Airdrie United 0 St. Mirren 1

Most of the excitement in this tough encounter came in the last five minutes of the match. The blue touch paper was only ignited when Hugh Murray appeared to foul David Dunn in the box. Referee John Underhill awarded the penalty, and that was the signal that brought an otherwise dull game to life.

With an opportunity to bring the scores level, substitute Martin Hardie took the spot- kick. He struck it well, but Saints young keeper Chris Smith was athletic enough to get down quickly and touch the ball away. As it spun loose Willie McLaren was first to react His subsequent shot, though, was saved again by young Smith.

With the crowd still on their feet, Dunn lashed out at Simon Lappin on the centre spot. Lappin reacted instinctively and lashed out . Referee Underhill was only yards away and flashed the red card first at Lappin and then at Dunn.

The first half had proved difficult for the home side. A crunching tackle by John Potter on Bryan Prunty after 15 minutes left the striker hobbling off and taking no further part in the action.

Despite a couple of half chances which first Kevin Barkey and then Steven McDougall missed, Airdrie created little.

In truth St.Mirren did not perform much better with the obvious exception of their goal. When it came, after 33 minutes, it was certainly worth waiting for. It came from a free- kick some 30 yards from goal. Charlie Adam took it and clipped a great shot that beat
Lee Hollis at his left-hand post.