Brechin City 1 Airdrie United 1 - By John Hoey
11 February 2012
Brechin City 1
Airdrie United 1
BRECHIN CITY 1 AIRDRIE UNITED 1
Brechin City and Airdrie United played out a 1-1 draw at Glebe Park this afternoon in a match in which City were perhaps a shade fortunate to come away with a point.
Paul McManus scored City’s goal in the 24th minute after the visitors had dominated the early stages but the Diamonds pressure and perseverance paid off in the 72nd minute when substitute Derek Holmes powered home a header to level the match.
City finished the game with ten men after Craig Molloy who had previously been booked, was sent off by referee Des Roache for handling the ball which means that he will miss Tuesday night’s vital match against Arbroath, but thankfully City held on for a vital home point.
Gerry McGlauchlan and Charlie King were both injured and were not considered for the game along with long-term injury victim Derek Carcary but there were places on the bench for new loan signings Johnny Lindsay and Rory McKenzie.
The visitors started the match at a whirlwind pace and immediately put pressure on the home defence with Sean Lynch firing a shot just past Craig Nelson’s right-hand post with just three minutes on the clock.
The Diamonds kept up the momentum and Nelson had to look sharp to keep out a close-range effort from Ryan Donnelly five minutes later and the same player saw Nelson parry away his header for a corner a couple of minutes after that.
The league’s top scorer was proving to be a real handful for the City defence and in the 14th minute he had a shot from the edge of the box well saved by Nelson with Jamie Stevenson getting in on the action three minutes later when he forced Nelson to bring off another save.
City though stunned their opponents with the opening goal in the 24th minute.
McManus picked up a long clearance from defence and raced past Kieron Stallard before firing in a shot which Grant Adam did well to parry but the City striker collected the rebound and kept his composure to squeeze the ball home into the far corner of the net.
City’s top scorer came close again just three minutes later when he bore in on goal from a wide right position but this time he sent his shot just wide of the target.
A Paul McLean cross from the right found David McKenna in the 32nd minute but the striker’s header was easily saved by Adam and three minutes before the break Bryan Hodge fired in a fierce left-foot drive which went just over the crossbar.
The visitors were awarded a controversial penalty ten minutes into the re-start when Stevenson went tumbling in the box after a challenge with Nelson. Referee Roache immediately pointed to the spot but rescinded his decision after consulting with far-side linesman Ross McIntyre who indicated to the ref that the Diamonds midfielder had taken a dive. Stevenson was then booked by the referee.
The visitors won a free-kick in the 62nd minute but Stevenson was again out of luck after his kick came back off the base of the post.
City had a further let-off six minutes later when Graeme Owens who had only been on the field for seconds sent a drive crashing against the crossbar.
However, the visitors’ pressure paid off in the 72nd minute when they won a free-kick on the left. Stevenson sent a pin-point cross into the box for the unmarked Holmes who had time and space to power a header beyond a helpless Nelson.
City’s plight wasn’t helped seven minutes later when Craig Molloy who had previously been booked was sent off after handling the ball.
Airdrie continued to put pressure on the home defence but ten-man City held on for a share of the spoils.
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