Annan Athletic v Cowdenbeath
Scottish League Two
Ground: Galabank, Annan
There was only one more ground in League 2 to go, I took the train via Glasgow to Annan to finish my second league (after League 1). Annan is near the English border, close to Carlisle, so it was a long journey. I arrived a bit early and had a walk through the lovely town before heading to Galabank.
Annan Athletic FC got founded in 1942 and started playing in the Dumfries and District Youth League. When the war finished, this league got disbanded and Annan moved to the Dumfries and District Junior League. In 1951 this league got disbanded due to a lack of officials. After a year of abeyance, Annan Athletic joined the Carlisle and District League and the Cumberland Football Association. In 1977 they moved back to Scottish competitions by joining the South of Scotland Football League. They won the league twice and the League Cup 4 times before moving to the East of Scotland Football League in 1987. The following year, they won the First Division and got promoted to the East of Scotland Premier League, which they won 4 times, together with one League Cup in 2000. When local rivals Gretna went bust in 2008, Annan got elected to replace them in Division Three, largely due to their good facilities. They became the last new club elected to the SFL before the introduction of promotion/relegation. In their first decade in the league they reached the semi finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup twice. They reached the play-offs 3 times, including a 2nd place finish in 2014, but didn’t get promoted. They also beat Rangers at Ibrox in their first season in the 4th tier.
Annan Athletic have played at Galabank since 1953. They installed floodlights when they got admitted to the SFL in 2008. It’s a nice ground, with standing behind both goals. One side is covered and the other side uncovered. Despite the pouring rain, a few Cowdenbeath fans stood here all game. At the long and of the pitch there is a covered, seated, stand. Behind the covered terrace there is a nice club bar. The facilities are good for a League Two club, which explains why they were elected back in 2008. From 2015 the ground is being shared with Edusport Academy, who now play in the Lowland League. Annan Athletic reserves also play here, in the South of Scotland League.
The game was surprisingly convincing for Cowdenbeath, who look much better then last season when they had to survive a play-off against Cove Rangers to stay in the SPFL. Annan were poor and the visitors got a deserved 2-0 victory.