Saturday December 21, 2013
SPFL League One
Airdrie picked up their first point of Gary Bollan’s reign with a hard fought 1-1 draw at a rainy and windswept Ochilview.
Gregor Buchanan’s powerful early header had given the Diamonds the lead, however a late strike from Stenhousemuir’s Sean Dickson rescued a point for the Warriors.
Airdrie made four changes to the side which started their midweek defeat to Brechin City.
An injury to defender Paddy Boyle forced him to miss the match with Liam Coogans, David Sinclair and Keegan Parker all dropping out of the starting eleven.
Coming into the side were Caolan McAleer, Nicky Cadden, Jim Lister and Jamie Bain.
The Diamonds had the better of the play early on in the match when a Darren McCormack free kick was lofted through to Lewis Coult who fired a cross into the box, it broke to Nathan Blockley but his powerful shot was blocked.
Moments later, Airdrie found themselves in front. Caolan McAleer’s corner kick was met by Buchanan who bulleted his header into the back of the net.
Airdrie continued to press on and could have doubled their lead when a well weighted through ball from Liam Watt found Jim Lister. Stenny keeper Chris Smith was able to block the shot and the rebound fell to Watt whose drive was deflected over.
The Diamonds continued to press their advantage with Caolan McAleer having a mazy run towards goal and driving a rasping effort just wide of Smith’s left hand post.
As the half wore on though Stenny began to get a foothold in the game.
A free kick from Brown Ferguson on 33 minutes was fired low into the box and after a deflection, fell to John Gemmell whose effort was well stopped by Airdrie keeper Danny Rodgers.
Bryan Hodge then forced two smart saves from Rodgers, one of which was a swerving half volley which the keeper had to tip over his cross bar.
Stenhousemuir made two changes at half time with Sean Higgins and Sean Dickson coming on for Brown Ferguson and Ross McNeil and their impact was almost immediate.
After the restart the two subs combined with some nice play down the right hand side with Higgins crossing to find an unmarked Dickson in the box. However, he flashed his header wide.
Dickson was proving to be a real handful for the visitors at this point and could have scored once again. This time David Rowson provided the cross for the substitute, he timed his run brilliantly but could only stab the ball past the post as he slid in.
Despite Stenny being on top by this point Airdrie had their chances too. Nice link up play between Nicky Cadden and Jim Lister saw the big striker curl a shot in off the post however it was ruled out for offside.
Lister was again to prove threatening just after the hour mark when McAleer’s corner was flicked on by Blockley but the big hitman’s shot was turned around the post by Smith.
A succession of Stenhousemuir corners saw Rodgers make another two great saves. The keeper firstly tipped over a corner which came off the head of Blockley; then made an excellent stop, parrying a drive from Rowson after the second corner.
Airdrie continued to find themselves pressed in by waves of Stenhousemuir corners and attacks and the Warrior’s pressure was eventually to pay off.
A well placed through ball over the top of Diamonds defence was run on to by Dickson whose initial effort was parried into the air by Rodgers but the substitute was on hand to nod home the rebound.
Despite a few half chances for both sides in the closing stages the game finished all square with the Diamonds still awaiting their first win under the new boss.
David Hendrie at Ochilview.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.