Saturday April 12, 2014
SPFL League One
Airdrie and Brechin remain locked in stalemate after Craig Molloy's second half strike cancelled out Jim Lister's lob, but results elsewhere mean that both teams move four points clear of the relegation playoff spot.
The sides went into the game level on points and goal difference, and in a match where defences came out on top, it was evident that neither team wanted to concede ground.
Airdrie manager Gary Bollan stuck with the same line-up that defeated Dunfermline Athletic last week, while injury-hit City welcomed back top scorer Andy Jackson.
It was a sunny but blustery day in Angus, and the visitors had the wind behind them in a first half which they dominated.
Caolan McAleer threatened on 11 minutes, a fierce drive from the angle of the 18-yard box palmed over by Brechin goalkeeper Graeme Smith.
Darren McCormack was next to test the keeper, seeing his 25-yard drive well held by the keeper.
On 26 minutes good play by Jim Lister and Craig Barr found McAleer in an identical position, but his effort had the same result, Smith tipping over the bar.
Liam Watt looked lively in the Diamonds midfield, bursting into the box twice in quick succession only to be thwarted by last-ditch tackles on each occasion.
It was former City striker Lister who broke the deadlock after 36 minutes, latching onto a ball pumped forward by McAleer.
The Airdrie man spun away from his marker and stretched out a leg to lob the ball over the onrushing Smith and give his side a deserved lead.
And it could have been two a minute later, Stefan Milojević heading narrowly over from a corner kick.
There was controversy just before half time, with Lister seemingly brought down in the box as he lined up a shot, but referee Mat Northcroft waved play on and subsequently booked Gregor Buchanan for his protests.
With the wind now behind them, the home side were a different prospect in the second half, and it took them only six minutes to find an equaliser.
Midfielder Craig Molloy gathered a ball from the left flank, and lashed a low drive through a crowd of players which flew into the bottom corner of Grant Adam's net.
The Diamonds could have regained their lead minutes later, but Liam Watt slashed wildly at a low ball into the Brechin box and fired his effort into the roof of the stand.
The game flowed from end to end in the closing half hour, but strong defending at either end reduced both sides to half chances.
Keigan Parker had the best of these for Airdrie, breaking into the box from the right on two occasions, but firing over.
The draw, coupled with Stenhousemuir's late winner over East Fife, means that Airdrie can secure their League Two status with a victory over the Fifers next week.
Stuart Mathie at Glebe Park
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.