Saturday August 13, 2011
Irn Bru SFL Division 2
AIRDRIE tasted league defeat for the first time after turning in a disappointing display at New Bayview on Saturday.
Goals from Craig Johnstone and Bobby Linn won this Second Division tie for East Fife who held on for all three points despite the dismissal of midfielder David Muir.
Airdrie boss Jimmy Boyle picked the same starting line-up and substitutes who featured in the 3-0 win over Dumbarton the previous weekend.
But it was East Fife who enjoyed the better of the first half with former Diamond Ryan Wallace testing keeper Paul McKane in the eighth minute.
Home keeper Mark Ridgers, who spent last season on-loan at New Broomfield, denied Ryan Donnelly at the other end with East Fife ace Darren Smith striking the bar a minute later.
Donnelly had the ball in the net in the 18th minute but his effort was ruled out after referee Frank McDermott decided that Ridgers had been fouled as he came for Chris Malone's high ball.
In the 28th minute, Wallace squandered a golden chance when he fired a Johnstone cross wide of McKane's right-hand post.
The Fifers were forced into two substitutions in the space of seven minutes. Stevie Hislop replaced crocked Welsh under-21 cap Robert Ogleby.
Then Ridgers retired due to the lasting effects of that earlier incident with Michael Brown coming on.
But John Robertson's men took the lead in the 36th minute. Smith played in overlapping full-back Scott Durie and his back post delivery was tucked away by Johnstone.
Airdrie threw on Rhys Devlin for Fraser Keast during the interval but East Fife continued to press with Wallace and Linn forcing McKane to make saves.
It was perhaps no surprise to see the hosts increase their advantage in the 64th minute. An incisive pass from the excellent Smith found Stevie Hislop on the right flank and his low cross was converted by Linn.
The Fifers were reduced to ten men seven minutes later, though, when Muir retaliated to a bad challenge from Diamonds skipper Kieron Stallard and was promptly sent-off by Mr McDermott.
Airdrie had their best spell of the game with Brown the hero for the Fifers after he saved well from Graeme Owens, Jamie Stevenson and John Boyle.
Colin Paterson at New Bayview.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.