Monday January 2, 2012
Irn Bru SFL Division 2
IT was a very Happy New Year for Airdrie who claimed the Monklands derby day bragging rights.
A stunning strike from midfielder Jamie Stevenson earned the Diamonds all three points at a rainswept New Broomfield.
Airdrie made one change to the side which defeated Forfar Athletic on Boxing Day with captain Paul Lovering replacing Graeme Goodall.
Neither side created much in the final third of the pitch in a first half marred by driving rain
and a swirling wind.
Rovers had two chances with a Tony Stevenson effort deflected wide. Scott Chaplain then guided a Steven Lawless cross past Paul McKane's right-hand post.
At the other end, Diamonds winger Willie McLaren tried a speculative effort from the halfway line but keeper Derek Gaston - who was off his line - quickly recovered.
The Coatbridge outfit felt they should have had a penalty in the 48th minute when David Lilley pushed Mick O'Byrne in the box - but referee Steve Conroy said no.
Eight minutes later, Lovering had a near-post shot saved by Gaston who watched as a long-range Nathan Blockley drive flew over the bar.
Alan Reid made a brilliant last-gasp tackle to deny Ryan Donnelly a tap-in seconds after Gaston dived to his right to push away a low McLaren strike.
The key moment arrived in the 71st minute when the ball dropped to Stevenson who planted a delicious volley in the bottom corner of the net.
Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.