Saturday February 9, 2013

Irn Bru SFL Division 1

Airdrie United

0-4

Morton

O'Brien 24
McMenamin 44
MacDonald 52
Wilkie 60

Airdrie were powerless as Greenock Morton continued their good form with a 4-0 win at New Broomfield.

The win keeps Morton top of the table while the Diamonds - who also went down to nine men - remain bottom of the First Division as relegation rivals Dumbarton and Cowdenbeath both secured big wins.

New signings Jordan Kirkpatrick and Steven Hetherington were thrown into the first team while Colin McMenamin made his league debut for the visitors.

Ex-Diamond Martin Hardie was also on the Morton bench.

It was the visitors who started brightest, with McMenamin and Peter Macdonald failing to capitalise on early chances.

The best chance came from MacDonald but his effort was cleared off the line by Sean Lynch.

It took the home side almost 20 minutes to make an impact on the game and they were denied by former Albion Rovers keeper Derek Gaston.

Kirkpatrick's shot from outside the box was saved by Gaston, and the rebound fell to Ryan Donnelly. His weak shot was easier for Gaston to kick away, despite the ball rolling into the path of John Boyle who forced another save by the keeper's boot.

Morton lead a counterattack straight from the resulting corner, and Marc Warren didn't put enough effort into his backwards header to Kenny Arthur leaving MacDonald to swoop in.

Arthur came out to meet the striker who easily passed the keeper.

However Macdonald took too long to place his shot into the empty net, giving time for young Chris O'Neill to track back and clear the ball intent of the near post.

Five minutes later the away side took the lead, after David O'Brien's cross from the left found McMenamin to slot him the opener.

Just after the half hour mark Airdrie were appealing for a hand ball.

John Boyle's free kick from the right hand side was punched away by Gaston and brought down by Gregor Buchanan. His second touch brought the ball back up for an overhead kick, which seemed to hit the hand of a Morton defender.

The referee waved away appeals and deemed the ball to have hit the chest instead.

It wasn't to be the Diamond's day as Morton doubled their lead just before the break.

In an almost identical scenario, O'Brien's cross from the left this time found MacDonald and Arthur was beaten again.

Five minutes into the second half Morton extended their lead even further. Michael Tidser played through to MacDonald whose shot easily found the net as Arthur dived over the ball.

It was 4-0 on the hour mark thanks to a great individual effort from Kyle Wilkie, after his mazy run saw him cut through at least four Airdrie players.

Airdrie couldn't find a way back into the game or even a consolation, and frustration soon started to show.

With less than ten minutes left, Marc Warren lunged into a reckless challenge on Wilkie and saw his second yellow.

In injury time ten became nine as Ricki Lamie squared up to Peter Weatherson and his use of the head merited a straight red from referee Brian Colvin.

The suspensions will be the least that Jimmy Boyle needs as his side face Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton at Broomfield next week in yet another relegation dog fight.

Douglas Barrie at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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