Saturday August 27, 2011

Irn Bru SFL Division 2

Forfar Athletic

3-2

Crawford 11, 43
Fotheringham 64

Airdrie United

Donnelly 23
Lynch 29

GOALS from Ryan Donnelly and Sean Lynch weren't enough to overcome Forfar Athletic at sunny Station Park.

Two goals from ex-Scotland international Steve Crawford and a stunning winner from Martin Fotheringham ensured Airdrie went home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Boss Jimmy Boyle made only one change to the starting line-up which beat Raith Rovers, with Phil Johnston coming in for Fraser Keast, sidelined with an ankle injury that saw him leave the park on a stretcher on Tuesday night.

Dick Campbell's men started the brighter of the two teams, and took the lead on 11 minutes after possession was gifted cheaply on the halfway line by Airdrie. A deep cross from the right was met by Crawford, who swept the ball past McKane.

The Diamonds' defence was reshuffled after David Lilley picked up a knock in the 16th minute, Chris Malone replacing him and taking the left back role, with captain Paul Lovering moving to centre back.

Airdrie started to come into the match, and Donnelly had a chance when he raced clear of the defence, but shot straight at McHugh in the Forfar goal.

A Paul Lovering header was touched over in 23 minutes, and although the resulting corner was initially cleared, it was pumped goalwards again and this time Donnelly made no mistake, looping a header over McHugh from the edge of the penalty area.

The Forfar players surrounded the referee, claiming offside, but the goal stood.

Six minutes later Airdrie were in front, Nathan Blockley winning the ball well midway inside the Forfar half, and threading a lovely pass through to leave Donnelly in a footrace with Bolochoweckyj. Both players, and the Forfar goalkeeper, seemed to reach the ball at the same time, and it ricocheted to Sean Lynch who sidefooted home for his first Airdrie goal.

Forfar got back on level terms just before half-time, the Airdrie defence standing off the oncoming Loons midfield. The ball was squeezed out to Crawford on the right, who took a touch and slotted past McKane.
An improved Forfar took the initiative in the second half, with Lynch and Stallard making last-ditch tackles as they pressed for the winner.

Airdrie's opportunities were becoming few and far between, Jamie Stevenson having the best chance when he burst into the box from the left wing, but he shot weakly at the keeper.

Forfar took the lead for the second time in the match after 64 minutes, when a ball from the right flank sat up for Fotheringham on the corner of the penalty area. He lashed a stunning drive into the top right corner of McKane's net, leaving the Airdrie goalkeeper with no chance.

Airdrie came close to equalising five minutes later, Ryan Donnelly controlling a great ball from Jamie Bain before turning his marker and fizzing a shot just past the post.

It wasn't to be Airdrie's day, however, and a Jamie Stevenson free kick ten minutes from time was scooped well over the bar. Forfar saw the game out, and Airdrie left with nothing.

Stuart Mathie at Station Park.

Photograph © Stuart Mathie. Click to view full size.

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