Saturday October 1, 2011
Irn Bru SFL Division 2
Donnelly 10, 66
FIVE-STAR Airdrie headed into the international break on a high with a thrilling win over Stenny.
Jimmy Boyle's men scored three goals inside 35 first-half minutes before netting another couple after the interval.
The Diamonds recalled Paul Lovering and Rhys Devlin to the starting line-up with Chris Malone and Graeme Owens both left out.
It took Airdrie just ten minutes to open the scoring. Sean Lynch dispossessed Brown Ferguson and played in Ryan Donnelly who curled a beautiful shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The advantage was doubled midway through the first half. Skipper Paul Lovering picked up the ball fully 30 yards out and unleashed a strike which deflected past keeper Ally Brown off Martyn Corrigan.
John Boyle fired an effort wide and Jamie Stevenson stung the palms of Brown as Airdrie continued to lay siege to the visitors' goal.
Donnelly thought he'd bagged his second of the afternoon when he turned the ball into an empty net after pouncing when Brown tossed it into the air as he prepared to kick upfield.
But referee Alan Muir disallowed the strike and booked the teenager for infringing the keeper in his bid to re-start play.
Airdrie did plunder a third goal two minutes into stoppage-time. Lovering pinged over a
terrific cross to the back post for Boyle whose diving header gave Brown no chance.
It's now two goals in as many games for the Whinhall player.
Stenny were expected to come out fighting at the start of the second half, and that they did, scoring twice in the space of five minutes.
Full-back Chris Hamilton cushioned a header from Stevie Murray's corner into the net before Stewart Kean fired a low shot past keeper Paul McKane.
However, Airdrie were soon on the offensive and made it 4-2 in the 66th minute. A Jamie Bain ball in behind the Stenny defence was collected by Donnelly.
The Warriors players' appeals for offside were ignored by the officials with Donnelly rounding Brown and rolling home his tenth goal of what is turning out to be a highly-productive campaign for the Rochsoles native.
Boss Boyle brought on Nathan Blockley for Lynch and the 19-year-old made an instant impact by notching up his side's fifth goal.
A Bain shot was parried by Brown with midfielder Blockley, who signed a contract extension a couple of hours before kick-off, burying the rebound.
Airdrie would end the game with ten men after referee Muir red-carded David Lilley for a poor challenge on Andy Rodgers.
Ten players were also booked during an incident-packed 90 minutes but all that mattered to the Diamonds was a first win in four games.
Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.