Saturday March 2, 2013
Irn Bru SFL Division 1
Andreu 21, 39
Airdrie were left to rue a missed third-minute penalty as they slumped to defeat in West Lothian.
John Boyle's early miss meant that his last minute goal was only a consolation, as Livingston steamrollered the hapless Diamonds.
On a sunny Spring afternoon at Almondvale, Jimmy Boyle made two changes to the team that went down to Partick Thistle last week.
Marc Warren and Ricki Lamie returned to the starting line-up following suspension, with Grant Evans and Jordan Moore making way.
Airdrie started brightly and an early Nathan Blockley shot was charged down before Jamie Bain was clipped in the box by Jesus Garcia Tena. John Boyle stepped up, but blazed his spot-kick well over the bar.
Livingston took control of the game after the miss, but it was individual defensive errors which would hand them their goals.
On 21 minutes, Gavin Griffin chose to control an effort across the box, which was heading harmlessly out of play. His touch diverted the ball into the patch of the onrushing Tony Andreu, who stroked home.
Airdrie had a chance to make immediate amends with a free kick on the edge of the Livi box, but Jamie Bain's effort went over the bar.
Andreu's second of the game came on 38 minutes, when he found himself in acres of space 20 yards from goal. He had time to pick his spot, and the finish was excellent.
With half-time approaching, Ricki Lamie was dispossessed on the touchline and the ball was fizzed across goal for Iain Russell to convert. The striker had earlier struck the post with a similar chance, but his strike was on target this time around.
The second half saw Sean Lynch replace Marc Warren, but it was to be a short-lived appearance.
The game opened up after the break, with both sides making chances, but Airdrie lacked the killer touch, often shooting weakly straight at McNeil in the Livingston goal.
Having only been on the park for half an hour, Sean Lynch received his marching orders from referee Stephen Finnie.
The midfielder was shown a second yellow card for a reckless challenge in the middle of the park, only 8 minutes after picking up his first.
The Lions compounded Airdrie's misery two minutes later, Stefan Scougall showing quick feet to get away from Chris O'Neill in the box, and firing home past Thomson.
With seconds remaining substitute Ryan Donnelly floated a delightful ball over the home defence to leave John Boyle one-on-one with McNeil. This time the striker made no mistake, but it was too little too late for the Diamonds.
Stuart Mathie at Almondvale.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.