Arbroath 1-1 Annan Athletic
R.McCord (90+3) D.McKenna (57)
O.Rabin (Sent off 90+5)
Match report by Theo Kyriacou
McCord to the rescue for lacklustre Lichties
Arbroath drew 1-1 with Annan thanks to a last-gasp equaliser from Ryan McCord. The result was particularly harsh on Annan as they were the better side throughout the second half. The result moves Dick Campbell’s men up to 4th in the Ladbrokes SPFL League 2, and Campbell will know that a much improved performance is needed for his side when Cowdenbeath visit Gayfield next Saturday.
Arbroath came into this match on the back of a 3-2 loss at Barry Ferguson’s Clyde, whereas Annan lost 2-1 at home to Forfar last week. Arbroath made 3 changes to the side that lost at Clyde last week. Mutch was in goal. The back four was made up of Little at right-back, Phillips, who came in for Sukar, at left-back, and Brown alongside Hamilton, who was the Captain today because of Whatley’s absence from the side. In midfield, Linn and Kader were on the wings, left and right respectively, and in central midfield Scott partnered McCord who came in for Whatley. Up front, the electric Skelly partnered Prunty, who replaced Doris. Skelly came into this match in terrific form having scored in 3 consecutive games.
Arbroath named 7 substitutes: David Gold, Liam Callaghan, Kane Hester, Steven Doris, Gavin Malin, Michael Dunlop and Ricky Gomes. The referee for the game was Gavin Ross.
Arbroath started the game very lively. Skelly combined well with Linn and played Linn through down the far side. Linn cut inside, beat his man and fired a low cross into the box. However, there were no Arbroath players in the box so it was easily cleared. Skelly then performs a terrific piece of skill, a McGeady spin to be precise, on his man and delivers a great cross into the box but once again Arbroath had no one in the box. Arbroath were getting into very good positions but there was no support for the player on the ball in the box.
Skelly, a constant threat to the Annan defence in the first half because of his electric pace, picked up the ball out wide and curled a shot towards goal but it was well saved by Currie. Arbroath were beginning to completely dominate the game and Linn once again managed to cut inside, beat his man and fire a shot towards goal, but it was an easy save for Currie.
Arbroath’s best chance of the half came in the 22nd minute. Kader won the ball back in Annan’s half and crossed the ball to Prunty, who was standing near the edge of the area. Prunty managed to turn his man and unleash a shot which agonisingly hit the post and was cleared by the Annan defence.
Annan, who had hardly been in the game at all, then had an attack of their own. Ramsay received the ball 30-yards from Arbroath’s goal, drove forward and fired a shot towards Mutch who made a comfortable save.
Just as Annan were beginning to slowly creep back into the match, Arbroath stepped up a gear. Linn played a beautiful cross into the box which was met by Kader who’s header crashed against the bar and came back out to Kader again, who fired wide from 6-yards. Arbroath really should’ve been 1-0 up going into the break.
But Annan made sure that they reminded Arbroath that they were still very much in the game. Wright managed to get the ball before Phillips and he dinked a ball into the penalty box which McKenna was inches from connecting with. This, although Arbroath were unaware, was a sign of things to come for Annan.
Half Time – Arbroath 0-0 Annan Athletic
Annan started the second half with a good chance. Ramsay was played through on goal but Little managed to close him down and force Ramsay into shooting early and subsequently firing his shot over the bar.
Linn, who tormented Black and Swinglehurst throughout the first half, once again cut inside and unleashed his trademark curling effort towards goal, which was well held by Currie.
Annan, and particularly Ramsay though, were starting to control the game. Ramsay played through McKenna down the right but he fired a cross over the bar. Ramsay then had a shot deflected into the hands of Mutch. Arbroath seemed to be unable to cope with Annan and in the 57th minute Annan broke the deadlock. Rabin picked up the ball on the far side. He cut inside and powered a fierce shot towards Mutch, who could only palm it to the side were McKenna was waiting. McKenna, with the goal gaping, fired the ball into the back of the net to give Annan a 1-0 lead.
Arbroath tried to respond quickly and they almost did when McCord’s cross fell to Linn who saw his shot well-blocked and cleared by Annan’s defence.
Smith came on in place of the goalscorer McKenna for Annan.
Arbroath had a decent shout for a penalty. After good play from Linn, Skelly received the ball in the box. He was challenged and went to ground. However, the referee deemed it as a dive and booked Skelly who was incredulous at the referee’s decision.
Arbroath made a double substitution with 25 minutes to go as Gold and Doris came on in place of Skelly and Kader. Robertson replaced the injured Krissien for Annan.
The impressive Ramsay once again found himself in space down the right. His cross was blocked but the ball fell kindly to him. He beat his man and fired a shot just wide of the post. He was inches away from doubling Annan’s lead.
Even though Arbroath were having most of the ball, they struggled to create any real chances. Linn’s in-swinging corner was met by Brown who’s lopping header was cleared off the line by Black.
Hester came on for Prunty for Arbroath. Ramsay was replaced by Park for Annan.
Gold then won a freekick for Arbroath down the far side. McCord took it but it was easily saved by Currie. It was a very poor decision by McCord who elected to shoot instead of cross the ball.
Annan then missed a great chance to finish Arbroath off. They countered quickly through Smith. He played Wright in down the left, and with Smith standing unmarked in the box, all Wright needed to do was pick him out. However, Wright’s cross was a poor one and it was easily gathered by Mutch.
Annan were left to rue their wastefulness. With virtually the last kick of the game, in the 93rd minute Arbroath had a throw in. The ball was launched into the box by Little and it found its way to Linn who was standing unmarked in the middle of the box. Linn clipped the ball back into the 6-yard box. Scott managed to get to it first and knock the ball on towards McCord who bundled the ball into the back of the net to earn an undeserved equaliser for Arbroath and send the home fans into raptures.
Full Time – Arbroath 1-1 Annan Athletic
The game though was plagued with controversy at the final whistle. As soon as the whistle was blown, Annan’s Omar Rabin, aimed a torrent of abuse towards referee Gavin Ross. Ross correctly sent him off. Rabin stormed down the tunnel and, having already seen red, let out another torrent abuse to a few spectators. It was disgraceful behaviour from Rabin, who had had a good game for Annan.
Man of the Match: Annan’s number 11, David Ramsay. The ex-Lichtie, who had had a quiet first half, was responsible for Annan’s dominance in the second half. Ramsay pulled the strings for Annan and was responsible for creating a number of chances for his side.
- Robbie Mutch – 6
- Ricky Little – 6
- Gary Phillips – 6
- Jason Brown – 6
- Colin Hamilton (C) – 6
- Martin Scott – 6
- Omar Kader – 5 (Gold 66)
- Ryan McCord – 6
- Bryan Prunty – 5 (Hester 73)
- Josh Skelly – 7 (Doris 66)
- Bobby Linn – 7
- David Gold – 6
- Liam Callaghan
- Kane Hester – 6
- Steven Doris – 6
- Gavin Malin
- Michael Dunlop
- Ricky Gomes
- Blair Currie – 7
- Steven Black (C) – 7
- Steven Swinglehurst – 6
- Raffi Krissien – 6 (Robertson 66)
- Peter Watson – 6
- Barry Cuddiny – 6
- Omar Rabin – 5
- Ryan Finny – 6
- David McKenna – 7 (Smith 64)
- Max Wright – 7
- Darren Ramsay – 8 (Park 75)
- Alex Mitchell
- Adam Asghar
- William Robertson – 6
- Tony Tibeiro
- Jean Guy Lucas
- Liam Park – 6
- Aiden Smith – 7