City’s playoff hopes strengthened with victory over Annan

Alan Maybury’s side moved one step closer to securing their place in the League Two playoffs after a hard-fought win against Annan Athletic at Ainslie Park. Aaron Fraser reports.

Photo Credit – Tommy Lee Photography

While most Scottish football fans were tuning in to watch Kilmarnock and Arbroath battle it out at the top of the Championship, there was another intriguing game on in the race for promotion in League Two.

Edinburgh City welcomed Annan Athletic to Ainslie Park in a match which was an opportunity for both sides to shake off poor performances from the previous week. City had drawn away to bottom club Cowdenbeath while Annan had been humiliated 5-1 at Station Park by Forfar Athletic.

The Citizens started brightly and created a series of chances in the early stages. Callum Crane volleyed over from inside the box before Ouzy See was next to see an effort fly over the crossbar. After nine minutes, superb running from Crane saw the number 30 tee up Ben Stirling to have a dig from range. The on-loan Hamilton man sent a vicious strike towards goal which looked destined to burst the net, only for Greg Fleming to deny him with a superb save.

City would get their noses in front after 13 minutes. After receiving the ball on the right hand side, Ryan Shanley cut inside before drilling a low effort into the bottom right corner.

The Citizens doubled their lead seven minutes later as See got in on the act. After an inviting corner from Danny Handling was nodded into his path by Michael Travis, See gleefully swept home from close range.

Crane then almost scored a contender for goal of the season. Picking up the ball in his own half, the flying full back ran the length of the pitch, taking on three Annan men and leaving them in his wake, before shooting inches over the bar.

Dominic Docherty halved the deficit just before half time, heading past Brian Schwake to haul his side back into the game.

The second half was devoid of action until the last 10 minutes. Innes Murray saw a curling long range effort saved at full stretch before squandering a glorious chance to seal the points after sending a Hamilton cut-back into orbit. Annan almost snatched a point right at the death but thankfully could only ripple the side netting, much to the relief of a home crowd who were running out of fingernails to bite.

The full time whistle blew in Pilton as City secured a fantastic result that keeps them in the playoff places for now. Edinburgh City’s next match is away to Stirling Albion while Annan Athletic host champions Kelty Hearts.

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