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Athletic return after forced winter break

ANNAN Athletic return to league action tonight under the lights at Galabank where they face second from bottom Albion Rovers.

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By Zac Hannay
Annan and Eskdale
Athletic return after forced winter break

The Black and Golds have now gone almost three weeks without kicking a ball in a competitive fixture after Saturday’s game versus Bonnyrigg was called off at the last minute when the referee deemed the pitch to be frozen.

In the aftermath of the decision, manager Peter Murphy decided to hold a training session with his squad to keep on top of fitness.

Murphy said: “We got sent a picture of the pitch in the morning and it looked absolutely amazing.

“Getting it called off so late was disappointing.

“It was frozen in sections and there were a couple of bad areas,

“If we had run on it in the warm up then it might have got better.”

The Black and Golds were victorious in their last league outing away to East Fife on December 3. The 3-1 win was the perfect result ahead of a home triple header over the festive period.

Murphy said: “We were looking forward to having three home games in a row. We got a good run going. But I think we can still do better.

“We trained on Saturday and on the Thursday before that as the pitch was in good condition.

“Then on the Tuesday the Glasgow and Carlisle groups were split up and they went to do spin bike sessions.”

Albion have also gone 20 days without a game. On December 3 Brian Reid’s men were beaten 1-0 by Forfar, and in the previous week they were dumped out the Scottish Cup by Stirling University.

Murphy said: “They have had quite a long break themselves now.

“Charlie Reilly is one of the main men to watch out for. He creates a lot of goals and chances.”

On the injury front, Steven Swinglehurst and Jordan Lowdon both miss out, while Tommy Muir returns to the side following a knee knock. Kick off at Galabank is at 7.45 pm.

Late call-off anger

FANS from both teams were left angry and disappointed after Saturday’s home match against Bonnyrigg Rose was postponed at the final hour following a pitch inspection by the referee.

The visitors and travelling supporters had not long arrived at Galabank when the match was called off just after 1.30 pm.

Annan chairman Philip Jones pointed out that the pitch was playable in the morning and a pitch inspection is not required by the SPFL.

He said: “You’re not required to have one (pitch inspection), the pitch was playable in the morning. “The referee arrived, he had a pitch inspection in his flat shoes and said the pitch was frozen. “We trained on the full pitch immediately after that and that tells you a story.

“We have had issues in the past where we have been to Berwick and Elgin and it has been called off. “

We made every effort to get the game on and the referee decided otherwise. He said it was frozen all over. We can’t go against the referee.”

The fixture has been rescheduled for Saturday January 21 at 3 pm.

Annan and Eskdale

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