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Saturday August 20, 2016

Ladbrokes League One





Andy Ryan 26



Rohan Ferguson's second half penalty save and Andy Ryan's fifth goal of the season gave Airdrie a home win over bottom side Stranraer.

Ferguson's stop from Craig Malcolm's spot-kick helped the Diamonds to their first shut out of the season, while Ryan shot to the top of the club goalscoring charts.

Airdrie had been unable to beat BrIan Reid’s side in either of their home matches in the league last season but did so at the first time of asking this season.

Stranraer are now bottom of the league after three defeats in their first three league fixtures.

Andy Ryan showed he was in the mood early on, heading Adam Brown’s second minute cross wide of the target.

The visitors fashioned a great chance to get in front after eight minutes. A free kick by Willie Gibson was floated into the box and the home defence were static as Malcolm moved in unmarked, but from ten yards out he could only header the ball straight at Airdrie keeper Ferguson.

With quarter of an hour gone a strong run by Ryan from the left saw the ball delivered to trialist Jack Leitch whose curled shot was wide of the goal.

Ryan Conroy then drilled in an excellent swinging free kick in 20 minutes but visiting keeper Cameron Belford did well to turn away for a corner.

Willie Gibson almost caught out Ferguson a minute later with a cross that turned into a shot and looked to be heading for the net until the keeper pushed the ball onto the crossbar.

Airdrie pressure saw Scott Stewart fire in a cross that Belford could only gather at the second attempt, then a fine run by Iain Russell took him into the box only to blaze the ball wide of the mark.

The Diamonds took the lead in 26 minutes courtesy of a fine through ball by Brown, allowing Ryan to race in behind the Stranraer backline and hammer the ball under Belford.

Virtually on the half time break Stranraer once more hit the crossbar. A Frank McKeown free kick saw Ferguson lose the flight of the ball, with Mark McGuigan heading on to the bar before it was cleared away.

The first clear attempt of the second half came on 57 minutes when Ryan blasted the ball high over the goal but two minutes later the visitors were handed a penalty kick with referee Craig Charleston indication a pull by Kieran MacDonald.

Blues top scorer Malcolm stepped up, but his spot-kick was well saved by Ferguson who dived to his right and held the ball.

In 63 minutes Brown hooked a shot just wide of the goal after a deflected Ryan cross landed at his feet inside the box.

Four minutes later Ryan, Brown and Russell linked well with Russell’s effort going wide.

15 minutes remained when a Gibson free kick was blocked with a claim for hand ball being waved aside.

Loanee Connor Scullion, on as a substitute for Schmidt, picked a great pass for Ryan with 11 minutes left. He rounded keeper Belford but Scott Robertson came rushing in and sent the ball just past his own goal in a desperate challenge.

With eight minutes left Gibson skipped past Stewart then saw his shot pushed out by Ferguson with substitute Giuliano Morena blasting the rebound high over the goal.

In time added on McKeown tried to meet a cross into the box but was stretching to make contact with the ball and sent it wide.

The victory takes Airdrie into fourth spot in the league table while Stranraer languish at the bottom despite a much improved second half performance.

John O'Brien at New Broomfield.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size.

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