Arbroath 1-2 Annan Athletic
S. Doris (11) D. Ramsay (40 Pen)
R. Krissian (67)
Wasteful Arbroath beaten by determined Annan
Match report by Theo Kyriacou
Arbroath were left to rue woeful finishing for not winning against Annan Athletic. Ryan McCord and Martin Scott were two of the culprits who spurned wonderful opportunities to score in the second half. Arbroath completely dominated the game but once again, because of poor finishing, Arbroath failed to take their chances, and were punished midway through the second half, when Krissian headed the ball past Gomes to seal all three points for the visitors. The result means that Dick Campbell’s men remain in second place in the Ladbrokes SPFL League 2 but, after Forfar’s 1-0 win away at Edinburgh City, remain eight points behind the leaders.
Dick Campbell named an unchanged side to the one that beat Berwick Rangers 4-1 at Gayfield in the previous game. The ever impressive Gomes started in goal. The back four was made up of Gold at right-back, Sukar at left-back and Little alongside Hamilton at centre-half. In midfield, Kader and Linn were on the right and left wings respectively and Whatley partnered McCord, who had made it into the SPFL Team of the week for his performance against Berwick, in central midfield. Up front, Ferns played alongside Doris.
Arbroath named seven substitutes: Martin Scott, Bryan Hodge, Josh Skelly, Gavin Malin, Bryan Prunty and on-loan Donald McCallum and goalkeeper Cammy Gill, who had both joined Arbroath from Dumbarton and Dunfermline respectively.
Although Arbroath completely controlled and dominated the first half, it was Annan who almost took the lead inside sixty seconds. Ramsay played the ball through to Osadolor, who ran towards goal and got into a dangerous position inside the penalty box. However, Hamilton managed to get back and prevent Osadolor from getting a shot away.
Arbroath then began to completely dominate possession and they made the break through from their first real attack in the 10th minute. Kader switched a beautiful ball to Linn on the left wing. Linn controlled the ball beautifully and drove towards the Annan box. Linn managed to get to the by-line and cut the ball back to an unmarked Doris on the penalty spot, who took a touch and fired the ball past Currie to give Arbroath a 1-0 lead.
With the wind in their sales, Arbroath began to create a number of golden chances but they couldn’t score that second goal. Gold’s cross was knocked down by Doris into the path of Ferns, who was unmarked on the edge of the box, but his volley was tame and was easily gathered by Currie.
Then, if it wasn’t for a brilliant piece of defending from Krissian, Arbroath surely would’ve made it 2-0. Krissian did superbly to block Doris drilled ball into the penalty area. The big Frenchmen did terrific to sniff out the danger, as Linn and Ferns were lying in wait behind him.
Arbroath were playing some very attractive football. Ferns combined with Linn down the left hand side and whipped a tantalising ball into the box, which Doris headed wide. Then, a bit of quick thinking from Little, saw Linn played through on goal but his shot was saved by Currie.
Annan managed to carve out a shooting opportunity but Weatherson’s volley from Ramsay’s knock down, was well hit, but wide of the mark.
The hosts though continued to take the game to Annan and, after Kader had seen his audacious volley go inches wide of the post, missed a glorious opportunity. McCord played a lovely one-two with Linn on the edge of the box and hit a curling effort inches wide of the far post. With the keeper stranded and no defenders near him, McCord really should’ve scored.
But Annan, who were surprisingly only a goal down, gave Arbroath a warning sign that they were still in the game. Weatherson beat his man and raced through on goal. However, he decided to try and square it to Osadolor instead of shoot. However, his cutback was poor and the ball was easily cleared by Gold. That was a real let off for Arbroath as Weatherson was in a great shooting position there.
Arbroath though failed to heed this warning sign and were made to pay a few minutes later when Annan where awarded a penalty. Much to the dismay of the Arbroath players and supporters, referee Scott Millar, adjudged Gomes of fouling Flanagan in the penalty box. Whether it was a penalty or not, the on-loan St Mirren star was too quick for Arbroath’s number one. Darren Ramsay, on a return to his old club, stepped up and placed the penalty past the outstretched hand of Gomes to make it 1-1.
Half Time – Arbroath 1-1 Annan Athletic
Arbroath started the half by making a substitution as Scott came on in place of Ferns, who had picked up a knock in the first half.
Annan started the second half like they had ended the first and Osadolor forced Gomes into making a smart stop.
Arbroath where still creating a lot of chances and almost went into the lead from Hamilton’s header from McCord’s corner. However, Currie made a great reflex save to deny Hamilton from scoring.
Smith and Wright came on in place of the injured Guy Lucas and the lacklustre Osadolor for Annan.
Arbroath where then awarded a free kick, in a dangerous position on the edge of the area, after a handball from Omar. McCord took it but his hot was deflected into the arms of Currie.
Then a moment of madness and a lack of concentration from Sukar handed Annan a corner. Sukar got his back pass all wrong and gave away a needless corner. To make matters worse for Sukar, Annan scored from it. Krissian rose above the Arbroath defence to head the ball into the back of the net to, quite astonishingly, give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
The last twenty minutes of the game for an Arbroath fan were torture, with the home side squandering a number of glorious opportunities to equalise. First, a whipped cross from Linn was somehow missed at the back post by both Scott and Kader. Then Currie made a great save to thwart Linn from scoring, after getting down quickly to make the save and smother the ball.
Arbroath then made two changes as Skelly and McCallum came on in place of Linn and Sukar. McKenna came on for Flanagan for Annan.
Currie, who had made some great saves throughout the game, then produced a brilliant save to stop McCord from scoring. He managed to dive to his left to push McCord’s volley out for a corner.
However, in the 92nd minute of the match, McCord, who had squandered a lot of good chances throughout the match, missed an absolute sitter. Scott managed to head the ball back across goal to the on-rushing McCord at the back post but from literally a yard out and the keeper at the other side of the goal; McCord managed to hit the ball into the arms of the goalkeeper. There were strong appeals that the ball had crossed the line but the linesman felt otherwise. It was an appalling miss from McCord and it was a chance that looked easier to score than miss.
Full Time – Arbroath 1-2 Annan Athletic
A slightly fortuitous Annan came away with the three points against Arbroath at Gayfield. Arbroath only have themselves to blame for the result and for the terrible finishing. However, Dick Campbell knows that his side are very quick to bounce back and will be hoping for a response and a win, when Arbroath travel to Barry Ferguson’s Clyde, next Saturday.