Tuesday March 14, 2017
Ladbrokes League One
Ally Love 45+1 Pen, 68
Andy Jackson 86
Brechin City leapfrogged Airdrie into the play-off spots with a 3-0 win at Glebe Park.
The match, a rearranged fixture after the original February tie was postponed, kicked off an hour later than billed after Brechin players were delayed due to a traffic accident.
With Kyle Hutton suspended for the Diamonds, derby day goal hero Sean McIntosh came into the starting XI.
Former Airdrie players Chris O'Neil and Liam Watt started for City.
Airdrie certainly had the majority of attacking possession in the first half, racking up 12 corners, but Brechin captain Dougie Hill and his fellow defenders stood firm and kept clear-cut chances to a minimum.
Andy Ryan went closest for the Diamonds, shooting just wide on 13 minutes after some neat interplay with Iain Russell on the edge of the area.
Jack McKay got onto a 20th minute cross, but his downward header was parried away by Graeme Smith in the City goal.
Seven minutes later the on-loan Leeds man had to be withdrawn after taking a heavy knock to the back of the head. Adam Brown replaced him.
A series of corners around the half hour mark kept the pressure on the Brechin defence, but Hill and Fusco were commanding in the box.
Rohan Ferguson was called into action on 37 minutes, getting down smartly to turn Ally Love's angled drive wide.
Jordan McGregor had a chance as half time approached, but he blasted over the bar from the edge of the area.
In first half stoppage time the hosts took the lead. A ball into the box was attacked simultaneously by Love and McGregor, but the Brechin forward went to ground and referee David Lowe pointed to the spot.
The small band of travelling Airdrie fans felt the decision was a soft one, but Love made no mistake as he blasted home to give his side a 1-0 lead at the break.
The Diamonds made a bright start to the second period, some fancy footwork taking Russell through the defence to drive to the by-line, but the onrushing Airdrie attackers were unable to connect with the cutback.
A midfield battle ensued with Airdrie finding it increasingly difficult to break down their opponents, and it was Darren Dods' men who doubled their lead on 68 minutes as ex-Rovers man Love steered a powerful drive home from the corner of the area.
Airdrie's sights at goal were few and far between, but the Diamonds were finding luck was not on their side either as Adam Brown's 74th minute free kick span wide off a team-mate.
Sean McIntosh was desperately unlucky not to score two minutes later, his powerful effort from outside the box taking a slight deflection and cannoning off the inside of the post as Smith watched helplessly.
The Diamonds started to throw everything forward in an attempt to rescue something from the game, and Brechin almost took advantage as Love broke away with five minutes remaining, but his hat-trick was denied as he fired wide.
A similar move got results a minute later though, and it was City's top scorer Andy Jackson who took advantage this time, getting into a similar position and blasting home a low effort.
The result sees City move into fourth spot as Airdrie drop to fifth ahead of the weekend visit of Stenhousemuir.
Stuart Mathie at Glebe Park.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size.