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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 18:49 GMT 19:49 UK
Airdrie 1-1 Brechin (4-3 on pen)
Craig McPherson holds off Chris Templeman
Craig McPherson holds off Chris Templeman
Airdrieonians stayed on course to retain the Challenge Cup after a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory over Brechin City.

Mark Roberts had given the home side the lead, only for Brechin to strike back after the break through Kevin Fotheringham to send the tie into extra-time.

But it was the team who pipped Livingston to the trophy last season on penalties who again showed their prowess from the spot with a 4-3 win after extra time.

First Division leaders Airdrie had started more brightly in an open, attacking match against the side heading Division Three.

They were rewarded for an impressive start when Paul Armstrong's cross was headed home by Roberts after 23 minutes.

Veteran striker Owen Coyle had the chance to double the lead four minutes later.

Mark Roberts (right) celebrates his goal
Mark Roberts (right) celebrates his goal
But goalkeeper Mark Cairns was equal to the test and he saved well to keep his side in touch.

Brechin pushed forward as if stung into life by the early setback.

For the rest of the half dominated possession, but they struggled to break down the well-organised Airdrie rearguard.

The visitors continued to pile on the pressure after the break.

Brechin found the equaliser they deserved three minutes from the end of normal time.

Roddy Black crossed from the left and Fotheringham was first to react as he found space to fire home from close range and send the game into extra-time.

Both sides had chances to victory in the extra period, with Black flashing a drive just wide before Coyle headed just past the post for the hosts.

It was Airdrie who were to advance into the final as Armstrong blasted home the decisive kick as the Diamonds won the penalty shoot-out.

Airdrie: Ferguson, Armstrong, McPherson, Docherty, McManus, James, Beesley, McFarlane, Coyle, Smith, Roberts.

Subs: Dunn, McDonald, Gardner, Taylor.

Brechin: Cairns, Smith, Fotheringham, Bain, Cairney, Kernaghan, King, Miller, Grant, Templeman, Honeyman.

Subs: Leask, Craig, McKeown, McAllister, Black.

Referee: H Dallas.

See also:

28 Aug 01 |  Scotland
Clyde 0-1 Alloa
22 Aug 01 |  Scotland
Challenge Cup semi finals
20 Aug 01 |  Scotland
Clyde 1-0 Partick
20 Aug 01 |  Scotland
Ross County 0-2 Brechin
20 Aug 01 |  Scotland
Clydebank 1-2 Airdrie
20 Aug 01 |  Scotland
Alloa 4-3 Stranraer (AET)
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