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Saturday August 27, 2016

Ladbrokes League One





Colin McMenamin 15
Fraser Kerr 87


Iain Russell 52 Pen
Adam Brown 65


Airdrie came from behind to take a second-half lead, but a late Stenhousemuir equaliser meant the Diamonds had to settle for a point.

Airdrieonians had already beaten the Warriors this season in the Betfred Cup Group stage, while Stenhousemuir came into the match bottom of the table and pointless having lost seven of their eight competitive fixtures with their only success coming in the Irn Bru Cup beating the Rangers Under 20 side.

The Diamonds were looking to build on their first shut out in eight matches and started the match brightly.

Good early play from Conor Scullion won a corner on the left with three minutes gone but Adam Brown’s cross was cleared away.

After eight minutes Iain Russell’s excellent switched pass for Brown provided a chance for a shot with his right, but the wide man elected to go for it with his left and the attempt was blocked then ricocheted wide.

Scott Stewart’s surge down the right hand side a minute later ended with a decent cutback that just missed Russell as the home defence cleared the danger.

Against the run of play Stenhousemuir took the lead after quarter of an hour. They took possession of the ball after some slack passing by Airdrie, which allowed Mark Gilhaney to make headway down the right then cross to the back post for the unmarked Colin McMenamin to head the ball powerfully into the net past Rohan Ferguson.

Russell went close to equalising in 28 minutes after he fired toward goal from a Ryan Conroy cross but Kieran Miller was on the line to block the ball before it was cleared.

The home side almost had a carbon copy of their goal in 29 minutes when once more Gilhaney had space down the right and he picked out the goalscorer, whose header was straight at Ferguson this time around.

Alan Cookwent close for the home side on the half hour mark when he drilled an angled shot from the left just beyond Ferguson’s far post.

As Airdrie searched for an equaliser a Russell lay off to Scullion some 20 yards out saw the on loan Accies youngster blaze the ball well over the crossbar while Stewart headed a Conroy corner wide of goal with three minutes of the half remaining.

There was only six minutes of the second half gone when Airdrie had the chance to level matters.

Andy Ryan was racing forward but was fouled inside the box, and up stepped Russell to send keeper Colin McCabe the wrong way.

Having squared the match Airdrie's passing play was much more measured and accurate and eventually the Diamonds were rewarded with a second goal to turn the match around.

It came after 64 minutes when Ryan’s pinpoint back post delivery found Russell and his header was net bound until the ball was pushed out by McCabe. Brown was alert to follow up and headed into the net to give the visitors the lead.

It was so close to a third goal in the 72nd minute when Scullion and Stewart linked well on the right and Stewart’s cross in front of the goal created panic in the home defence, although they managed to clear the ball away.

Stenhousemuir’s chances were few and far between, and it appeared that Airdrie had the match under control.

Scullion stretched to head Adam Brown's 76th minute cross wide of the goal.

Russell had the ball in the net with five minutes left, running on to a Ryan head flicked ball but the offside flag was shown.

With two minutes remaining Airdrie conceded once more from a cross into the penalty box with defender Fraser Kerr rising to head the ball into the net from Cook’s corner.

In a frantic finish to the match two yellow cards in the closing minutes saw the goalscorer Kerr sent off, while Russell headed the ball from Brown’s excellent delivery over the crossbar in time added on.

In the end a point apiece but it certainly felt more like a two points dropped having battled back from being a goal down.

John O'Brien at Ochilview Park.

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

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