Match Report - By Steven Mew
City and Annan have it all to do again at Glebe Park next weekend as Mark Wilson’s side fought back from two goals down at the break to earn a deserved Scottish Cup 2nd round replay.
City looked dead and buried at half time following a fairly lethargic first half showing, however they showed great determination to come back into the game and ensure they remain in the hat for the next round.
With Dougie Hill picking up an injury pre-match, there was a welcome return for Sean McIntosh who made his first appearance since suffering a fractured metatarsal in August. Ross Crawford also came into the side to partner skipper Paul McManus upfront as Wilson opted to go with a 4-4-2 formation.
It was a fairly quiet start to the game with Ross Crawford the first to threaten shortly before the quarter hour mark when he collected a throw from McIntosh before shooting wide on the turn.
At the other end, Kyle Bradley’s shot from the edge of the box didn’t trouble McMinn after some good work by Broque Watson down the left hand side.
City could have been ahead after 27 minutes when keeper Kelby Mason failed to hold on to a fairly routine shot from Olly Hamilton – Paul McManus collected the loose ball before dinking the ball back for Inglis who fired a volley over the bar.
The visitors were made to pay for that missed opportunity as Annan took the lead a minute later. A cross from the left by Wilkie found TOMMY MUIR who headed powerfully into the net despite the best efforts of McMinn to keep it out.
City looked to get themselves back level with Crawford having a volley deflected over. Crawford would again threaten when he struck a shot straight at Mason and shortly after he headed just wide from Paul Allan’s free kick.
Despite City creating much of the chances, it was the Galabankies who doubled their advantage six minutes before the break from the penalty spot. Lewis McLear broke free down the right hand side before he was brought down by a miss-timed tackle by Jonathan Page, with referee Colin Steven having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. TOMMY MUIR made no mistake, confidently dispatching the penalty sending McMinn the wrong way.
Manager Mark Wilson made a change at half time with Matthew Knox coming on for Ryan McCord as City looked to get themselves back into the game.
That substitution would pay dividends nine minutes into the second half as Knox provided a cross for Paul McManus at the back post – his header came off the unfortunate DARREN BARR and into the net to reduce the deficit.
Home skipper Tommy Muir was searching for his hat-trick and he came close on 69 minutes when his powerful header from a corner ended narrowly over.
Five minutes later, a cross from McManus was only headed out as far as Knox who lashed a volley just wide of the post.
With just five minutes remaining, City grabbed a deserved equaliser. McLaughlin floated a delightful ball over the top for PAUL MCMANUS who showed outstanding technique to strike on the full volley beyond the helpless Mason.
There was still time for a winner and it was the home side who came close to grabbing it in stoppage time when Page was on hand to head a Matty Douglas header off the line.
A draw was probably a fair reflection of the game, with City the happier of the two sides after battling back from 2 goals down. City and Annan will meet again at Glebe Park next Saturday in the replay.