Edinburgh City 0-1 Annan Athletic

Friday 03rd December 2021
Edinburgh City 0 – 1 Annan Athletic
Location Ainslie Park Stadium, 94 Pilton Drive, Edinburgh EH5 2HF
Kickoff 03/12/2021 19:45

Cinch Scottish League Two
Friday 3 December 2021
Stephen McCartney reports from Ainslie Park Stadium

Annan Athletic moved into third-place in the Scottish League Division Two table courtesy of an early strike from Tommy Goss.

The 23-year-old former Queen of the South striker scored his second goal of the season as Peter Murphy’s side came away from the capital with three vital points gained.

Goss had the first chance of the game on the artificial pitch at Ainslie Park Stadium, flicking his header over the crossbar at the near post after Matthew Douglas launched a long throw into the Edinburgh City box.

Gary Naysmith’s side went into this game on a four-match unbeaten run and they created their first opening inside the opening six minutes when central-midfielder Innes Murray drilled a right-footed free-kick over the crossbar from 28-yards after Murray was tripped by Douglas.

However, Annan Athletic sealed the victory as early as the eleventh minute of the game, watched by a crowd of 219.

Edinburgh City’s right-back David McKay’s undercooked a weak back-pass towards his goalkeeper Brian Schwake and Goss pressed the keeper and the clearance was charged down by Goss, who took a touch before slotting his right-footed shot into the bottom near corner from three-yards.

Edinburgh City’s right-winger John Robertson – recently voted Cinch League Two player of the month for November – was a threat going forward for the home side.

He played a short corner to James Hilton before curling his left-footed shot around the far post from just the right-hand side.

Douglas pinged a 60-yard diagonal pass over to Annan Athletic’s right-back Charlie Barnes, whose low angled drive from the corner of the penalty area, was comfortably saved by Schwake.

Edinburgh City went close to equalising on the half-hour mark when Robertson and McKay linked up with a one-two in the centre and Robertson skipped past Annan’s holding midfielder Owen Moxon to swiftly cut the ball onto his left-foot and flash a shot just past the right-hand post from 25-yards.

Annan Athletic were comfortable on the ball and dominated proceedings for most of the first-half and they really should have killed the game off seven minutes before the break.

Left-winger Aidan Smith released right-winger Chris Johnston, who whipped in a low cross towards the far post and Dominic Docherty’s first-time shot was smothered by Schwake, low to his left, as Annan Athletic were full value for their half-time lead.

There was a controversial moment inside the opening seven minutes of the second half, however.

Douglas’ launched a long throw into the Edinburgh City penalty area, which was flicked on by Goss at the near post and Smith’s shot at the far post clipped the underside of the crossbar and appeared to have crossed the line as the ball bounced.

Dominic Docherty floated the ball in from the left and Goss planted his header over the crossbar from 12-yards just 19 seconds later.

Edinburgh City won the corner-count by 8-1 and Annan Athletic’s only flag-kick of the game came in the 58th minute.

Johnston floated in the ball with his left-foot from the left and Steven Swinglehurst came up from the back and found a pocket of space at the far post to steer his header over the crossbar from 16-yards.

Naysmith had seen enough and made a double change in the 61st minute and this tactic had a desired effect as Edinburgh City started getting back into the game and played more on the front foot.

Left-winger James Hilton fed substitute midfielder Alex Ferguson, whose shot deflected past the far post and behind for a corner.

The impressive Robertson cut in from the right and struck a left-footed half-volley, which screamed across Greg Fleming – a goalkeeper reluctant to come off his line – and past the far post, as the home side continued to press.

Edinburgh City continued to throw bodies forward in search of an equaliser with the Annan defence – well marshalled by Swinglehurst – putting in a resilient shift.

Three of four changes from Murphy came in attack and Annan Athletic finished the game in a 4-2-3-1 formation and the Dumfries and Galloway side created a couple of late chances.

Moxon’s long ball was cleared out to central midfielder Lewis Hunter, who cracked a left-footed half-volley flashing across the keeper and past the far post from 25-yards.

The away side linked up well in the final third with attacking substitutes Iain Anderson and Tony Wallace feeding Moxon, who fed substitute Michael Garrity, who cut into the box riding a challenge before his dinked shot was smothered by Schwake at his near-post.

Naysmith threw centre-half Bronsky up as an emergency target-man towards the dying embers of the game and Edinburgh City were denied at the death.

Murray whipped in a deep free-kick which, after a couple of shots were blocked on the line in a scramble, the ball was met by left-back Ciaran Brian and visiting goalkeeper Greg Fleming bravely smothered the ball on the goal-line with ineffective striker Ouzy See ready to pounce if the keeper had spilt it.

Meanwhile, each side play each other four times in the four tiers of the SPFL and big-spending Kelty Hearts remain at the summit, having collected 36 points.

Forfar Athletic (26 points), Annan Athletic (23) and Stirling Albion (21) are in the play-off zone.

Edinburgh City slip down a place into fifth with 21 points, followed by Stenhousemuir (18), Albion Rovers (17), Stranraer (16) and Elgin City (13).

Cowdenbeath occupy the relegation play-off berth with six points.  Edinburgh City and Annan Athletic have now played 15 games, while the other eight teams in the mostly part-time division all have a game in hand.

Edinburgh City: Brian Schwake, David McKay (Allan Smith 61), Ciaran Brian, Lucas Berry (Alex Ferguson 61), Stephen Bronsky, Chris Kane (Scott Reekie 82), James Hilton (James Farrell 72), Innes Murray, Ouzy See, Lewis Kidd, John Robertson.
Sub: Cameron Quate

Booked: Lucas Berry 36, Chris Kane 63

Annan Athletic: Greg Fleming, Charlie Barnes, Cameron Clark, Owen Moxon, Matthew Douglas, Steven Swinglehurst, Aidan Smith (Michael Garrity 79), Lewis Hunter, Tommy Goss (Iain Anderson 79), Dominic Docherty (Kyle Fleming 85), Chris Johnston (Tony Wallace 64).
Subs: Ryan Adamson, Charlie Birch, Jack Purdue, Rob McCartney, Roan Steele

Goal: Tommy Goss 11

Booked: Lewis Hunter 18, Steven Swinglehurst 70

Attendance: 219
Referee: Mr Stewart Luke
Assistants: Mr Michael Banks & Mr Alan Grainger