Stenhousemuir 3 Airdrie 2: Full backs front up Warriors play-off push

Stenhousemuir left it late against Airdrie with Jamie McCormack hitting the winner www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
Stenhousemuir left it late against Airdrie with Jamie McCormack hitting the winner www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
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The conditions might have been wintry, but Airdrie were unable to freeze out a relentless late flurry of attack from the Warriors. A dramatic stoppage time header from Jamie McCormack proved to be the difference at Ochilview.

Stenny have made a habit of leaving it late against the North Lanarkshire side, winning with late goals in all three of their meetings this season.

The home side toiled in the opening ten minutes of the game as the heavy snowfall and Stenny’s defence were also snowed under as Airdrie had pressed high up and looked dangerous with every foray forward. Sure enough, the Diamonds opened the scoring through Nicky Cadden in the fifth minute after some pinball action in the box.

Parity was restored in the 16th minute when Ciarán Summers’ strike from 25 yards took a deflection that left Neil Parry helplessly rooted to the spot as Stenny looked to seize control.

The complexion of the match changed when Airdrie’s David Cox was shown a straight red card for an apparent off the ball elbow on McCormack seven minutes from the interval.

The visitors rallied from this setback to go 2-1 up almost straight from the restart as Jim Lister finished from close range. At this point Stenny began to press further up and were rewarded for their efforts in the 54th minute. Jason Scotland’s free kick from 18 yards out was saved, but McCormack pounced onto the end of the ensuing stramash to rifle the ball high into Airdrie’s net.

The Diamonds proved extremely difficult to break down as the hosts pressed for a winner. The hosts’ pressure yielded ten corners in the second half. The final one, in the first minute of stoppage time, provided the breakthrough when McCormack rose high to get on the end of Gilhaney’s whipped in ball to send the home support into rapture.

The victory moves Brown Ferguson’s men to within a point of the SPFL1 playoff places ahead of key fixtures against Albion Rovers and Cowdenbeath.

Ferguson remained unfazed at the stats insisting: “At the end of the season, we’ll see where we end up, but our objective at the start of the season was ten points a quarter.

“This season’s all about stability at the club, but if we can get our 40 point target, the sooner the better, and if we get to that then we can go and have a real crack at things.”