Saturday October 26, 2013
SPFL League One
New manager Gary Bollan looked on as Airdrieonians narrowly lost to ten-man Ayr.
The 40-year-old, who was appointed on Thursday night following Jimmy Boyle's departure, allowed assistant Paul Lovering to take the team at New Broomfield on Saturday.
But there was disappointment for everyone of a Diamonds persuasion as Anthony Marenghi fired home a free-kick to earn the Honest Men, who had Kyle McAusland sent-off, all three points.
The Diamonds made two changes to the team which lost 2-0 at home to Forfar Athletic last weekend.
Jamie Bain and Lewis Coult both dropped to the bench with Willie McLaren and Nathan Blockley drafted into the starting line-up.
There wasn't much between the teams in the first half. Both sides had spells of possession but were unable to produce the quality in the final third of the pitch.
A set-piece almost delivered the opening goal in the sixth minute but Grant Evans headed a corner from Willie McLaren over the bar.
Ayr came close to breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute when Marenghi's 35-yard free-kick effort crashed off the bar and bounced to safety.
The home side hit back almost immediately with midfielder Martin Hardie curling in a shot that brought out a good save from Somerset Park keeper David Hutton.
There was drama in the 51st minute when on-loan Rangers defender McAusland was tripped just outside the box by Martin Hardie with Ayr correctly awarded a free-kick.
McAusland immediately jumped up and confronted the Diamonds midfielder with several other players getting involved.
Once things had calmed down, McAusland received his marching orders with Hardie becoming one of five players cautioned during the game.
Marenghi then stepped up and blasted his set-piece effort past Scott Gallacher to spark scenes of jubilation among Ayr's travelling support.
Those fans would eventually get the chance to celebrate a third straight victory. For Airdrie, life under Bollan officially begins this week with a Scottish Cup trip to Rangers.
Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.