To say that it was a shock when Annan scored on six minutes would be an understatement, the locals were ecstatic and a little unsure at first. The ball was played long into the Accies half, Weatherspoon headed on, Todd touched into the penalty area, and Matty Flynn stuck to the side of Michael McGovern for the opener.
Then to rub salt in an open wound, goal scorer Flynn, won a challenge and knocked inside. Josh Todd took it to the corner of the penalty area and crossed for Peter Weatherspoon on the edge of the eighteen-yard line. He struck first time, but his shot lacked power and McGovern was on hand to gather. Accies then sent a thirty-five yard free kick, high over the crossbar.
Weatherspoon was causing all sorts of problems for Hamilton. The ball was played long and beyond the Hamilton back post, it was sent back in and Weatherspoon struck with an outstretched foot, but McGovern saved. From an Ali Crawford corner, Alex D’Acol rose to head just high of the goal. Annan almost made it two when Devlin was caught out at the back, Todd intercepted and shot by the post.
Ziggy Gordon made a run out on the left and passed inside to Eamonn Brophy on the edge of the Annan penalty area. Brophy brought under control with his back to goal, turned and shot, but Jordan Hart was on hand to make his first save. Brophy then sliced a volley well past the post from fifteen yards, closely followed by another headed D’Acol effort that went wide.
Greg Docherty was having a decent game for Hamilton, he cut inside from wide and evaded two defenders before shooting wide from twenty-two yards. Ali Crawford shot close past the post, then Devlin headed over from a Crawford corner. Accies were trying everything to get that equaliser, their play outside the penalty area was okay, but a goal wasn’t on the cards.
As the clock ticked down on the first half, Accies moved the ball around well then went down the right-hand side of the park. Brophy held the play up, then knocked inside for Greg Docherty, the midfielder curled his cross into the Annan Athletic penalty area, Alex D’Acol managed to out jump the Annan defence but headed wide.
Some fans were just returning to their seats when the unthinkable happened. The ball went forward to Josh Todd, played a one-two with Weatherspoon and shot past the charging McGovern for the second. Docherty had a shot saved after doing well to outpace three defenders, Brophy had a twenty-yard strike saved by Hart, then struck past the post from close range.
Nothing was working, then enter scene, Chris Mandiangu, Accies new German striker for a much anticipated debut. He made an immediate impact when Jesus Garcia Tena sent a long cross-field ball into space. Mandiangu controlled, cut inside and struck toward the near post from twenty five yards, Hart held comfortably. Gordon then crossed for Brophy, but struck wide.
Then Accies pulled one back. Garcia Tena played the ball into the penalty area, Brophy controlled and played inside, and Greg Docherty struck from seven yards. The joy didn’t last long as Annan made it three. Todd picked up the ball from a mix up in Hamilton’s defence, his shot was blocked, but Rabin Omar was on hand to follow up and strike from eight yards.
The misery was heaped on when McGovern saved from thirty yards, the ball rolled out and Devlin attempted to clear, Todd slid in and the ball struck the post! The fourth came from a short Ryan Finnie free kick. It struck the chest of Carlton Morris on the eighteen-yard line, Omar challenged, the ball went free, Omar chased down and sent past McGovern from eight yards, 4-1.
Jubilant Annan boss Jim Chapman, after his side’s magnificent performance, said: “The players deserve all the credit, it would be remise of me, not to mention the fact that today was brought about last week.
“The game got called off at Berwick, and straight away the squad headed back here and started training on Saturday night.
“No guy’s tend to do that on a Saturday night, so the victory is dedicated to the players, they earned it and it all started last Saturday.”
Annan Athletic: Hart, Black, Sloan, McNiff, Watson, McStay (Osadolor 69), Finnie, Flynn (Park 91), Weatherspoon (MacDonald 88), Todd, Omar. Subs Unused: Currie, McColm, Norman.
Hamilton Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Devlin, Gillespie, D’Acol (Morris 71), Redmond (Mandiangu 57), Crawford, MacKinnon, Brophy, Docherty (Lyon 86), Garcia Tena. Subs Unused: Morris, Sendles-White, Nade, Hughes, Martin.