An injury-time penalty denied Albion top spot in League 2 as an incredible match on the plastic pitch at Galabank ended all square.
Ally Love equalised after substitute Graham Weir was penalised by referee Gavin Duncan for catching an Annan player with a high boot. That sparked furious protests from the Binos but Love kept his cool to send the ball past Callum Reidford, allowing Clyde to move to the summit of an incredibly tight league.
This was a terrific game of football, with eight different scorers and good chances missed at both ends. The loss of such a late goal was hard to take but Greig McDonald’s men have now lost just one of the last nine matches.
The Binos boss was again without defender Chris Smith due to a knee injury so Kieran McAnespie kept his place while there was a first start of the season for Reidford, as an ankle knock meant David Crawford was on the bench.
Annan were in front after just 70 seconds. The Albion defence stood off Scott Davidson and the ex-Forthbank striker cracked a fine shot low into the corner from 18 yards.
We were soon level. Danny Ashe was upended just outside the box and McAnespie found the net with a superb free-kick. It was the fourth goal of his Stirling career and all have been spectacular.
Jim Chapman’s side enjoyed a good spell and were deservedly in front at half-time thanks to a fierce angled drive from on-loan Rangers midfielder Andrew Mitchell but our response after the break was hugely impressive.
Sandy Cunningham equalised six minutes after the restart with his fifth goal of the season, a brilliant finish from a tight angle after the in-form 18-year-old had cut in from the left flank.
Sub Kenny MacKay gave Annan the lead for the third time when he rammed in the rebound after Reidford had blocked Mitchell’s free-kick but again we bounced back.
Jordan White headed home a McAnespie corner for his eighth goal of the season and, four minutes later, Ross Forsyth rose superbly at the near post to thump a header past Alex Mitchell from another McAnespie corner.
Annan rattled the woodwork with six minutes left and Reidford made an astonishing save as we looked bound for the top of the table but the home side, the leading scorers in League 2, were not to be denied and Love made no mistake from the spot.
Annan Athletic: Alex Mitchell, Sloan, McNiff, Andrew Mitchell, Watson, Swinglehurst, Todd (Brannan 75), Jardine (Flynn 69), Davidson, Hopkirk (MacKay 13), Love.
Subs (not used): Anderson, S Black, Bradley, G Black (GK).
Scorers: Davidson 2, Andrew Mitchell 37, MacKay 66, Love (pen) 90
Stirling Albion: Reidford, McClune, Ashe, Forsyth, Bishop, McAnespie, Johnston, Fulton (Weir 67), White, Cunningham (Coyne 88), Ferry (Weatherston 46).
Subs (not used): McGeachie, Clark, Day, Crawford (GK).
Scorers: McAnespie 11, Cunningham 51, White 70, Forsyth 74
Referee: Gavin Duncan