Scorers: Airdrieonians - Smith (66), McKay (90+1); Stranraer - Allan (8), Hilton (31)

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CONTROVERSY reared its ugly head once more for 10-man Stranraer as Airdrie rescued a point in stoppage time.

After an excellent start, the Blues suffered the heartbreak of a last-gasp equaliser following substitute David Dangana's sending off.

With almost a full complement of players to choose from, Stevie Farrell made one change from the side which suffered a home defeat to Falkirk a week earlier as Adam Cummins returned from suspension to take his place in the back four.

The Blues got off to the perfect start, taking the lead after only 8 minutes.

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Airdrie found themselves under pressure from a series of corners after good work from Stranraer man James Hilton out wide.

Jordan Allan rose highest to meet the cross at the near post to notch up his second goal for the club.

The full back's header rattled the underside of the crossbar, but was ruled to have crossed the line before Airdrie keeper Reece Willison could collect it.

With no answer from the hosts, Stranraer would double their lead on the half hour mark.

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Andy Stirling produced some clever footwork to cut inside from the left and supply top scorer Hilton, who found space and stretched to prod the ball into the bottom corner.

After opening the scoring for his side, Allan was called upon to prevent Airdrie from pulling one back at the other end, but reacted quickly to head Calum Gallagher's goalbound strike over the bar.

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With half time approaching, the Blues would face a defensive crisis of a different kind.

Adam Cummins was forced to leave the field after sustaining a head wound, with a paramedic and both Stranraer and Airdrie physios attending to the Englishman.

The Blues were a man down for ten minutes, only for Cummins to be immediately met wiith a yellow card on his return for entering the field of play too soon.

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Airdrie had failed to trouble Max Currie in the first half, but the hosts showed signs of things to come as Callum Smith tested the keeper a few minutes after the restart.

As Stranraer looked to preserve their advantage, the Diamonds had a few half chances before finally pulling a goal back on 66 minutes.

Smith was first to Nat Wedderburn's header at the back post and bundled the ball home to give Airdrie a lifeline.

The game would turn on its head with less than quarter of an hour to go.

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As Stranraer pushed for a third goal, substitute David Dangana attempted an acrobatic overhead kick in the box.

The striker appeared to inadvertently collide with an Airdrie man, and that was enough for referee Peter Stuart to issue a bewildered Dangana with his marching orders.

The Aberdeen loanee was then forcefully escorted from the field by Airdrie defender Sean Crighton, sparking a heated confrontation between both sides.

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Despite being a man short for the second time in the game, Stranraer continued to break forward with the hope of putting the contest out of sight.

But it would be Airdrie who found the all-important late goal.

Blues captain Jamie Hamill was penalised for a two-handed push, with the resulting free kick swung in by experienced defender Adam Eckersley.

Calum Gallagher's cutback was swept home by Paul McKay to level the scoring in stoppage time.

And Airdrie would almost nick all three points, with Currie saving from substitute Kurtis Roberts, before Wedderburn crashed a header against the post.

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For Stranraer, the wait for a win continues, but a valuable point on the road and an improved performance should provide hope for next week's match away to East Fife.

Stranraer: Currie, Hamill, Robertson, Cummins, Allan, R Thomson, McManus, Stirling, Hilton (Stewart 84), Murphy (Pignatiello 69), Elliott (Dangana 70).
Not used: I Smith, Jones, D Smith, Burgess.

Airdrieonians: Willison, McKay, Crighton, Fordyce (Carrick 81), Eckersley, C Smith, Wedderburn, C Thomson (Hawkshaw 54), Reilly (Roberts 46), Roy, Gallagher.
Not used: Kerr, Millar, McCann, McNeil.

Referee: Peter Stuart
Attendance: 600
HT: 0-2

Photos: Stranraer FC

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