|29th October 2016||15:00||William Hill Scottish Cup||2016-17|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
SHIRE 1 ANNAN ATHLETIC 2
A goal in the sixth minute of injury-time by former Shire loanee Adam Asghar sent Annan Athletic through to the third round of the Scottish Cup at Ochilview.
The visiting substitute picked up a flick on from a corner kick and drilled the ball through the legs of a number of Shire defenders and into the net for the winner. But Shire players and management argued vehemently that Andy Rodgers had been fouled by Raffi Krissian as the corner came over and that the goal should not have been allowed to stand.
However, their appeals fell on deaf ears of the match officials and Shire, despite their best efforts, were out of the cup.
It might have been different for the home team just four minutes earlier. With the clock showing 90 minutes Rodgers found space inside the box for a powerful shot which looked destined for the back of the net only for Annan keeper Blair Currie to pull off a fantastic save.
From Kris Faulds’ resulting corner Currie again came to the visitor’s rescue blocking Liam Allison’s net-bound header on the line with an outstretched leg.
Currie had kept Annan in the match earlier as well. His saves in both games were every bit as important in making sure they got through.
Shire named the same eleven that had come so close to causing an upset at Galabank seven days earlier and they started off on the front foot. After five minutes David Grant’s looping header from Paul Sludden’s cross went just over the bar.
But three minutes later Sludden found space for a shot which Currie was forced to beat away frantically. At the other end Rabin Omar came close with long-range shot before Currie was again called into action to save a Rodgers’ free-kick.
After 27 minutes Faulds might have given Shire the lead after being sent clean through on goal by Derek Ure’s pass. But he opted to shoot early from distance rather than take the ball round the advancing keeper and his effort crept narrowly wide.
The miss seemed not to matter so much when, four minutes later, Shire took the lead. Rodgers’ pass was perfectly-weighted for Sludden to run on to and he rode a challenge before scoring with a great shot from just inside the penalty box.
But four minutes later Andy Grant missed a chance to clear the ball from the edge of his own box and David McKenna took advantage to hit the equalising goal off the inside of the post.
Not long after David Grant’s cross might have been swept into the net by Faulds from six yards out but the Shire man lost balance stretching to reach the ball and the chance was gone. Then Ure’s free-kick hit the bar and the teams went in at the interval deadlocked at 1-1.
Shire might have taken the lead just two minutes after the break but a great run from Rodgers ended with a superb shot which was saved by Currie in the Annan goal.
The visitors than had two narrow escapes when Sludden found himself well-positioned but, on each occasion, he pulled his efforts just the wrong side of the post. Then some trickery by David Grant created a cross which flew across the Annan goalmouth without a Shire player able to apply the finishing touch.
The game went through a lull late on as both teams seemed to be preparing for 30 minutes extra-time but then came the injury-time action which, first, might have brought a late Shire winner and then, controversially, did so for the visitors.
SHIRE : Barclay, MacGregor(Murray 90), Allison, A.Grant, Greene, White(Glasgow 61), Rodgers, Ure, D.Grant, Sludden, Faulds.
ANNAN ATHLETIC : Currie, Krissian, Swinglehurst, Sinnamon, Watson, Cuddihy, Omar(Asghar 89), Finnie, McKenna9Wright 61), Lucas, Ramsay.
|East Stirlingshire Home Ground|
|55 Gladstone Rd, Stenhousemuir, Larbert FK5, UK|