Saturday November 8, 2014
SPFL League One
An efficient performance saw Airdrie leapfrog Stenhousemuir out of the relegation zone, with first half goals from Scott Fraser and Keigan Parker securing the win.
The bottom end of the table clash saw the two clubs meet up for the third time this season, with Airdrie still looking for their first win.
Stenhousemuir were first to threaten with a whipped in free kick that went all the way to Andy McNeil in the 6th minute.
It was Airdrie though who opened the scoring in 8 minutes when they took the lead through Scott Fraser.
A ball from the left fell to Liam Watt who quickly controlled it before side footing a well placed pass to Scott Fraser, who had time and space to curl the ball high over Fleming, touching the bar just before it nestled in the back of the net.
Some neat interplay in 21 minutes between Paddy Boyle and Fraser down the left almost led to Boyle playing Fraser in behind the visitor’s defence but the final pass was just overhit.
With 25 minutes gone Stenhousemuir saw their first threat when Walsh cut inside Watt but fired an angled effort well wide of McNeil’s goal.
Bryan Hodges fired a 40 yard shot for goal on 29 minutes that Andy McNeil was down early to collect.
On the half hour Marc Fitzpatrick picked up a loose clearance on the edge of the box and sent a shot just past Fleming’s left post.
Airdrie gave themselves a cushion with a second goal in 32 minutes.
Fraser gathered the ball in his own half and raced to the halfway line before sliding a perfect diagonal pass to the right picking out Keigan Parker, who had done well to remain onside.
After making headway into the penalty box with other options available to him, he sent a delicate chip over the diving Fleming for a very clever goal.
In the closing ten minutes of the first half, Scott Gray had a shot saved low by Fleming after good play from Parker, while Watt and Boyle linked well to put the captain through on goal only for Fleming to push the ball over the top.
Stenhousemuir made a double change at the break but it was Airdrie who went close to extending their lead in 54 minutes after Watt passed to Parker who fired the ball straight at Fleming with the danger being cleared.
McNeil made a timely interception in 58 minutes racing out of his area to clear a dangerous ball up the park.
In 62 minutes Fleming maintained his side’s interest with a fine save from Paddy Boyle then as Airdrie continued to press, pushing away a Parker effort.
As the clock ticked down changes were continual. Sean Dickson was in behind Airdrie’s rearguard in 81 minutes courtesy of a neat back heel but McNeil stood his ground and Dickson fired an angled shot wide.
4 minutes from time Fraser was able to manoeuvre some room on the edge of the box and his 18 yard shot had Fleming sprawling to his left to push the ball away from goal.
As the match moved into stoppage time, McNeil, determined to keep a clean sheet dived high to his left from McMenamin’s effort.
It was an excellent win, a move up the table, and only one defeat in the last eight games.
Two home games with Morton are just around the corner.
John O'Brien at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.