SECOND DIVISION: Airdrie United make winning start

AIRDRIE UNITED launched themselves into a new era with a 1-0 triumph over Forfar Athletic at New Broomfield as 2,285 fans rallied to the cause.

The only goal of a tense encounter came 12 minutes from the end, but it was a goal fit to win any game. Substitute Paul Armstrong set it up with a wonderful cross into the penalty box. Steven Docherty took advantage and crashed an unstoppable header into the net.

Pride of place in the individual stakes, though, went to Berwick Rangers striker Garry Wood, who became the division’s first player to notch a hat-trick in his side’s win against Brechin City at Glebe Park.

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Wood fired in two within 20 first-half minutes, but Graeme Gibson sandwiched one in between when he struck for the home side in the 19th minute and he repeated the feat in the 33rd minute.

Jamie Smith put through his own goal to gift Berwick their third goal in the 74th minute and Wood rounded off a memorable day when he thumped in the fourth 10 minutes later.

Argentinian frontman Martin Prest picked up the unhappy distinction of being the first to be sent off in this division during Raith Rovers’ 1-1 draw with Stranraer at Stark’s Park. Prest was banished after picking up his second yellow card.

Brian Carrigan had given the Fifers the advantage with a penalty in the 36th minute, but a goal five minutes from the end by Alex Lurinsky gave the Stair Park side a draw.

Ally Graham fired in two as Hamilton Accies overwhelmed Cowdenbeath 3-1 at Central Park. Kevin Gordon gave the Fifers the lead in the seventh minute, but two Graham goals, plus one from Gareth Armstrong decided the contest.

Paddy Flannery came to Dumbarton’s rescue with an equaliser in the last minute in their 2-2 draw with Stenhousemuir at Larbert. Mark Booth gave Stenhousemuir a two-goal lead, but Steven Bonner started the revival capped by Flannery.