Edinburgh City 2-3 Annan Athletic | Ladbrokes League Two | De Vita (3), Henderson (72), Yates (26, 52), Struthers (73)
Annan Athletic 2-0 Stirling Albion | Ladbrokes League Two | Yates (25), Struthers (27)
Queen's Park 2-0 Annan Athletic | Ladbrokes League Two | Murray (28), Booth (42)
Annan Athletic 2-1 Brechin City | Ladbrokes League Two | Yates (31, 50), Makovora (3)
In a rather topsy-turvy affair, we claimed an important three points against Edinburgh City in a 3-2 victory at Ainslie Park. This was followed-up with another victory, this time against Stirling Albion with Matt Yates and Shaun Struthers getting on the scoresheet, before we clashed with Queens Park in arguably our biggest game of the season to date.
It proved to be a dismal afternoon as we came out second-best against our nearest challengers. Simon Murray put the hosts ahead before an unlikely goalscorer in full-back Callum Booth doubled their advantage just before the break.
An adept response was required against Brechin City and I was fearing the worst when Leeroy Makovora put the away side in-front just three minutes into the game. Not for the first-time this season, I displayed my frustration on the touchline and the players took notice. Matt Yates continued his fine form to equalise before he captured a second early-on in the second-half. Once again, it wasn't pretty.... but the job was done come full-time.
Annan Athletic 1-0 Stenhousemuir | Ladbrokes League Two | Struthers (72)
Elgin City 0-3 Annan Athletic | Ladbrokes League Two | Yates (7, 86), Smith (65)
Annan Athletic 4-1 Albion Rovers | Ladbrokes League Two | Struthers (25, 43), Smith (33), Hunter (pen, 60), Ross (57)
Stirling Albion 1-2 Annan Athletic | Ladbrokes League Two | Mackin (86), Yates (6), Struthers (61)
The theme of winning ugly continued into March as we edged past Stenhousemuir who had certainly fallen off-the-pace. Ryan Blair appeared to have given his side the lead early into the second-half but the officials adjudged the former Swansea City man to have been in an offside position that led to furious protests from the Stenhousemuir players and management. I turned my back away from the chaos, recognising they had every right to be frustrated - Blair was onside.
Nevertheless, we sought to find the opener and Shaun Struthers found it eighteen minutes from time. A terrific header met a superb cross from Matt Yates to give us, admittedly, an undeserved lead. There would be further drama when Yates himself got onto the end of a cross to divert the ball home but the flag was raised for the second-time that afternoon to deny him.
There was significantly less drama at Borough Briggs as we returned to our usual best and coasted to a 3-0 victory. This was followed with another convincing win against basement side Albion Rovers.
The month concluded with a trip to Stirling Albion where Dylan Mackin's late goal certainly had our nerves jangling but we managed to see-out the game and record a ninth win in ten games thanks to earlier goals from the explosive duo of Yates and Struthers. Their tallies for the season now stand at fifteen and eighteen goals, respectively.
Our victory against Stirling Albion resulted in a seven point lead over Queen's Park at the top of the Ladbrokes League Two table. We had also confirmed a play-off spot in the process but it has to be said with the advantage we have over our nearest challengers, we have to be looking to get the job done via winning the division.
The Spiders have dropped a few silly points in recent weeks with a 0-0 draw against Cowdenbeath at the start of February and a 5-3 defeat to Edinburgh City at the end of it. A 1-1 draw to Stirling Albion has only compounded their disappointment as they have failed to capitalise on their victory against us.
It is now very much a two-horse race with Stenhousemuir seventeen points behind. Stranraer are clinging onto the final play-off position ahead of Edinburgh City.
Albion Rovers are now ten points behind Cowdenbeath who will be confident that they will be avoiding the relegation play-off this year. Scott Williamson has been installed as caretaker manager until the end of the season after Brian Reed was sacked with just three wins under his belt after twenty-seven games in charge.
CommentsSeb: I agree entirely. The dream of promotion to League One is becoming more and more of a reality and McAloone and Struthers in particular have played a vital role in that.
James: They're showing no signs of faltering. Let's hope that continues to be the theme between now and the end of the season!
Jack: A new deal had to be on the horizon given how the team have performed this season. It's a youthful squad on the whole but they are proving that age is merely a number with the maturity of their performances.