Annan Athletic preview

Annan Athletic preview

  • Post published:1 January 2022

Goalscorer Paul Woods is hoping to begin 2022 in the best possible way – with three points.

Stranraer have lost back-to-back league games for the first time since August with defeats to Kelty Hearts and Albion Rovers.

The New Year kicks off with a Dumfries and Galloway derby as Annan Athletic venture along the A75.

Woods was keen to ensure the home side got back on the right track at Stair Park.

He said: “You just want to get a win under your belt right away after those two games.

“It is a good chance being at home but we do not want to make it three straight defeats in a row and it festers away.

Woods is looking for Stranraer to get back to winning ways

“We will be going to win the game and stop that wee run.

“We’re looking to start another good run again.”

Stranraer are yet to beat Annan this season but took a point in the last meeting at Galabank in November.

Woods was on target on that occasion and also found the net against Albion Rovers on Boxing Day to take his tally for the season to three.

The midfielder, who rejoined the club last summer after time with East Kilbride, described the loss at Cliftonhill – where Stranraer had led 2-1 – as “very disappointing”.

The Blues were in front at the break but saw the advantage disappear before Sam Ellis was sent off and the hosts claimed a late winner.

He said: “Obviously, coming back from a goal down, we were playing well in the first half.

“We did not come out in the second half – it was like two different teams.

Woods was on the scoresheet at Cliftonhill

“Then, you think, can you hang on and get a point after the sending off.

“To lose that in the last minute was a sore one to take.

“We should have been further in front in the first place.”

Stranraer were given the perfect opportunity to get their noses in front in Coatbridge when they were awarded a penalty with just three minutes on the clock.

Unfortunately, Tom Muir saw his effort saved by Cameron Binnie in the home goal.

Woods said: “Tom practises penalties in training and usually hits a good penalty.

“The keeper has guessed the right way and it seems to be not happening for us.”

Last meeting

Annan Athletic 2-2 Stranraer

The Blues had to settle for a point at Galabank in November

Stranraer twice led at Galabank in November before the spoils were shared.

Matty Yates crossed in for Ross Smith to score his first for the club for the opening goal. However, the lead would not last until the half time interval. Aidan Smith blocked Scott Robertson’s attempted clearance before racing through on goal and firing high beyond Luke Scullion.

There would be one more talking point in the opening 45 minutes and it saw Sean Burns sent off after tangling with Tony Wallace.

Yates had the ball in the net in the second half but it was ruled out for offside before Paul Woods nodded home with just a few minutes remaining. Unfortunately, Stranraer would concede almost immediately as Owen Moxon ensured the game finished 2-2.

Annan Athletic: Fleming, Steele, Lowdon (Docherty 75), Douglas, Birch, Moxon, Wallace (Anderson 46), Hunter, Garrity, Johnston, A Smith.
Not used: Swinglehurst, Barnes, Fleming, Purdue and Adamson.

Stranraer: Scullion, Robertson, Burns, Sonkur, Ross, Brady, Gallagher (Langan 67), R Smith (Woods 61), Muir (Watson 61), Walker (Ellis 46), Yates.
Not used: Hawkshaw, Moore, Irving, Ngoy and Baker.

Last five meetings

  • Annan Athletic 2 Stranraer 2 (A Smith and Moxon; R Smith and Woods) at Galabank on November 6, 2021
  • Stranraer 0 Annan Athletic 3 (Johnston, A Smith and Moxon) at Stair Park on August 7, 2021
  • Stranraer 2 Annan Athletic 0 (Orr and Paton (Pen)) at Stair Park on January 2, 2021
  • Annan Athletic 1 Stranraer 1 (Moxon; Stirling) at Galabank on October 24, 2020
  • Annan Athletic 1 Stranraer 1 (Stranraer win 5-4 on penalties) (Moxon; Paton) at Galabank on October 10, 2020

Last five games

The Blues surrendered the lead after fighting back from a goal down against Albion Rovers

Stranraer

  • LOSS v Albion Rovers (A): 3-2 (Woods and Muir)
  • LOSS v Kelty Hearts (H): 0-4
  • WIN v Cowdenbeath (H): 2-0 (Yates and Muir)
  • WIN v Stenhousemuir (A): 1-4 (Robertson, Brady, Sonkur and Muir (Pen))
  • WIN v Elgin City (H): 1-0 (Ross)

Annan Athletic

  • WIN v Kelty Hearts (H): 5-1 (Moxon, Garrity and Wallace x3 (Pen x1))
  • WIN v Stirling Albion (A): 2-3 (Johnston, Goss and McCartney)
  • WIN v Elgin City (H): 4-1 (Docherty x3 and A Smith)
  • WIN v Edinburgh City (A): 0-1 (Goss)
  • WIN v Gala Fairydean Rovers (A): 0-1 (A Smith)

Last time out

Stranraer

Lineup v Albion Rovers: Baker, Robertson, Burns, Ellis, Ross, McIntosh, Brady (Walker 88), Woods (Sonkur 83), Muir (Rennie 88), Watson (Moore 64), Yates.
Not used: Langan, Irving, Smith, Ngoy and Scullion.

Annan Athletic

Lineup v Kelty Hearts: Fleming, Barnes, Clark, Douglas, Swinglehurst (Lowdon 89), Moxon (Purdue 89), Hunter, Docherty (Wallace 73), Garrity, Johnston (Fleming 89), Smith (Goss 89).
Not used: Steele, Anderson, McCartney and Adamson.

Five facts

Popular winger Sean Winter scored four goals against Annan during his Stranraer career

1. If Jack Baker starts on Sunday, Stranraer will have used a different goalkeeper in each of the three meetings with Annan this season. Curtis Lyle was in goals for the previous meeting at Stair Park while Luke Scullion was between the sticks at Galabank.

2. The two sides have met on 19 occasions since Annan Athletic joined the Scottish Professional Football League. There has never been a 0-0 draw.

3. From those 19 meetings, five players have found the net on a total of four occasions. Current Annan man Owen Moxon and former Blue Ian Harty managed it for the Galabankies while Sean Winter, Stuart McColm and Michael Moore did it for Stranraer.

4. It was exactly 12 months ago to the day that Stranraer and Annan Athletic met at Stair Park. On that occasion, Thomas Orr scored before Owen Moxon was sent off and Ruari Paton netted from the penalty spot.

5. Tony Wallace scored a second half hat-trick for Annan Athletic against Kelty Hearts last week, and the midfielder was also with Stranraer briefly in 2017. He came on for Grant Anderson in a 2-2 draw against Queen’s Park. Ryan Wallace and Anderson had scored for Stranraer that day before a certain Anton Brady pulled one back and a Morgyn Neill own goal meant the points were shared.