August 27, 2022
cinch League 1
Nikolay Todorov 68
Adam Frizzell 78
The points were shared as Airdrie and Dunfermline continued their unbeaten league runs with a 1-1 draw after a hard-fought match at East End Park.
Murray Johnson continued in goal for the Diamonds with new signing Alex Henderson named among the substitutes, while Dean McMaster returned from injury to take a place on the bench.
The home side had familiar faces in either wing-back position, with former Diamonds Kyle MacDonald and Josh Edward running the flanks.
James McPake’s side looked to stamp their home advantage on the match with an early spell of pressure, Kevin O’Hara shooting weakly at Johnson before MacDonald’s effort spun wide off of Nikolay Todorov.
Airdrie retaliated through Callum Fordyce, the former Dunfermline man heading a corner kick goalward with the effort adjudged to have been cleared off the line despite Airdrie’s protests that it had gone over.
Rhys McCabe blocked an Edwards shot on 14 minutes before Adam Frizzell rippled the side netting with an angled strike two minutes later.
The Pars recent loan signing Chris Mochrie began to make an impact on 25 minutes, forcing Fordyce to make a strong sliding challenge after breaking from a quick throw-in.
Two minutes later the Dundee United man had another sight of goal, but Johnson was down quickly to gather.
Lewis Jamieson saw an effort blocked on 29 minutes with McCabe seeing another effort blocked on the line with goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet on the ground.
As play moved from end-to-end, Johnson showed safe hands again, gathering a 37th-minute Matthew Todd cross before tipping an Edwards shot wide six minutes later.
The sides went in goalless after an entertaining first half, but Airdrie upped the ante after the break, Gabby McGill pulling his shot wide on 47 minutes.
The English striker saw an unselfish head-flick cut out by Mehmet in the 54th minute, before some excellent hold-up play gave Frizzell the opportunity to square to substitute Calum Gallagher, but the Diamonds top scorer fired wide when a goal looked certain.
MacDonald showed good strength to cut inside before firing over on the hour mark, with Johnson holding a Todorov header two minutes later.
The home side took the lead on 67 minutes, Fordyce getting a touch on Edwards’ long throw and diverting the ball beyond Johnson who was rushing out to punch clear. Although the goal was incorrectly credited to Todorov, it was clearly an unfortunate own-goal for the Diamonds skipper.
Airdrie almost hit back instantly with Justin Devenny firing in a powerful left-footed drive straight after kick-off, but Mehmet was equal to it.
Dunfermline sub Lewis McCann saw a decent 71st-minute strike take a nick off his own player and skew wide of goal.
Fordyce almost made amends for his part in the hosts goal on 75 minutes, joining the attack and playing a one-two with Gallagher before curling in a powerful effort which clipped the bar and went over.
Three minutes later Adam Frizzell had the Diamonds on level terms. Justin Devenny controlled Craig Watson’s cross and teed up his midfielder partner, who unleashed a fine half-volley across the keeper and into the net for a deserved equaliser.
With two target men in Todorov and McCann, Dunfermline pressed hard for a winner in the closing ten minutes, Johnson forced into another fine save a minute after the restart.
The strong defending which has been critical to Airdrie’s good form came into play again as the Pars threw everything forward, Todorov volleying just wide in the 89th minute.
Johnson tipped a powerful headed effort over the bar on 90 minutes, denying Todorov again - this time with his feet - three minutes into stoppage time.
A minute later the hosts thought they had grabbed a later winner when the ball was bundled home following a corner kick, but the goal was disallowed for a dig to Johnson’s ribs as he attempted to clear.
The final whistle called time on a tense encounter, with the Diamonds grabbing a good point on the road to retain their position as the early League 1 pace-setters.
Stuart Mathie at East End Park.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.