Tuesday August 23, 2011

Scottish Communities Cup round 2

Airdrie United

2-0

Holmes 27
Donnelly 41

Raith Rovers

AIRDRIE produced an upset to reach the third round of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

Strikes from Derek Holmes and Ryan Donnelly earned the Diamonds a spot in the last 16 of the tournament.

First Division Raith Rovers were stunned by the New Broomfield men who achieved victory courtesy of a hard-working performance with every player contributing to a fine team effort.

It was the perfect response to Saturday's 5-1 league defeat to Cowdenbeath and just the sort of display ordered by manager Jimmy Boyle.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted. I got the reaction from the players that I was looking for. The effort was excellent and it was a great performance."

Boyle made three changes to the team thrashed by the Blue Brazil with club captain Paul Lovering, Fraser Keast and Nathan Blockley in for Chris Malone, Phil Johnston and Graeme Owens.

Both teams had opportunities in the early part of the game. Airdrie came close through Holmes and Donnelly with ex-Diamond John Baird and Allan Walker threatening Paul McKane's goal.

The deadlock was eventually broken in the 27th minute. McKane's clearance upfield was initially won by Holmes with Donnelly picking up the loose ball and finding Jamie Stevenson.

The midfielder then fed Holmes who curled a fantastic left-foot shot into the corner of the net for his first goal for the club.

A poor challenge from Willie Dyer on Keast led to the Armadale teenager being stretchered off on the half-hour mark with an ankle injury. Owens replaced the winger who is not thought to be seriously hurt.

Airdrie needed a second goal and it arrived just before the break. Holmes flicked on a McKane ball upfield for Donnelly who slotted a shot through the keeper's legs to make it five in six games so far this season.

Raith were still causing problems and the introduction of former Morton striker Brian Graham coincided with an improved attacking performance from the visitors.

He was brilliantly denied by McKane in the 61st minute and then by Blockley eight minutes later with the midfielder clearing a goal-bound header off the line.

A rasping drive from Graham flew inches over the bar with Raith's fortunes summed up in the 88th minute when fellow substitute Ross Callachan shot straight at McKane.

Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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