Football: McStay delivers

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(First Edition)

Celtic . . . . . .2

Airdrieonians. . .0

CELTIC reduced the gap between themselves and Rangers at the top of the Premier Division to three points thanks to only their third home league victory this season.

There was a certain irony that Airdrie were Celtic's opponents for this match. The spoiling tactics which Celtic adopted successfully in Dortmund in midweek were those traditionally associated with the Broomfield side.

On this occasion, however, their resolve was broken after just five minutes. Stuart Slater turned cleverly and fed the ball towards Andy Payton, who allowed John Collins to drill an accurate 20-yard shot past John Martin.

Gradually Airdrie began to settle into their favoured system, with Walter Kidd and Chris Honor having the better of the physical jousts with Slater and Payton, Celtic's lightweight forwards.

In the second half the visitors' defensive strategy met with further success and as Celtic's frustration level rose, there were some unpleasant tackles.

Once again it fell to Slater to find a route through the Airdrie defence. His run was eventually halted, but Paul McStay collected the loose ball and drove a low shot into the net.

Celtic: P Bonner; M McNally, T Boyd, P Grant, A Mowbray, M Galloway, J Miller, P McStay, S Slater (C Nicholas, 76 min), A Payton (R Vata, 69 min), J Collins. Manager: L Brady.

Airdrieonians: J Martin; W Kidd, S Stewart, J Sandison, C Honor, P Jack, J Boyle, E Balfour, O Coyle, W Reid, D Kirkwood (A Smith, 69 min). Sub not used: S Conn. Manager: A MacDonald.

Referee: A Roy (Aberdeen).

Goals: Collins (1-0, 5 min); McStay (2-0, 73 min).