Saturday April 20, 2013
Irn Bru SFL Division 1
On the day that Partick Thistle were crowned First Division Champions, already-relegated Airdrie slumped to their seventh consecutive defeat.
The Dumbarton win means the Sons only need one more point to ensure their survival.
Following last Saturday's late defeat to Partick Thistle, manager Jimmy Boyle made two defensive changes. Marc Warren returned to the starting line-up, replacing Grant Evans at left back, whilst the suspended Ricki Lamie made way for youngster Grant Drummond.
Dumbarton included former Airdrie players Steven McDougall and Bryan Prunty in their squad.
It was Ian Murray's men who started brightly, and Jim Lister had a glorious chance to open the scoring. A cross from the right found him lurking on the penalty spot, but he got his volley all wrong.
Two minutes later, however, the home team had the ball in the net. Airdrie goalkeeper Robbie Thomson came for a deep cross, but his attempted punch failed to connect and Dumbarton centre-back Andy Graham nodded home.
The Diamonds had their share of first-half possession but lacked a cutting edge, and Dumbarton could have gone two up after 17 minutes, Lister sliding in at the back post and steering his effort just wide.
Minutes before half time, the Sons did double their lead, Paul McGinn breaking through the defence and driving the ball across Thomson into the bottom corner.
Airdrie made half-time changes at either end of the park, Liam Coogans replacing Ryan Donnelly upfront and goalkeeper Kenny Arthur taking over between the sticks.
Arthur's first involvement of the match was Dumbarton's third goal. Ex-Diamond McDougall drove diagonally into the box and fired home, in a mirror image of the Sons' second. Marc Warren's desperate attempted clearance wasn't enough to keep the ball out.
In a match with few positives for the travelling fans, the performances of teenagers O'Neill, Drummond and Coogans provided rare bright spots, and it was the lively Coogans who won Airdrie a 64th minute corner kick.
Willie McLaren's pinpoint cross was met by Gregor Buchanan and his goalbound header was diverted past Steven Grindlay by Coogans for the youngster's first Airdrie goal.
The home side regained their three goal advantage ten minutes later, a clever back-post cutback being slammed home by man of the match Scott Agnew.
With their third substitute already on in the shape of Jordan Moore, Airdrie were forced to play the last ten minutes of the game with ten men after captain Sean Lynch pulled up with a thigh strain.
On-loan Motherwell midfielder Steven Hetherington had the ball in the net shortly after, but was harshly judged to have been in an offside position when he broke through.
The final whistle left Dumbarton knowing that one more point will ensure they play first division football next season, while the Diamonds are already gearing up for life in the second division.
Stuart Mathie at The Bet Butler Stadium.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.