Stenhousemuir lost their unbeaten league run of four games after a last-minute winner gave Annan Athletic a 2-1 win at Ochilview.
Stenny were the side who looked like opening the scoring after six minutes following a mistake from Lewis Hunter, which handed the ball to Greig Spence 20 yards from goal. The striker squandered his chance though after a poor first touch and the ball trickled away from him.
Minutes later, it was Annan who were starting to find their rhythm. Max Wright was influential in their attacking play, and had his first chance after 10 minutes. He was gifted the ball on the edge of the box following sloppy defending and fancied a shot, but he dragged it wide of the target.
Both sides struggled to make more chances, but it was Botti Biabi who looked dangerous going forward for the Warriors. His dancing feet made life extremely difficult for Hunter, but it was his final ball that was lacking throughout the first half.
The deadlock was broken right on the stroke of half time with Annan taking the lead through their talisman Wright. Kyle Fleming who laid the striker off to score his fifth goal of the season.
The start of the second half was a battle of the midfield, with few chances falling to either side. Biabi continued to cause problems for the Annan defence though, and it was his skills that helped Stenhousemuir even the game. He took the ball down the left flank and pinged it into the middle of the box to meet the right foot of Mark McGuigan, who scored his second goal of this year’s campaign.
Both sides showed frustration as the game went on, with players taking strikes from distance, and both keepers having nothing to worry about. It was Stenhousemuir who were really driving forward to clinch a winner, Callum Yeat’s cross finding Tommy Munro with five minutes to play, but he could not direct it goalward and it flew over the bar.
With two minutes to play, heads were in hands in the Stenny dugout after a delightful cross from Ryan Blair found McGuigan, but he could only get a slight touch onto it before it was cleared off the line by Annan defenders.
After the commotion of the missed opportunity from Stenny, Annan ran up the pitch and it was Wright who found the net again in dramatic fashion after substitute, Iain Anderson found him with a great through ball.
The goal was extremely difficult for the Stenny bench to take. Manager, Davie Irons was cautioned right before the final whistle for descent after insisting his side should have had a penalty prior to the Annan goal, as well as complaining that Wright was offside too. Here are three things we learned.
Stenhousemuir lose unbeaten streak
After a strong start to the league campaign for the Warriors in their first four games, taking two wins and two draws, they will be disappointed to lose their first – especially on their home turf and in the dying moments of the game.
They should still be feeling content sitting fourth in the table, but the Warriors will want to come back fighting and return to winning ways when they face league leaders, Queen’s Park, in a tough game next week.
Warriors work on set pieces
Stenny had several corners and a couple of dangerous free-kicks throughout the game, but nothing came of them.
With target men like McGuigan and Spence in the middle, it’s a waste not having a good delivery into the area. More work should be done on the training ground.
Wright continues to shine
Another two goals from Wright takes him to six goal involvements from five games this season so far in League Two – scoring three goals and setting up three.
The 28-year-old is proving to be a crucial player for Peter Murphy’s Annan this season. It could be a real blow for the side if he ever picks up an injury as he’s on top form at the minute.