Saturday March 28, 2015

SPFL League One

Airdrieonians

2-1

Prunty 32, 65 pen

Stenhousemuir

Grehan 81

Bryan Prunty was the two-goal hero as Airdrie returned to fifth spot, now only three points away from the play-off places.

The bottom three clubs are embroiled in the relegation issue and having already dropped points to Stirling Albion and Stenhousemuir, it was critical that in the remaining games against Stenhousemuir, Stirling Albion and Ayr United, there were no further points lost.

The consistency of selection has been lost in recent weeks with a further reshuffle required for the Warriors visit.

Inevitably the adjustments saw the visitors start on the front foot.

A fine run in ten minutes by Meechan down the right wing was followed with a decent pass into the penalty area that was controlled by Faulds, who fired the ball wide of the goal to spurn an early opportunity.

4 minutes later after Fraser won control of the ball 40 yards out he threaded a pass through to Prunty who snatched at his angled shot to send the ball wide at the far post.
In the 18th minute as Fotheringham stood up against McNeil for a Marenghi corner, rising to head the cross over the top of goal.

2 minutes later Gray delivered a front post cross to Prunty from the right, but the striker’s early shot was wide of goal.

As Airdrie were starting to put their stamp on the match they went in front in 32 minutes.

Fraser’s front post corner was not properly cleared with the ball breaking to Fitzpatrick, and he sent the ball across goal where the ever-alert Prunty was on hand to score from 5 yards.

Fitzpatrick was close to doubling the lead just before the half time whistle, sending a 20-yard shot against keeper Fleming’s left post having been set up by Fraser.

5 minutes after the restart good play by Morton on the left saw him fire a terrific angled shot that was pushed away by Fleming.

Marenghi troubled McNeil with a powerful 30-yard free kick in 59 minutes with the keeper diving to his left to push the ball away for a corner.

At the other end 2 minutes later Prunty’s flick on from Gray’s cross was comfortably taken by Fleming.

Airdrie added their second goal from the penalty spot in 65 minutes.

Fotheringham was punished for a challenge on O’Neil and up stepped Prunty to hammer the ball past Fleming, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Lindsay forced Fleming into a decent save from his headed attempt on goal from Fraser’s corner in 76 minutes, with the keeper punching the ball away for a corner.

A minute later Lithgow watched anxiously after redirecting a Gray cross towards goal, happy to see it slide just past the post.

With ten minutes remaining Grehan picked up a loose ball some 20 yards out, turned and fired the ball at goal. McNeil looked to have it covered only to be deceived and watch it spin past him into the net.

Stenhousemuir believed they had a lifeline pressing forward and winning a couple of corners but after substitute Ryan Millar lost the ball to Paddy Boyle in 86 minutes he slid in for a challenge on Boyle and was red carded.

As time ran down keeper Fleming made a desperate clearance to beat Prunty to a poor passback, which sent the striker into the air, delaying the conclusion of the match.

Several additional minutes were added, but the home side had done enough for all the points and with results elsewhere proving favourable the play-off contest remains a possibility.

John O'Brien at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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