|15th October 2016||15:00||The South Challenge Cup||2016-17|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|Mid Annandale AFC||0||0||0||Loss|
MID ANNANDALE 0 SHIRE 3
Shire’s first foray into the SFA South Region Challenge Cup ended in victory in Lockerbie against South of Scotland League Mid Annandale but the team was made to work hard for its place in the third round.
Coach John Sludden was forced into two changes from the team which had won 3-0 a week earlier against BSC Glasgow; Drew Ramsay, who broke his wrist in that game, and Andy Grant, who picked up an ankle knock, missed out with Liam Allison, signed only on Friday, coming in for his debut at left-back while Adam Murray partnered Connor Greene at the centre of defence.
The visitors almost got off to the worst possible start. Only a minute in the home side managed to get in behind the Shire defence but their shot from a wide angle hit the side netting.
Shire’s jitters were calmed quickly; a great piece of skill from Andy Rodgers on the edge of the box ended with a shot which looked destined for the back of the net after five minutes but his effort hit the base of the post and was cleared.
Paul Sludden and Graeme MacGregor tried their luck from distance but neither shot was accurate enough to test the keeper and both went behind.
Then, after 15 minutes, Shire found some passing fluency and that was enough to cut open the Mid Annandale defence. Sludden’s final pass to David Grant was enough to send him one-on-one with the home keeper and his shot nestled into the bottom corner of the net to give Shire the early lead.
Within two minutes Sludden had a great chance for the second after getting in behind the defence but the keeper raced off his line to reduce the available target and he was able to pull off a fine save.
After 19 minutes it was Shire keeper Jamie Barclay’s turn and he flew to fingertip a net-bound shot from 20 yards over the bar for a corner kick which came to nothing.
Towards the end of the first half the home keeper made good saves from Connor Greene and also David Grant but Barclay distinguished himself also by saving a near post shot with his legs.
Shire began the second period on the front foot. Kris Faulds and Derek Ure fired in decent efforts which were just too high, then David Grant was played in but his attempt to squeeze the ball into the net at the keeper’s near post went just narrowly wide.
The Shire striker then forced the keeper intro a great fingertip save not long after to prevent a certain second goal. However, after 67 minutes, Murray’s superb chip over the defence was perfectly-judged for David Grant to run on to, round the keeper and plant the ball into the net for the second goal.
Not much later Sludden was unlucky when he was just unable to direct a cross into the net with the ball instead being caught by the keeper. Substitute Dylan McGuigan then saw his effort blocked for a corner.
But after 78 minutes Sludden’s almost casual turn inside the box then saw him unleash a tremendous curling shot into the far top corner of the net to make the score 3-0.
Shire had other chances but accuracy was lacking although, in injury-time, Connor Hogg was unlucky not to score with a fine effort which the keeper did well to save.
SHIRE : Barclay, MacGregor, Allison, Murray, Greene, White(Peddie 78), Rodgers(Hogg 79), Ure, D. Grant(McGuigan 75), Sludden, Faulds.
|1 Matthew\'s Loaning, Lockerbie DG11 2NB, UK|