get a leg to the ball. The ball fell to Prunty who showed great skill and lightning reactions to loop a ball high over the isolated keeper but unbelievably Jean Guy Lucas had got back in time and leapt to head out Prunty’s lob from the open goal.
Josh Skelly and Steven Doris were introduced in the 68th minute for Ryan McCord and Brysubstitutean Prunty as the Lichties bolstered their attack. Annan also made a double switch with Rabin Omar and Adam Asghar replacing Darren Ramsay and Ryan Finnie.
Rabin Omar had only been on the field for 5 minutes when he picked up a booking for a foul on Scott.
Bobby Linn smashed a volley just over the Annan bar after a flick on from Steven Doris as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
Arbroath threatened again as Whatley’s edge of the box drive was blocked with the ball finding Linn on the angle of the box. A quick flick and he blazed past Jean Guy Lucas but his powerful left foot shot on the angle wasn’t quite on target.
Przemyslaw Dachnowicz was introduced for Annan Captain Cuddihy who took a knock to the head in the 84th minute and the substitute almost made an immediate impact as he pounced on a loose ball to shoot from 18 yards but Gomes was able to make the save from the direct shot.
Dundee striker Josh Skelly was full of drive and in the space of a minute had tried two long range shots from the left hand side of the pitch. His first effort being saved by Currie but the second was just too high.
The game had entered stoppage time as Gold and Callaghan combined to block the run of Rabin Omar, with Callaghan kicking the ball away to Whatley. The Arbroath Captain took two touches before looking up and playing an amazing defence splitting pass to find Skelly whose pace took him away from Watson and Swinglehurst and as Currie ran out, Skelly just swerved his body forcing the keeper to dive the wrong way with Skelly free to run to his right and calmly slotting the ball into the empty net before running into the arms of the delighted Lichties behind the goal.
It was brilliant skill from Skelly but was made by the pass from Whatley and soon all the Arbroath players were mixing with the fans as they celebrated together. Skelly was booked for his celebrations but it was worth it as the whistle was blown seconds after Annan restarted the match.
Full Time – Annan Athletic 1 – 2 Arbroath
A cruel blow for anyone to lose a game with the last kick of the ball but the Lichties deserved it with some outstanding performances in a terrific team effort. Gary Phillips was unfortunate not to start by Jassem Sukar justified his place with a great performance at the back with some penetrating forward runs in the second half but Man of the Match would have to go to Arbroath skipper Mark Whatley who pulled his team level then created the second. A fantastic win for team and the fans.
C’mon the Lichties!
Possession – Annan Athletic 40% – 60% Arbroath
Total Shots – Annan Athletic 9 – 14 Arbroath
On Target – Annan Athletic 3 – 6 Arbroath
Off Target – Annan Athletic 6 – 8 Arbroath
Corners – Annan Athletic 1 – 9 Arbroath
Fouls Committed – Annan Athletic 15 – 10 Arbroath
1 – Blair Currie
2 – Jean Guy Lucas
3 – Steven Swinglehurst
4 – Ryan Sinnamon
5 – Peter Watson
6 – Barry Cuddihy (c) (Dachnowicz 84)
7 – Maxwell Wright
8 – Ryan Finnie (Omar 71)
9 – David McKenna
10 – Aidan Smith
11 – Darren Ramsay (Asghar 71)
12 – Alex Mitchell (GK)
14 – Adam Asghar – 11; 71st
15 – Raffi Krissian
16 – Stephen Bronsky
17 – Callum Home
18 – Przemyslaw Dachnowicz – 6; 84th
19 – Rabin Omar – 8; 71st
Yellow Cards – Watson 34, Omar 76
Goal – Swinglehurst 45+1
1 – Ricky Gomes
2 – David Gold
3 – Jassem Sukar
4 – Ricky Little
5 – Colin Hamilton
6 – Mark Whatley (c)
7 – Omar Kader (Callaghan 45)
8 – Ryan McCord (Skelly 68)
9 – Bryan Prunty (Doris 68)
10 – Martin Scott
11 – Bobby Linn
12 – Liam Callaghan – 7; 45th
14 – Gary Phillips
15 – Gavin Malin
16 – Steven Doris – 9; 68th
17 – Josh Skelly – 8; 68th
18 – Josh Thomson
21 – Robbie Mutch (GK)
Goal – Whatley 47, Skelly 90+2
Bookings – Kader 39, Skelly 90+3
Attendance – 326
Referee – David Lowe
Assistant Referee 1 – Joseph Lawson
Assistant Referee 2 – Connor Ashwood