Saturday September 15, 2012

Irn Bru SFL Division 1

Raith Rovers

2-0

Graham 37
Spence 83

Airdrie United

A late goal in each half consigned Airdrie to defeat at Stark's Park.

Brian Graham and Greig Spence were the men on target for the Kirkcaldy side as the Diamonds slumped to their third successive loss.

With Marc Warren suspended following his red card against Cowdenbeath two weeks ago, midfielder Alan Cook moved back to fill the left-back role.

The first choice central defensive partnership of David Lilley and Cammy MacDonald came back into the starting line-up having been sidelined by illness, with Willie McLaren and Ryan Donnelly also named.

Kieron Stallard, Gregor Buchanan, and Jamie Bain were the players who made way, with Stallard out of the squad altogether while Buchanan and Bain were named as substitutes.

The home side started brightly with Allan Walker inches away from connecting with a low driven cross, before Pat Clarke sprung the Airdrie offside trap to find himself one-on-one with Kenny Arthur, the experienced keeper diving low to his left to save.

Airdrie's first-half chances were limited, with John Boyle firing straight at Raith goalkeeper David McGurn after 23 minutes.

Five minutes later defender Michael Hart struck a stunning 30 yard drive at goal, which McGurn brilliantly turned round the post.

Despite the Diamonds' brief resurgence, it was Rovers who took the lead after 37 minutes, and it was as simple a goal as they'll score all season, Brian Graham losing his marker from a corner kick and heading in at the near post.

The second half was tightly contested, Raith going close through a Graham free kick and Airdrie having mostly speculative efforts through Blockley and Jack Boyle.

In the 66th minute, the Diamonds thought they had equalised, Alan Cook's free kick picking out Ryan Donnelly who rifled home only to see the linesman's flag raised for offside. Raith also had a goal chalked off, but the offside decision was more clear cut this time.

Substitute Jamie Bain went close shortly after, his volley from the edge of the area fizzing just over the bar.

With Airdrie chasing the game, Grant Murray's men found themselves with space to break into, and an 83rd minute raid forward saw sub Greig Spence slotting home a low driven cross at the back post.

The defeat means that Jimmy Boyle's side have failed to take any points from the last 9 available, and must look to pick themselves up to face Falkirk away from home next Saturday.

Stuart Mathie at Stark's Park

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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