Saturday February 15, 2014
SPFL League One
Airdrieonians climbed off the bottom of League One for the first time since October thanks to a dramatic late winner from Gregor Buchanan on Saturday.
The 23-year-old centre-back headed home a Caolan McAleer free-kick after Ross Gilmour had cancelled out Robert Thomson's opener for Brechin.
The Diamonds made two changes to the team which started the 1-1 draw at Forfar Athletic with Darren McCormack and Nicky Cadden replacing Jamie Bain, who was suspended, and Nathan Blockley.
City arrived at the stadium having won four of their previous five games and opted for one change to the side that beat East Fife 3-0. Ex-Airdrie trialist Garry Kenneth made his debut for the club in central defence ahead of Gerry McLauchlan.
It was the visitors who made a blistering start. In the sixth minute, a lob from Bobby Barr was cleared off the line by Stefan Milojevic before Graham Hay headed a corner over the bar.
Midfielder Allan Walker came close when his shot crashed off the underside of the bar and Brechin must have been thinking that it wasn't going to be their day after Andy Jackson struck the post.
However, Ray McKinnon's men were rewarded for their positive start when Thomson got free in the right channel and fired his third goal of the season under keeper Grant Adam who will feel he should have done better.
Airdrie needed an immediate response and got it with on-loan Dundee United defender Gilmour directing home a corner from Cadden.
Winger McAleer was twice denied by desperate Brechin defending midway through the first half. Just before the break, referee Mat Northcroft turned down strong penalty claims for handball in the box against Hay.
Brechin applied some pressure after the interval but former Scotland under-21s international Adam did well to block low strikes from Steven Robb and Jackson.
There wasn't much between the teams for long spells of the second half but the Diamonds capitalised on the opportunity which presented itself with barely a minute of normal time remaining.
McAleer whipped a free-kick delivery into a packed penalty box with Buchanan nodding the ball down past City keeper Graeme Smith.
Airdrie moved up into ninth place in the standings after this victory was coupled with a 1-1 draw for Arbroath at Stranraer.
The gap to automatic survival has been reduced to four points following next weekend's opponents East Fife's 1-1 draw on the road at Stenhousemuir.
Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.