Airdrieonians v Stenhousemuir at New Broomfield, Airdrie on 2.8.14
SPFL League Cup First Round Att 501
Airdrieonians 1 [Kirwan 90] Stenhousemuir 3 [Lithgow 8, Sludden 20, McMenamin 90]
With both teams crashing out of the Petrofac Training Cup the previous week to lower league teams it was important that they secured victory to kick start the season before the teams meet again next week in the league.
The Warriors made only one change to the starting eleven that had lost to Brora with Sean Dickson dropping to the bench to be replaced by Paul Sludden who had scored a hat-trick in the Stirlingshire Cup tie earlier in the win their play.
It was Stenhousemuir who started the game in positive fashion with some trickery by Josh Watt lifting the spirits and his eventual cross was clutched by the Airdrie keeper as Martin Grehan just failed to get a touch. It was not long though before the Warriors took the lead as they went ahead in the 8th minute when Watt’s corner was touched home from close range by Alan Lithgow for his first competitive goal for Stenhousemuir. Good defensive work by Ross McMillan to block a Paddy Boyle strike kept the Warriors ahead and they extended the lead in the 20th minute when Sludden was able to tee up his shot and fire home after the Airdrie defence were lackadaisical in their play.
The Warriors were well on top against a lacklustre Airdrie side but there was always the danger that Airdrie would get a chance to score. It had been the same last season with the Warriors in command but the game had changed swiftly when Airdrie made the breakthrough and the home support were looking for history to repeat itself. Jim Lister should have done better than head wide from 12 yards out but headed wide of the target though he may have been offside anyway. This was followed by another opportunity in the 35th minute when a through ball picked out Keigan Parker who took forever to let it bounce and Jack Hamilton came rushing out to clear the danger.
The Warriors continued to be the better team playing some nice passing football but weren’t creating that many clear cut chances. It was always looking as if an error by either side was going to be the only way that something was going to happen and this is indeed what happened in the 55th minute when a stray Kris Faulds pass was picked up by Scott Stewart and it took a great clearance by Bryan Hodge to end the danger. On the hour mark Airdrie’s Jamie Bain went down in the box with Josh Watt in close attendance, no penalty was forthcoming though and the Airdrie player was cautioned for simulation by referee Nick Walsh who was in an excellent position to make the decision.
The Warriors almost got a third in the 64th minute when a Watt free kick was met by Ross McMillan and his powerful header was spooned to safety by Andy McNeil. After that the game meandered on until the 90th minute when Airdrie gave themselves a lifeline with a goal through Jack Kirwan who fired home at the back post after a pinpoint cross by substitute Scott Gray. The fight back was to last only seconds though as Stenhousemuir scored their third shortly afterwards. A Faulds pass was caught in the wind and fell between Colin McMenamin and the goalkeeper and the striker showed his composure to beat the keeper before firing into an empty net.
This victory will the Warriors a boost for next week and also secured the team their place in history as it is the first time that Stenhousemuir have beaten Airdrie in a cup competition and avenges the defeat in the same competition last season. It is just a pity that there were only 501 spectators there which must be one of the lowest attendances at an Airdrie v Stenhousemuir game.
Airdrieonians – McNeil, Bain [b60], P. Boyle, Hamill [b62][J.Boyle 79], Proctor, Fitzpatrick, Stewart [Gray 75], Blockley, Lister, Parker [Kirwan 66] and Watt. Subs not used – O’Neil, Birnstingl, Haggerty and Wilson
Stenhousemuir – Hamilton, Duncan [b51][Meechan 59], Lithgow, McMillan, Summers, Hodge, Reid, Faulds, Grehan [McMenamin 79], Sludden [Dickson 59] and Watt. Subs not used – K.Millar, Shaw, R.Millar and Greacen
Referee – Nick Walsh Assistants – Dougie Potter and Kyle Hall
|August 2, 2014||3:00 pm||Betfred Cup||2014/2015||90'|
|Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|