Saturday August 17, 2013

SPFL League One

Airdrieonians

0-1

Stenhousemuir

McNeil 89

A late winner from substitute Ross McNeil ended Airdrieonians' unbeaten start to the season.

Diamonds manager Jimmy Boyle made two changes to the side that started the thrilling 3-3 draw at Forfar Athletic last weekend.

Chris O'Neil returned from suspension and new signing Paddy Boyle was brought in for his debut with Grant Evans and Willie McLaren on the bench.

The Diamonds had the first opportunity of the match with a Martin Hardie free-kick well held by Warriors keeper Wallace Smith.

Trialist Garry Hay had a free-kick of his own, midway through the first half, blocked by Smith before Stenny squandered a golden opportunity in the 33rd minute.

A fantastic run by Sean Dickson troubled the Diamonds defenders with the ball then falling to Sean Higgins who sliced his effort wide.

Airdrie should have made it 1-0 three minutes later but David Sinclair headed an O'Neil cross straight at Smith. At the other end, a John Gemmell free-kick was parried by keeper Colin Stewart.

Boyle's men were awarded a penalty in the 50th minute after Ross McMillan was cautioned for a foul on Jim Lister in the area – but Lewis Coult's low effort was saved by Smith.

It turned out not to be McMillan's day with his second foul on Lister inside 10 minutes leading to the centre-back's dismissal.

Airdrie were now red-hot favourites to push on and collect the three points. Hardie went close with a free-kick and a Lister overhead kick flew just over the bar.

In the 68th minute, Coult delivered a fine cross from the right flank which found Lister but his header was saved by Stenny's star man Smith.

And Smith's interventions proved crucial with McNeil racing clear and converting Eddie Malone's long ball forward to win Stenny the points in the 89th minute.

Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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