Saturday November 23, 2013

SPFL League One

Stranraer

3-1

Grehan 8
Winter 45
Stirling 58

Airdrieonians

Hardie 52

Airdrieonians scored their first goal in six games but suffered a seventh straight defeat at the hands of Stranraer.

The Blues, who climbed into the promotion play-off zone for the first time this season, were 2-0 up at the break thanks to goals from Martin Grehan and Sean Winter.

Midfielder Martin Hardie pulled one back for the Diamonds but Andy Stirling added a third goal for the home side who made it four wins in a row.

The Diamonds stay five points adrift of safety at the bottom of the SPFL League One table and have a two-week break before their next match at Brechin City.

Airdrie boss Gary Bollan made five changes to the side which crashed 3-0 at home to Dunfermline Athletic with on-loan Rangers keeper Scott Gallacher returning in place of Andrew Duncan.

Caolan McAleer, who has signed on loan from Partick Thistle until the end of January, was drafted straight into the starting line-up. Mick O'Byrne, Nathan Blockley and Lewis Coult were also included.

Injury kept out Grant Drummond while Jamie Bain, Jamie Pollock and Liam Coogans had to make do with spots among the substitutes.

Stranraer opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Mark Docherty's vicious volley was not held by Gallacher with Grehan in the right place to nod home from close range.

Stevie Aitken's men dominated. Grant Gallagher fired an effort wide. Chris Aitken and Winter forced Gallacher into saves. David MacGregor headed a corner just wide in the 32nd minute.

Following some good play, Gallagher was just off-target with a good effort. Grehan fed Stirling whose beautiful curling strike was inches past the post. He then blazed over after neat work by Aitken and Jamie Longworth.

Stranraer netted a deserved second goal in the 44th minute. A Stirling shot, after a cross from Aitken was punched clear by Gallacher, was blocked with Winter converting the rebound.

Bollan's men reduced the deficit early in the second half with Hardie capitalising on poor defending to find the bottom corner of the net. It was Airdrie's first goal in 513 minutes of play.

But hopes of a comeback were short-lived. Vibrant Stranraer went on the attack and made it 3-1 when Stirling's cross-shot from the left-hand side was parried into his own net by Gallacher.

There were opportunities at both ends but Stranraer were worthy winners and have now reached the dizzy heights of fourth place. For Airdrie, it's now about regrouping ahead of the December 7 trip to Glebe Park.

Colin Paterson at Stair Park.

Photograph © Stuart Mathie. Click to view full size.

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