Wednesday December 26, 2012

Irn Bru SFL Division 1

Hamilton Academical

3-0

Longridge 15
Neil 23
Page 55

Airdrie United

It was Boxing Day misery for Airdrie as nearest rivals Hamilton Academical handed out an emphatic 3:0 defeat, the Diamonds' third loss on the trot.

Manager Jimmy Boyle made three changes to the side beaten by Falkirk on Saturday, goalkeeper Grant Adam, ex-Accie Grant Evans and John Boyle coming into the starting line-up. Andy Duncan, Jamie Bain and the suspended Nathan Blockley were the players making way.

Adam, returning from compassionate leave, was first to be called into action, tipping McGlinchey's speculative effort over the bar with 8 minutes on the clock.

Seven minutes later the on-loan St Mirren keeper was caught short, failing to hold a Stevie May effort. Louis Longridge was first to react, poking home from close range.

Hamilton could have doubled their lead two minutes later when May found himself clean through on goal. The striker went down under Adam's diving challenge, but after initially appearing to point to the spot, referee Craig Charleston chose to book May for simulation.

The respite was short-lived, as ex-Diamond Alex Neil slammed home a Crawford free kick on 22 minutes. The midfielder, named man-of-the-match, was afforded too much space on the edge of the box, and made no mistake in sidefooting home.

A similar effort from Neil hit the bar ten minutes later, before Airdrie's first real chance of the match fell to John Boyle, but the returning striker screwed his shot wide.

The Diamonds made a bright start to the second half, Marc Warren and Liam Buchanan combining well, but Accies killed the match on 54 minutes, Jonathan Page rising unmarked to head home Ali Crawford's corner.

Hamilton had further chances to increase their lead but were wasteful in front of goal.

A chorus of boos rang out from the remaining Airdrie fans as the final whistle sounded, and the Diamonds management team are left pondering how to turn around the side's alarming form, a task made immediately difficult by the impending visit of league-leaders Partick Thistle.

Stuart Mathie at New Douglas Park.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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