Saturday February 11, 2012

Irn Bru SFL Division 2

Brechin City

1-1

McManus 26

Airdrie United

Holmes 72

Airdrie travelled to Angus to face Brechin City knowing that slip-ups must be avoided if a play-off spot is to be achieved.

With last week's trip North a victim of the weather, Brechin's Glebe Park pitch faced an 11am inspection by referee Des Roache, but the surface passed without any problem.

One change was made to the starting line-up which faced Stirling Albion two weeks ago, with Jamie Bain only deemed fit enough for a place on the bench following dental surgery. Kieron Stallard returned from suspension to replace the full-back.

Defender Cameron MacDonald played his final match as a trialist, with on-loan Rangers goalkeeper Grant Adam retaining the number 1 shirt.

The Diamonds had the best of the possession in the opening stages, and could have taken an early lead through Ryan Donnelly but for an excellent save by veteran Craig Nelson in the Brechin goal.

City forced their way into the match, seeing claims for a penalty waved away before they took the lead in the 26th minute through striker Paul McManus.

The former Raith forward slotted home the rebound after a counter attack saw Grant Adam saving well, with the covering Nathan Blockley unable to keep it out.

The home team pressed their advantage, and Airdrie had to withstand heavy pressure after going behind.

A mistake from Adam could have seen Brechin double their lead, and Hodge was unlucky to see his solo effort go just past the post on the stroke of half-time.

Airdrie manager Jimmy Boyle made a change at the break, with Derek Holmes replacing John Boyle upfront, and the Diamonds started the second half brightly.

In 54 minutes a penalty was awarded after Jamie Stevenson was felled in the box by Nelson, but after a discussion with his assistant the referee reversed his decision and booked Stevenson for simulation.

Undeterred, Airdrie continued to attack, and hit the post through a Stevenson free kick moments before grabbing an equaliser, another free kick from the midfielder nodded home by substitute Derek Holmes.

Brechin were reduced to ten men when midfielder Craig Molloy picked up a second yellow card on 79 minutes, but Airdrie were unable to take advantage and, for the second time this season, left Glebe Park with a 1:1 draw.

Stuart Mathie, with thanks to Paul McDonagh at Glebe Park.

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