Airdrie 20170304 a 004TEN-man Stranraer battled for a well deserved three points to lift them out of the bottom two for the first time in 2017.

Goals from Craig Malcolm and Ryan Thomson proved crucial, with Cameron Belford saving Iain Russell's penalty in between the two goals.

Andy Ryan pulled one back for the Diamonds in stoppage time but it proved too late for the hosts to take something from the game.
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Understandably, Stevie Farrell named the same starting lineup that had picked up all three points against Brechin City seven days ago.

Airdrie had started promisingly with four corners in the opening five minutes, with Liam Dick heading Simon Mensing's header off the line.

It was a first half of few chances, with Willie Gibson's free kick deflecting off the wall and Scott Agnew firing wide in the opening half an hour.

Mensing had another chance midway through the half but he struggled to make meaningful contact from a quickly taken free kick and Belford smothered easily.
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At the other end, Malcolm, who reached 100 goals last weekend, was then denied by a last gasp block just before the half time whistle.

Goalless was probably fair at half time - both in terms of possession and chances created - but Stranraer broke the deadlock just eight minutes after the restart.

Dick was the provider as he floated a cross into the box and Malcolm timed his run superbly to flick a header over the stranded Rohan Ferguson.
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However, seconds after the visiting fans had taken their seats, it seemed as if the game had swung back in the home side's favour.

Morgyn Neill was shown a straight red card for bringing down Jack McKay and a penalty was awarded, despite visiting fans protesting the challenge took place outside the box.

Up stepped Iain Russell, scorer of several spot kicks already this season, but Belford was equal to it, saving the initial shot and then booting the ball clear before Airdrie could seize on the rebound.

It sparked the Diamonds into life and Stranraer were firmly on the back foot.

However, the game took another twist when the Blues doubled their advantage.

Ferguson failed to hold onto Gibson's low free kick and Thomson smashed home the loose ball.
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Airdrie tried to get back into the game but Belford and the defence stood firm until stoppage time when Ryan's low free kick ensured a nervy and anxious finish.

Stranraer held firm though to move up to seventh place ahead of Queen's Park visiting Stair Park next weekend.

Airdrieonians: Ferguson, McIntosh, McGregor, Mensing, MacDonald, Hutton, Stewart, Leitch, Ryan, McKay, Russell (Brown 62).
Not used: Boateng, Gorman, Cairns, Leighton, Kerr and Thomson.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Neill, Bell, Agnew, Donald (Wilson 84), Thomson, Gibson, Malcolm (Kassarate 78).
Not used: Turner, McGuigan, Kemp, Pettigrew and Currie.

Referee: Craig Charleston
Attendance: 706
HT: 0-0

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 17 45
2 Raith Rovers 17 32
3 East Fife 17 26
4 Forfar Athletic 17 24
5 Montrose 17 21
6 Airdrieonians 17 20
7 Stranraer 16 20
8 Dumbarton 17
9 Brechin City 16 16
10 Stenhousemuir 17 15


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)