Russell and Ryan were on target as Airdrie beat rivals Motherwell's U20s side to advance to the third round of the Irn Bru cup.
Motherwell had the first real shot at goal when Jake Hastie created some space for himself in five minutes then drilled a low shot to Rohan Ferguson’s right hand side, but the keeper pushed the ball away for a corner that came to nothing.
Airdrie’s first effort came after 10 minutes when Adam Brown crossed from the left and Andy Ryan rose to head for goal, only to see Peter Morrison comfortably gather.
With 13 minutes played David Turnbull fired a speculative 30 yard effort over Ferguson’s goal.
Brown’s attempted curling shot in 15 minutes from the right was easily taken by the Motherwell keeper, although two minutes later an Iain Russell delivery from the right had the home defence anxious as they cleared the danger.
Scott Stewart's headed attempt on goal from Ryan Conroy’s corner was pushed over the crossbar by the impressive Morrison halfway through the first half.
Substitute Joe Gorman almost broke the deadlock on the half hour after his header was deflected and looked netbound until Morrison saved once again.
Hastie had one of the best efforts of the first half when he cut in from the left and his 20 yard shot was pushed away by Ferguson with 36 minutes on the clock.
In first half stoppage time a decent move by Airdrie down the right led to Kevin Schmidt crossing for Ryan in the middle. He played the ball back to Russell and his 20 yard shot had the accuracy to beat Morrison and break the deadlock.
Airdrie broke upfield immediately after the restart only for Schmidt to overhit a cross into the box as Russell raced in.
In 49 minutes Airdrie doubled their lead when Ryan controlled Kieran MacDonald's cross before firing the ball into the left hand corner of the net.
Motherwell reduced the deficit when Joe Gorman’s cross-field pass was easily intercepted by Dylan Mackin and last season’s loanee blasted the ball high into the net past Ferguson.
Luke Watt went close to levelling in 64 minutes when he was allowed to carry the ball to within 30 yards out and his shot singed the side netting.
Russell and Ryan combined in 68 minutes after a defensive mistake, but Ryan’s powerful low driven shot was well taken by Morrison.
Ferguson made a couple of decent saves as the home side started to push Airdrie back, the best of which came in 71 minutes after Dylan Falconer turned inside the box and shot to Ferguson’s left post with the keeper making a splendid save to push the ball away for a corner.
In 81 minutes Motherwell had a very strong penalty shout turned down after an excellent run by Watt into the box.
Airdrie had chances late on to kill the match when Russell and Ryan were linking up well in the final third.
Ryan’s shot in 84 minutes was stopped on the line while Russell’s effort in 87 minutes went wide of the goal.
Russell did have the ball in the net again, but the linesman raised his flag to rule out the late effort.
Motherwell pushed right to the end and the young Fir Park players emerged with lots of credit for their performance, but it's the Diamonds who advance to the next round.
Referee: Mr Michael Taylor
John O'Brien at Fir Park.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size. Click here for the full match gallery.