Dec 17 2011 By Colin Paterson
IRN-BRU SECOND DIVISION:
BRECHIN CITY 3
IT’S now just one win in nine SFL2 games for Airdrie after Brechin’s first league victory since October.
Goals from substitutes Paul McManus and David McKenna turned the game at New Broomfield on Saturday after Ryan Donnelly cancelled out Jim Lister’s opener.
Donnelly then made it 22 goals in as many games to set up an exciting finish but the Diamonds missed out on the chance to move into the top four of the table.
To make matters worse for Airdrie, Rhys Devlin was sent off for a professional foul early in the second half.
There was one change to the Diamonds line-up which drew 1-1 at Stenhousemuir with John Boyle coming in for Derek Holmes who was nursing an ankle injury.
Airdrie were boosted pre-match by the news that Willie McLaren would be joining the club on a permanent deal once his contract ends at Hamilton Accies on January 1.
And the talented winger made an instant impression with his fourth-minute cross volleyed over the bar by Phil Johnston who really should have hit the target.
Brechin’s Bryan Hodge whipped a free-kick over at the other end before Donnelly saw his header – from another McLaren delivery – hit the woodwork.
Chances were being created at regular intervals and Airdrie had keeper Connor Fairley to thank in the 15th minute after he saved well from Jim Lister.
Fairley was in top form to deny David Crawford but he was beaten in the 34th minute when Lister converted in impressive fashion after controlling a Charlie King cross.
Jim Weir’s troops could have doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time after they were awarded a free-kick in the box when Fairley handled a Boyle backpass but King’s effort was deflected over the bar.
Boyle headed against the bar within seconds of the restart before Airdrie were reduced to ten men when referee Kevin Clancy red-carded Devlin for denying Lister a clear goalscoring opportunity.
But the home side pulled level in the 69th minute thanks to a fantastic counter-attacking move which led to McLaren laying off a Paul Lovering cross for Donnelly to finish.
The visitors went back in front through McManus, though, when he cut inside Jamie Bain and curled a wonderful shot into the top corner of the net.
And Brechin made it 3-1 when Derek Carcary wriggled clear and sent over a low cross which was guided home by McKenna.
The Diamonds pulled one back almost immediately when Donnelly turned in a Bain cross but they couldn’t find a leveller.
Airdrie boss Jimmy Boyle said: “We just didn’t play well and most of the things which could have gone wrong, did go wrong.”
Brechin gaffer Weir added: “We made life difficult for ourselves as we had chances to go on and kill the game off.”
Airdrie: Fairley; Bain, Lilley (Devlin 45), Stallard, Lovering; Johnston (Owens 54), Lynch, Stevenson, McLaren; Donnelly, Boyle (Keast 67).
Subs not used: Owens, Morton, McKane(gk).
Booked: Lovering, Lynch. Sent-off: Devlin.
Brechin: Nelson; McLean, Buist, Dunlop, Smith; Brady, Hodge, Molloy; Crawford (Carcary 71), Lister (McManus 70), King (McKenna 56).
Subs not used: McClune, Scott(gk).
Booked: Lister, McManus.
Referee: Kevin Clancy.