Warriors wounded in fight to beat drop

Brown Ferguson
Brown Ferguson

Airdrie 1 Stenhousemuir 0

Stenhousemuir are now facing an eight-game survival fight after leaving Lanarkshire empty handed.

Brown Ferguson’s boys remain rooted to the basement of SPFL League One and their ladder to safety is losing rungs by the week.

Iain Russell netted the only goal of the game in 56 minutes and Stenny trooped off with only 10 men after David Marsh was red-carded near the end.

These two teams have different targets but both are equally achievable. For Stenny - safety and staying in the division. For Airdrie - the play-offs and a chance to leave the division by moving up.

The Diamonds, with two wins in 10 games, had been on the slide for some time. Mark Wilson’s initial impact at the Excelsior (after some scepticism at his appointment) had many believing Airdrie were title contenders.

Stenny, meanwhile, were hoping survival instincts would kick in just in time to halt their slide into Scotland’s fourth tier.

There was danger signs for the visitors early on, Kieran MacDonald’s cross come shot almost catching David Crawford out in goal but he did well to catch the ball under the bar.

But the Warriors were unlucky in 15 minutes when Alan Cook wriggled away from MacDonald and sent in a cross to the near post and Mason Robertson fired wide.

Airdrie responded six minutes later with Russell setting up Brown, whose shot was kept out by Crawford.

Both managers would have welcomed the whistle at half-time and a chance to spark some life into their players.

From the restart it was Airdrie who looked the likeliest side to trouble the scoreboard – and in 56 minutes the breakthrough came.

Conroy’s corner was headed towards goal by Gorman. Crawford could only push the ball out and Russell reacted quickest to fire the ball home.

The Diamonds almost added to their lead when Jack Leitch’s left-footed volley kissed the post and went wide.

Stenny’s day ended with Marsh seeing red for a bad challenge on Russell.

Stenny are still within touching distance of safety but need to turn passion into points quickly.

Airdrie will hope this win is not another false dawn and instead is the start of something more substantial.