Saturday March 9, 2013

Irn Bru SFL Division 1

Airdrie United

3-3

Blockley 11
Donnelly 53
McLaren 85

Dunfermline Athletic

Husband 22
Wallace 86
Kirk 90

There was more late drama at New Broomfield on Saturday as Dunfermline staged a last-gasp comeback to deny Airdrie a first home victory in seven months.

Jimmy Boyle's side led 3-1 with five minutes remaining but goals from ex-Diamond Ryan Wallace and substitute Andy Kirk earned the troubled visitors a point.

Airdrie made three changes to the side which lost 4-1 to Livingston last weekend. Grant Evans and Willie McLaren came on for the injured Gavin Griffin and Marc Warren. Striker Ryan Donnelly was preferred to Liam Watt.

The Pars arrived at the stadium following an eventful week which saw news of their desperate financial predicament laid bare. Manager Jim Jefferies was also without a number of key players.

It was Airdrie who took the lead. Man-of-the-match McLaren whipped a terrific cross into the box for Nathan Blockley who headed into the corner of the net.

But Dunfermline equalised in the 22nd minute. Midfielder Stephen Husband stepped up and, from all of 26 yards, blasted a fine free-kick strike past keeper Robbie Thomson.

Both sides had chances to go in front but it took until eight minutes into the second half for the next blow to be delivered. A McLaren free-kick was nodded down by Ricki Lamie for Donnelly to fire home.

That first elusive home win since the opening day of the league season looked all but certain when McLaren latched onto a loose ball and curled a shot past Gallacher after getting the better of Callum Morris.

However, within seconds of the restart, Dunfermline reduced the deficit when Wallace's long-distance effort flew into the ne.

And the Fifers sensationally snatched a point when poor defending allowed Northern Irish forward Kirk to strike and ensure a share of the spoils.

Airdrie are now five points adrift of Dumbarton in the relegation play-off place and seven behind Cowdenbeath who sit in the safety of eighth place.

Next weekend's visit to Central Park to face the Blue Brazil is hugely important.

Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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