Saturday December 3, 2011
Irn Bru SFL Division 2
Donnelly 13, 58
Lovering 29 (pen)
AIRDRIE won their first away game of the season with a professional display at Forthbank Stadium.
Hot-shot Ryan Donnelly bagged a brace with captain Paul Lovering scoring on his 250th appearance in the Diamond.
Airdrie made three changes to the team which drew 3-3 at home to Arbroath. David Lilley, Graeme Owens and Derek Holmes came in for Kevin Green, Jamie Stevenson and John Boyle.
Callum Reidford made solid saves from Donnelly and Sean Lynch before Jimmy Boyle's men opened the scoring in the 13th minute.
A cross from the left flank by on-loan Hamilton Accies winger Willie McLaren found Donnelly arriving at the back post - and we all know what happened next.
The lead was doubled in the 29th minute. Brian Allison handled a McLaren corner in the box with referee John Beaton pointing to the spot.
Full-back Lovering stepped up and celebrated his landmark appearance for the club with a fourth goal in three games.
However, Stirling fought back before the break and reduced the deficit when Lewis Bonar headed a Scott Davidson cross into the corner of the net.
Phil Johnston blasted wide seconds after the restart with the Binos going close at the other end when Dale McSorley nodded wide an Alan Cook delivery.
It would prove a costly miss for Airdrie made it 3-1 two minutes later. Jamie Bain's free-kick eluded everyone except McLaren who fired home at the back post.
A fourth goal arrived nine minutes later. The Diamonds advanced in numbers with McLaren playing in Donnelly who showed great composure to net his 20th goal in as many games.
Airdrie saw the rest of the match out to end a run of six league games without a win. The gap to the promotion play-off zone is now down to just two points.
Colin Paterson at Forthbank.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.