Part 97 – OS2 C2 S1 P14 Match Day 13 (SMD 32) Annan Athletic (A) 4th April 2020 15:00

Peterhead V Cowdenbeath. Peterhead’s Aidan McIlduff. Pic by Chris Sumner Taken 23/12/17

Aidan McIlduff (22, 6ft) is one of out 4-star current ability players. IRL he’s at Stenhousemuir after time after leaving Berwick in the summer. He came through the Celtic youth ranks so has good pedigree, and has spent time at Clyde & Queen’s Park on loan, before going to Peterhead in 2017. He joined Berwick for the 2018/19 season, and in game we have him until the end of next season on £50/wk. A bargain.

So before our 88 mile trip South-West to Galabank, on the the Solway Firth to play 8th placed Annan Athletic we have a turn of month, so stats, plus a few little bits to go through.

Rodders makes his 4th appearance in the League 2 Team of the Week this season.

Lots of goals for the U18’s and Reserves – The U18’s winning 5-0 at Inverness Athletic Res, Ross Lyon with a brace, 17 yo Striker Paul McCarthy with a brace and 17 yo right winger Jamie Johnson with a goal.

Our Reserves stomped on Tranent Res at theirs 7-1 – Newly signed 15 yo youth intake striker James Doolan with a hat-trick in 24 minutes, the first of many for the club hopefully, Dawson, Scullion, Orru & 18 yo striker Duncan Johnson with the goals. We may see Doolan at some point in the next couple of seasons I think.

A pretty decent month development wise, with lots of +1’s – Not happy seeing Tom Sutherland’s crossing and finishing dropping. Lewis Allan making back some of the previous drops.

18 yo Johnny Conway has grown a cm (180), 19 yo Archie Gardiner has put on a kg (62) as has 23 yo Lewis Allan (84) – With his strength going up 1 to 12 I reckon that’s muscle 🙂

A interesting month of stats – 4 competitive games played, with Tom Sutherland mostly at DLP – Him & Leis Barr over 80% accuracy is good. Crossing was poor though, so I’ve taken the Early Crosses off the tactic and will try to work the ball into the box, hoping it counters crosses to nowhere.Lewis Allan completed over half his headers in the month, and left-back Jay Campbell did well in his limited time on the pitch. Martin McNiff doing well with the interceptions at over 5 a game. Everything else pretty normal.

Example above of being positive about other managers. I know in FM2020 this may lead to better deals with clubs where you have good relationships, but there’s no harm in doing the same in FM19 (Or in life in general!!!!)

So to Annan Athletic, on a good run of form and I fear we are falling into one of those form falloffs that might characterise the end of the season. Gardiner is in for Barr, changed to work ball into the box to try and make our crosses and passes count more. Annan are going with a 4-4-2 as well, so hopefully our style is stronger 🙂

First Half Comprehensive Highlights

HT Annan 1 (Clark 39) Berwick 0

We’ve had a few weeks of good weather, but its back to rain 🙁 Healy scored early on but was a mile or so offside and we looked pretty good going forward again. Annan had a few bright attacks and were pressing hard. And in the 39th minute they went all Barcelona, the ball finally finding Clark who finished from inside the 6 yard box to make it 1-0 Annan. We don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green. 1-0 at Half Time, I’m going to need to shake it up a bit i think. McLaughlin moves further up. Gegenpress, Higher tempo. Barr on soon for Sutherland I think.

Second Half Comprehensive Highlights

FT Annan 2 (Clark 39 Nade 61) Berwick 1 (Adamson 80) Att 604 (153 Away)

A good quick start from Berwick, again the opposition keeper having a superb game keeping us out with some unbelievable saves. Adamson on for Healy on 58. Then out of nowhere Nade scored for Annan in the 61st minute – another nice move resulting in a finish from close in. Barr on for Gardiner. 2-1 in the 80th – Adamson finishing well after a nice through ball. And it finished 2-1 – feel hard done by looking at the stats, and a feeling that the promising end to the season may be slipping away now. It also shows a weakness up top – we need to sign a quality striker this summer, we are creating so many good chances.

3 points off of 4th still as Elgin lost to Cowdenbeath, but only 1 point clear of Stenhousemuir in 6th as they beat Peterhead.

4 games left now – we need to hope Elgin slip up enough for us to catch and overtake, and we need to turn our form around. Next up is Stirling – 9th, not won in 6 games so hopefully a chance to get back on it. See you then.

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