Saturday January 18, 2014
SPFL League One
A wonder winner from Caolan McAleer earned Airdrieonians their first away win of the season.
The 20-year-old netted the only goal of the game at East End Park on Saturday to breathe fresh life into the Diamonds' League One survival fight.
Manager Gary Bollan made several changes to the side which started the dismal 3-0 defeat to Ayr United at Somerset Park last Saturday.
Grant Adam became the seventh keeper to play for the club this season while there were also starts for Paddy Boyle, McAleer and Jim Lister.
And it was McAleer who made the breakthrough as the Diamonds took a shock lead in the 19th minute.
The on-loan Partick Thistle winger accepted a lay-off from Nathan Blockley and unleased a fabulous shot from just over 25 yards into the top corner of the net.
It could have been 2-0 seven minutes later but Jamie Bain's low effort, following a good spell of Airdrie pressure, was deflected wide for a corner.
The Pars failed to hit top gear in the first half but had opportunities. Adam did well to block a shot from Allan Smith who then hit the post from a Ryan Williamson cross four minutes later.
Bollan's men had another chance to extend their advantage moments before the interval but Ross Gilmour's header, from a McAleer corner, was cleared off the line at the back post.
Adam had to be at his best in the 53rd minute when he got firmly behind an effort from Ryan Wallace that swerved in the air and then dipped at the last moment.
Airdrie came close again in the 65th minute when Lister nodded a cross from Keigan Parker to the back-post area into the side-netting.
But it took some desperate defending a minute from time to preserve the lead with Adam and Ross Gilmour throwing their bodies in the way of Lawrence Shankland's shot after the keeper had parried Josh Falkingham's strike.
Those actions also helped ensure Airdrie's first clean sheet in all competitions since November 2012.
The gap to automatic safety has now been cut to five points but ninth-placed Arbroath remaining two points better off than Airdrie who host Stranraer next weekend.
Colin Paterson at East End Park.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.