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Saturday August 6, 2011

Irn Bru SFL Division 2

Airdrie United




Johnston 5, 63
Donnelly 8



TWO goals in the opening eight minutes helped Airdrie to a terrific league win.

Jimmy Boyle's men couldn't have wished for a better start to their Second Division campaign thanks to a brace from Phil Johnston and a Ryan Donnelly goal.

The Diamonds created plenty of chances as they turned in an impressive performance at New Broomfield on Saturday. The fans will be hoping there is more to come.

There was a starting place for Airdrie re-signing Jamie Stevenson in midfield with Rhys Devlin forced to settle for a place among the substitutes.

And the Diamonds needed just five minutes to break the deadlock. Great link-up play between Kieron Stallard and Ryan Donnelly eventually saw the ball shuffled out to Fraser Keast.

The young winger, who signed a contract extension to May 2013 this week, used his pace to beat defender Jamie Lyden and cross for Phil Johnston who made no mistake from close-range.

Airdrie made it 2-0 three minutes later. A long throw-in from Jamie Bain found the exciting Keast whose header hit the post.

But Rochsoles forward Donnelly was in the right place to nod the rebound into the net with the Dumbarton defence unable to clear their lines. Both Bain and Donnelly were celebrating their respective contract extensions, to December 2013, in style.

Jimmy Boyle's troops created a sackful of chances in the first half. Stevenson hit a shot wide before Chris Malone rattled an effort off the bar in the 26th minute.

A third goal might have been added two minutes later but Kevin Nicoll made a superb clearance as Donnelly prepared to shoot after Stephen Grindlay failed to gather a Stevenson strike.

Dumbarton hit back when a Scott Agnew shot bounced off the bar but Airdrie finished the half strongly with Donnelly and Derek Holmes going close.

Stevenson and Donnelly were both denied by Grindlay but the Sons No 1 could do nothing to prevent the hosts increasing their lead in the 63rd minute.

A great ball from the brilliant Donnelly found man of the match Keast who sent over another pacy cross which was again dispatched by Johnston.

There was no way back for Dumbarton who battled gamely and hit the woodwork through Alan Lithgow in the closing stages.

Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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