Saturday February 25, 2012

Irn Bru SFL Division 2

East Fife

2-0

Sloan 42 pen
Johnstone 86

Airdrie United

AIRDRIE had two players sent-off as they suffered defeat at New Bayview on Saturday.

A goal in each half from Robert Sloan and Craig Johnstone sank the Diamonds who had Grant Adam and Sean Lynch red-carded.

Diamonds boss Jimmy Boyle made four changes to the team which was comfortably swept aside by Stenhousemuir at New Broomfield last weekend.

Ricki Lamie made his Diamonds debut in place of Kieron Stallard, who was not included in the matchday 16, with Graeme Goodall coming in for Paul Lovering.

Midfielder Graeme Owens replaced Jamie Stevenson, who missed out with a back injury, while Derek Holmes was preferred to John Boyle in attack.

Stevie Hislop nodded wide a Sloan cross after just 44 seconds but Airdrie responded with Willie McLaren's free-kick bouncing awkwardly and forcing keeper Michael Brown to punch clear.

Boyle's men then had two good chances to break the deadlock. A Jamie Bain effort clipped the bar with Nathan Blockley blazing a shot over it.

A huge turning point arrived in the 36th minute. Adam was judged to have handled outside the box as Fifers attacker Bobby Linn tried to prod the ball past him.

Referee Mat Northcroft issued him with his marching orders, a decision manager Boyle disagreed with on the grounds that the ball hit his chest; Fifers counterpart John Robertson held a similar view.

Andrew Duncan came on for his debut but was picking the ball out of the net six minutes later when Sloan converted a penalty after being fouled in the area by Sean Lynch.

Lynch was the second Diamonds player to walk in the 77th minute for a poor challenge on former Airdrie striker Ryan Wallace.

The Fifers were making heavy weather of it but they sealed the points with four minutes left when Darren McCormack's cross was headed home by Johnstone.

Colin Paterson at New Bayview.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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