Millennium Champions: Five star revenge
By Stuart Gillespie
Updated Friday, 4th September 2009
Less than a year before this game, Airdrie came to Love Street and rattled five past us, bringing to an end Tony Fitzpatrick's second spell in charge of the club. With our high scoring ways, it was time for payback.We'd already settled one long standing score when we thrashed Raith Rovers, but the Airdrie disaster was more recent in everyone's minds. Fortunately, it didn't take too long to begin inflicting pain on the original Diamonds.
Junior Mendes wasn't best liked by their fans after an incident at the start of the year that hilariously saw their hate figure goalie John Martin sent off and flick the V sign in Junior's direction. As he picked up the ball, the booing began, but it was soon drowned out by cheers as the forward cut inside before firing a shot into the bottom corner. 1-0 Saints after just six minutes.
The second goal wasn't long in arriving. Hugh Murray had been let go by the Scotland under-21 squad as he wasn't going to be involved and unexpectedly made the team. This is usually the sort of luck that works against Saints, but for once it went for us and Shuggy cracked a terrific shot into the top corner to make it 2-0 - his first goal since that strike at Stirling.
The run of sendings off against us then continued when Stuart Taylor got an early bath for decking Iain Nicolson and the third arrived before the break, a Shuggy shot being deflected into the path of Barry Lavety and he fired home.
Airdrie were probably quite pleased to see half time, but the onslaught resumed almost immediately after the interval, the officials deciding that Ian Ross's shot that hit the bar had bounced over the line on its way back out.
It was five before the hour mark, the superb Shuggy going on a wandering run and leaving defenders - and a goalkeeper - in his wake before placing the ball home.
Surprisingly, that was it - although Mark Yardley did have a goal ruled out for offside - and the Northbank had to content themselves with giving abuse to baldy Paul Jack.
Another good day at the office, made better by the nice September weather and a rare chance to watch a Saints game from the Caley Stand.
Up next was the first real test when we travelled to East End Park to face recently relegated Dunfermline.