Saturday November 26, 2011

Irn Bru SFL Division 2

Airdrie United

3-3

Lovering 5 pen
Donnelly 69, 70

Arbroath

Swankie 2
Doris (pen) 42
Falkingham 56

AIRDRIE salvaged a point thanks to a deadly second-half double from hot-shot Ryan Donnelly.

The Diamonds' top goalscorer made it 18 in 19 matches at New Broomfield on Saturday in a six-goal thriller.

There was one change in the Airdrie starting line-up after the 11-0 Scottish Cup victory over Gala Fairydean with Kevin Green replacing the banned David Lilley.

On a miserable day weather-wise, Arbroath opened the scoring in the second minute when Gavin Swankie curled home a free-kick from 25 yards.

But the home side equalised in the fifth minute. Willie McLaren's cross was handled in the box by Mark Baxter with referee Charlie Richmond correctly pointing to the spot.

Captain Paul Lovering confidently stepped up and smashed his fourth goal of the season in off the underside of the bar.

Airdrie carved out some good opportunities. A Jamie Stevenson strike clipped the bar before winger Phil Johnston's cross-shot was tipped over by keeper Darren Hill.

However, it was Arbroath who made it 2-1. Green handled a Swankie cross in the area with top goalscorer Steven Doris burying the resulting penalty.

The Smokies extended their advantage in the 56th minute when Swankie skipped past
Green and cut back for Josh Falkingham who fired the ball past keeper Connor Fairley.

But Jimmy Boyle's men never know when they are defeated and two goals in a minute rescued a valuable point.

In the 69th minute, John Boyle crossed for fellow Airdrieonian Donnelly who guided a header into the far corner of the net.

And the 20-year-old forward made it 3-3 with another header after Arbroath failed to clear the ball from the area.

Both sides had chances in the dying minutes. Swankie was twice denied by Fairley who blocked a low shot then tipped an effort over the bar.

At the other end, Hill superbly denied Donnelly with McLaren blazing a shot over the bar in the second minute of injury-time.

Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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