Cup win for young Diamonds

February 26, 2020

Congratulations to Airdrie's reserves, who lifted the Reserve Challenge Cup after a fine win over Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

The young Diamonds gave coach James Grant the perfect birthday present when they showed great character to pull off a superb 1-0 victory over the Lions, who boasted several Premiership first-team starters in their line-up including Nicky Devlin, Dolly Menga and Robbie Crawford.

Airdrie were boosted by the inclusion of club captain Sean Crighton, but the cup triumph was also a victory for the Diamonds' youth pathway, with no less than eight of the evening's squad being current or former academy players.

The visitors almost took the lead inside the first minute when Ally Roy got on the end of a Dean Hawkshaw pass, but veteran Livi keeper Gary Maley made a good save from the frontman.

Odoffin sent a header just over the bar minutes later, but the home side saw a goal disallowed after five minutes for a foul on Airdrie keeper Reece Willison.

A hard-fought midfield battle followed, but the Diamonds took the lead just as looked like Livingston were taking control of the match, Joe Moore picking up a superb diagonal pass and squeezing the ball home despite Maley's desperate efforts.

Menga's trickery was impressing for the home side, who looked good on the ball, but it was the Diamonds who had the better chances with Dean Hawkshaw going close with a curling free-kick just before half-time.

Willison made a superb stop from Menga midway through the second half, and Kurtis Roberts wasn't far away with an acrobatic volley with ten minutes to play.

Ally Roy broke free twice in the closing stages, but Maley denied the striker before a last-ditch tackle saw Roy fizz a shot just wide.

In the end Moore's goal was enough to win the cup for Airdrie after a fine team performance with plenty of grit and determination on display.

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