Saturday August 22, 2015
Ladbrokes League One
Prunty 36, 39
Ten-man Airdrie held firm as Bryan Prunty's first half double secured the Diamonds' first league win of the season at Brechin.
Airdrie began on the front foot with Cox and van Zanten delivering crosses from the right in the opening minutes, the full back’s delivery being dropped by keeper O’Neil with no one on hand to take advantage.
With 7 minutes gone the home side had their first look at the Airdrie goal when Thomson fired wide to the left of Parry’s goal after a knock down from Dods.
Airdrie were eager to take the game to the hosts and in 12 minutes after a strong run by Morton down the right, the Diamonds won a corner. From the resultant delivery by Watt, Cox headed the ball just over the top of O’Neil’s goal.
Prunty did well to beat the offside trap in 16 minutes but lacked support as he made headway into the box and the ball was cleared.
2 minutes later at the other end Johnston’s direct approach took him into the box only to find his attempt for goal being pushed away by Parry then cleared upfield.
Jackson was on the verge of going in behind the Diamonds defence in 21 minutes until Crighton made a timely interception.
With half an hour gone, after Airdrie had pressed Brechin back, a headed clearance fell to McAleer 20 yards out and although his effort had power it lacked accuracy, and flew over the crossbar.
With ten minutes of the half remaining, Airdrie took the lead.
Johnston had gone close with a long range effort that Parry pushed over the bar, and from the corner Airdrie swept up the field to open the scoring.
The clearance saw the ball played with pace down the right. Excellent build up play from Morton was followed by a perfectly weighted pass down the line to McAleer.
The winger carried the ball forward and looked infield before picking out Prunty with another fine pass. Prunty then raced into the box and delivered the perfect finish to a fine move by firing the ball under O’Neil.
3 minutes later, the Diamonds added a second goal.
Morton did well on the left, giving himself space inside the penalty area, then sent in a dipping shot. O’Neil could only push the ball to the side, and the ever alert Prunty raced in to tap the ball into the net.
Morton volleyed Watt’s cross for goal 4 minutes from the break, but this time the keeper held the ball.
Two minutes after the break Tiffoney fired wide from 20 yards out as the home side looked to fight back.
Johnston curled a shot wide of Parry’s left post in 56 minutes as Brechin broke upfield, countering an Airdrie attack.
From being comfortable with their two goal advantage, with half an hour remaining pressure was placed on the team when McAleer was judged to have mistimed a challenge, as both he and Molloy slid to the ball with both feet. A red card was shown to McAleer and some reorganising was called for.
Prunty made way for Bain, with Cox thrown to a front role where he worked hard until the final whistle, racing from wing to wing and limiting the Brechin defence time to build from the back. In midfield Stewart and Watt worked tirelessly.
Airdrie conceded in 71 minutes after Jackson had drawn a foul from Parry in the penalty box. Parry picked up a yellow card and almost redeemed himself after saving Jackson’s spot kick, but the striker followed up and his mishit effort rolled beyond the despairing keeper.
It was the only time the Airdrie goal was breached as the side worked as a real unit, defending bravely in pursuit of the win. The final whistle was greeted with delight by the players and the fans.
The result takes the team up to 6th place, and they can now focus on their cup clash with Rangers in a happier frame of mind.
John O'Brien at Glebe Park.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size.