We make the 2 hour journey south to Dumfries and Galloway and the Solway Firth to face Annan Athletic ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annan_Athletic_F.C. ), who currently sit 3rd in League 2, one step above us in the Scottish football pyramid. The scout report has their best 3 players being on a par with Kev Waugh & Josh Donaldson (They are also loanees) but they have more strength in depth, with another 3 4* current ability players and a good few 3.5 & 3*.
Annan were admitted to League 2 for the 2008/09 season and have been there ever since, their best finish has been 2nd in 2013/14, and they were also a play-off final away from promotion in 2010/11.
We start at full strength with our normal 4-1-4-1 DM Wide, dialled back to Balanced (Which may become Cautious, we will see). I prefer Faye as Winger (A) to Barras as IF (A) at the moment as Faye seems more potent. Mair is under pressure from Mackay at the moment so needs a good few games now to head that off. Hainey is our first choice striker. Our midfield is pretty changeable. Clappers plays his last game before his 2 game league ban, McVitie seemed ineffectual as DLP in the game v Dalbeattie Star so McCulloch comes back in and Kieran Balfour starts as his preferred CM (A). The Back 5 picks itself. This will be tough, I hope we have enough about us to put up a good fight, and that Annan don’t take us seriously. They are lining up with a 4-4-2.
HT Annan 0 Civil Service 0
Very close though we definitely had the best of the 1st half, dominating the possession and passing stats. Could definitely go either way as well – I don’t expect to boss the second half like we do in the Lowland League as they should be fitter (Though they are semi-pro so that’s not a given).
FT Annan 0 Civil Service 0 Att 280 (12 Away)
We really did have the best of the game – for the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half we were camped on the edge of the Annan area but just couldn’t break through. Donaldson pulled off a couple of lovely saves later on but we were definitely good value for the draw. We take them back to Christie Gillies Park for the replay next Saturday (The Edusport league game is moved to the Wednesday after), and if we can get through that we will face Montrose, currently 2nd in League 1 on 24th November (Which would be the last of 5 games in 14 days). See you for the replay.