Stenhousemuir v Airdrieonians at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 26.4.14
SPFL Division One Att 812
Stenhousemuir 1 [Dickson 64] Airdrieonians 2 [Stewart 28, Barr 63]
The Warriors went into this game knowing that to have a realistic chance of getting to the play-offs they needed to secure points in this game. Airdrie though were a much improved team from the earlier stages of the season having lost only once in the last fifteen games. The Diamonds had secured divisional status the previous week and although they didn’t have the same imperative to pick up points they wanted to finish the season on a high.
Stenhousemuir were sloppy at the start of the game and almost gifted the visitors a goal in the first minute when a Chris Smith kick out was gathered by Caolan McAleer and he passed quickly to Keigan Parker fired over.
A Higgins shot that went well wide in the 12th minute and a hanging ball that caused Grant Adam difficulty but came to nothing after Ben Greenhalgh was slow to anticipate were the only half chances at the other end of the field.
Scott Stewart tested Chris Smith after being allowed to drive forward and shoot in the 19th minute. The Airdrieonian was more successful though in the 28th minute, Nathan Blockley won the ball off Kris Faulds and eluded a couple of tackles before setting Stewart up and he tucked the ball into the net. This was no more than the visitors deserved as the home side were giving a lacklustre performance.
Towards the end of the half though they were unlucky not to draw level. A Sean Higgins corner was met by Stewart Greacen who headed across goal to Bryan Hodge who struck the post with his effort. Before the half finished though Nicky Cadden struck a powerful drive that Chris Smith saved.
Stenhousemuir showed more urgency at the start of the second period and they were unlucky to see the woodwork come to Airdrie’s aid once again in the 55th minute when it was Sean Higgins this time the unlucky player.
In the 62nd minute Chris Smith could only parry a long range shot by Liam Watt but he was beaten a minute later. A McAleer corner was headed goalwards by Craig Barr and although Smith got a hand to it and there was an overhead clearance by Sean Dickson the ball was deemed to have crossed the line and therefore Airdrie went two up.
The Warriors struck back within a minute and once again there was a touch of controversy to the goal. A long throw by Nicky Devlin was met by Dickson and his effort was blocked before he eventually scrambled the ball into the net. The Airdrie players felt that a hand had been used during the melee but again the goal was allowed to stand.
This gave Stenhousemuir some hope and they pushed forward in search of an equaliser. John Gemmell was brought on to add another dimension to the play whilst Darren Smith was starting to make some decent runs as well. The pair combined in the 72nd minute but the former had to stretch for his header and it drifted just wide. A minute later Sean Lynch fired over as the Airdrie defence was opened up again.
Gary Bollan brought Gregor Buchanan on to bolster the Airdrie defence and this seemed to do the trick as they looked more secure at the back. He had not started as a caution would have meant that he would have been suspended for the start of next season.
Tempers were frayed in the 79th minute when Lynch and Blockley clashed after the Warrior objected to a tackle, both were cautioned as did Jamie Bain who had got himself needlessly involved in the incident.
In the dying stages of the game Stenhousemuir pushed forwards but it seemed a case of hit and hope than precision play. Chris Smith headed wide after coming up for a corner in the 90th minute and that was followed by efforts from Ciaran Summers and Lynch. None however required the Airdrie keeper to be called into action.
When the final whistle it looked as if Stenhousemuir’s chances of the play-offs were over but with Ayr losing to Forfar it means that if Stenhousemuir win at Brechin next week then Ayr need to win at home to East Fife. They will be hot favourites to get all three points but you never know what could happen in a topsy-turvy league.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin [b90], Greacen, McMillan [Lawson 21], Summers, Hodge, Dickson, Faulds [Gemmell 67], Greenhalgh [D.Smith 61], Higgins [b71] and Lynch [b79]. Subs not used – Rowson, Watt, Shaw and Douglas.
Airdrieonians – Adam, Barr, Bain [b79], Watt, Stewart, Milojevic, McAleer, Blockley [b79], Cadden [Buchanan 75], Parker [Lister 87] and Doyle. Subs not used – O’Neil, Coogans, McCluskey, Coult and Glackin.
Referee – Kevin Graham Assistants – Stephen Mitchell and William Cowie
|April 26, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|