Dec 3 2011 By Colin Paterson
IRN-BRU SECOND DIVISION:
STIRLING ALBION 1
PAUL LOVERING marked his 250th appearance for Airdrie with a goal in this comfortable win at Forthbank Stadium.
The long-serving full-back netted a first-half penalty on Saturday to help his side to a first victory in seven games.
Striker Ryan Donnelly scored a double with on-loan Hamilton Accies winger Willie McLaren also on target. Stirling had briefly threatened a revival when Lewis Bonar made it 2-1.
The Diamonds made three changes to the side involved in the thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Arbroath last weekend.
David Lilley returned from suspension in place of Kevin Green with Graeme Owens replacing the injured Jamie Stevenson. Up-front, Derek Holmes was preferred to John Boyle.
The deadlock was broken in the 13th minute. A terrific cross from McLaren wasn't cut out with Donnelly arriving at the back post to fire home.
Airdrie made it 2-0 in the 29th minute. A McLaren corner was handled in the box by Brian Allison with Lovering converting the resulting penalty for his fourth goal in three games.
But the Binos gave themselves hope moments before the break. Scott Davidson showed persistence to stand up a cross for Bonar who nodded past keeper Connor Fairley.
Jimmy Boyle's men responded immediately after the break with a third goal. Jamie Bain's free-kick found McLaren at the back post and he drilled the ball into the net from a tight angle.
It was 4-1 in the 58th minute. Some great build-up play saw McLaren feed Donnelly who rounded keeper Callum Reidford and stabbed home his 20th goal in as many games.
Airdrie gaffer Boyle said: "We changed the team about but we produced a very professional performance and took our chances."
Stirling assistant manager John Blackley said: "We're totally disappointed. We gifted Airdrie their goals and made it hard for ourselves."
Stirling: Reidford; Fagan, Allison, Thom, Jacobs; Smith, McSorley (McDonald 66), McLeish, Cook (Flood 62); Bonar (Nicholas 78), Davidson.
Subs not used: Crawley, Filler(gk).
Booked: Thom, McSorley, Bonar.
Airdrie: Fairley; Bain, Stallard, Lilley, Lovering; Johnston (Keast 78), Lynch (Devlin 75), Owens, McLaren; Donnelly (Boyle 80), Holmes.
Subs not used: Green, McKane(gk).
Referee: John Beaton.