Saturday January 23, 2016

Ladbrokes League One

Brechin City

3-3

Spence 24
Thomson 50
Dods 80

Airdrieonians

Lister 13
Crighton 43, 45

It was a game of two halves in Brechin as hosts City came from two down to draw with Airdrie.

After being beaten by the Diamonds three times already this season, Darren Dods' men produced a battling second half display to take something from the fourth meeting, grabbing a hard earned point.

Airdrieonians had a couple of debutants in their starting line up as they produced a first half performance that should have led to them taking all three points.

David Cox and Neil Parry’s suspensions carried over into this match following the Forfar postponement.

Rohan Ferguson was called into action early. Robert Thomson’s powerful ball from the right side was struck instantly by David Weatherston, forcing the keeper to make a superb reflex stop in three minutes.

Jim Lister was proving a real handful for the home defence. His headed flick on put Nicky Cadden into the penalty area on seven minutes, with Cadden’s low driven cross being gathered by Brechin keeper Graeme Smith.

Alan Lithgow’s throws were a constant threat. Lister showed great control from his 11th minute delivery, but his netbound shot was blocked by Darren McCormack for a corner.

Adam Brown took the corner, which was headed clear, but Brown was alert to put David Ferguson in space on the right. The defender's curling cross saw Lister rise to head the ball into the net for the opening goal.

Smith was under pressure as he took a cross from Brown in 14 minutes as Airdrie tried to increase their advantage.

Against the run of play Brechin went close to equalising in 21 minutes, though Ferguson was equal to Andy Jackson’s 20-yard shot and saved comfortably.

The Diamonds' keeper was beaten three minutes later after Gary Fusco turned away from Hugo Faria and picked out Lewis Spence, who spun superbly and sent the ball low past Ferguson at his left post to level matters.

Another throw-in from Lithgow on 28 minutes was missed by Smith but broke to Marc Fitzpatrick, who blazed his shot high over the crossbar.

Brown fired wide in 32 minutes, while Cadden sent the ball wide after Fitzpatrick had set him up on the left side of the penalty area six minutes later.

Just when it appeared that the Diamonds would not reap the rewards of an excellent first half display, a Sean Crighton double in the final five minutes provided a deserved advantage.

In the 42nd minute a free kick by Brown was not properly cleared, and Crighton was quick to react and steer the loose ball low into the net.

Two minutes later after cutting in from the left, Brown sent in an excellent far post shot that Smith stretched to turn away for a corner. Cadden’s delivery picked out Crighton who headed powerfully into the net for a 3-1 half time lead.

Five minutes after the restart Willie Dyer manoeuvred some space for himself on the left wing, sending in a cross which was met by Thomson. The City striker's downward header gave Ferguson no chance and prompted hopes of a fightback amongst the home support.

Diamonds keeper Ferguson did well to save from Craig Johnston in 72 minutes, while he also made an excellent save from Thomson soon after before an offside flag appeared.

A cross into the box saw Lister head for goal with the ball cleared off the line by McCormack with just over 15 minutes remaining.

However, Darren Dods’ side did complete the comeback and it was the manager himself, leading by example, who rose at the back post to head into the top corner of the net from Scott Shepherd’s cross.

Crighton connected with substitute Jack McCue’s free kick in 85 minutes but could only send it over the crossbar, and that was the final close chance to separate the sides.

John O'Brien at Glebe Park.

Photographs © Stuart Mathie. Click to view full-size.

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