Saturday May 3, 2014
SPFL League One
Goals from Caolan McAleer and Liam Coogans ensured a final-day win for Airdrieonians and sentenced Arbroath to automatic relegation.
A crowd of 1,243 at New Broomfield on Saturday saw the Diamonds extend their unbeaten run to eight games and finish the campaign with a run of form of just one defeat in 16 matches which was good enough to clinch sixth place in the table.
The Diamonds made three changes to the side which started the impressive 2-1 win over promotion play-offs chasing Stenhousemuir at Ochilview.
Gregor Buchanan, Darren McCormack and Jim Lister were recalled with Nathan Blockley, Nicky Cadden and Scott Stewart dropping to the bench.
Arbroath arrived at New Broomfield backed by a noisy travelling support from the main stand needing a positive result and a favour from Ayr United at home to fellow strugglers East Fife.
Player/manager Paul Sheerin decided to stick with the same team which began the 2-1 home defeat to runners-up Dunfermline Athletic.
There wasn't much between the teams early on but Airdrie had an opportunity in the 26th minute when Lister fired a Liam Watt pass over the bar.
Arbroath were bright middle to front and came close twice in the space of a minute. A Bobby Linn shot was deflected over before his resulting corner was headed wide by Kenny Deuchar.
The visitors had strong claims for a penalty when Stefan Milojevic appeared to bundle over Paul McManus but referee Colin Steven said no.
And things got worse for Arbroath moments before the interval. Late first-half pressure saw a Keigan Parker corner cleared as far as McAleer who thumped home his third goal of the season.
Arbroath huffed and puffed after the interval with the excellent Linn at the heart of everything they did but clearcut chances were thin on the ground
And there was to be late disappointment when substitute Coogans turned the ball home from close range following Lister's knockdown.
Delighted Diamonds gaffer Gary Bollan said: "We went out and did a good job in a professional manner. I'm delighted with the players.
"We've been on a fantastic run and that's down to the players. They deserve huge credit for what they have done. Staying up and finishing sixth is a great achievement from where we were."
Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.