September 17, 2022
cinch League 1
Lewis Jamieson 38
Gabby McGill 66
Callum Smith 70, 78
Salim Kouider-Aïssa 89
Airdrie started this season’s Lanarkshire rivalry with Clyde as they had ended last season’s - with a thumping 5-0 win.
There have been big changes at both clubs over the summer, but after a 6-0 home defeat a fortnight ago, the Diamonds showed they were hungry to make amends no matter the opposition.
Manager Rhys McCabe was sidelined by a migraine, and with Cammy Ballantyne suspended there were debuts for recent signings Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Charlie Telfer, with Euan Deveney also returning to the starting XI as Ben Wylie made way.
Clyde included former Diamonds Neil Parry and Jordan Allan, with Kurtis Roberts among the substitutes.
After a respectful minute’s silence following the recent passing of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, Airdrie started on the front foot with Parry reacting quickly to knock former Clyde loanee Lewis Jamieson off his stride on seven minutes.
Three minutes later the big keeper pulled off a fine double save to twice deny Jamieson as the Diamonds broke quickly.
As Airdrie turned up the pressure, the woodwork came to the visitors’ rescue as Euan Cameron’s touch on an Adam Frizzell ball came back off the inside of the post.
Erik Šul’a was first to threaten for the Bully Wee, his header from Ray Grant’s free-kick nestling on top of Alex Henderson’s net after 17 minutes.
The Airdrie keeper faced another setpiece three minutes later, superbly clawing away Ross Cunningham’s netbound free-kick.
Cunningham fired wide on 26 minutes, with Henderson saving from Allan three minutes later as Clyde began to get a foothold in the game.
Euan Deveney shot high and wide with his weaker right foot on 35 minutes, but three minutes later the Diamonds were in front.
Steven Thicot’s tackle on Callum Smith sent the ball back toward his own goal, where Jamieson was standing unmarked to lift the ball past Parry. The far-side linesman flagged for an offside, but referee Gavin Duncan correctly overruled his assistant and the goal stood.
As Clyde looked to hit back through Cunningham, Telfer was well placed to make a superb interception on the edge of his own box.
Justin Devenny went close with a 42nd-minute free-kick before Olly McDonald fired well over in the last action of the first half.
Clyde boss Danny Lennon made changes at the break, but again it was Airdrie who started brightest, Gabby McGill forcing captain Brian McLean into a fine header back to Parry just after the break.
The ex-Diamonds keeper was almost beaten by a wickedly bending Frizzell drive on 48 minutes, but managed to stop the ball squirming between his legs.
Cunningham continued to pose a threat for the visitors, shaving the post with a 51st-minute volley before Gabby McGill miskicked in front of goal at the other end.
Jamieson curled a shot wide of the target on 64 minutes, but McGill made up for his miss two minutes later, finding space to get on the end of Frizzell’s superb diagonal pass and planting a fine half-volley past Parry to make it 2-0.
Clyde sub Barry Cuddihy sent a powerful effort over the top on 68 minutes before the Diamonds began to turn the screw.
Another quality forward pass from Frizzell saw Smith dance in from the left in trademark fashion before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner.
Diamonds sub Calum Gallagher curled a strike just over minutes after coming on, but it was Smith who added to his tally on 78 minutes, calmly passing the ball into the net after beating Thicot to Frizzell’s dinked ball.
There was time for a fifth for the Diamonds, Salim Kouider-Aïssa nodding home after Devenny’s corner had been worked to the back post via the heads of Taylor-Sinclair and Watson.
A fine team performance to banish the memory of the disastrous FC Edinburgh result, with Frizzell’s hat-trick of assists earning him the Man of the Match award.
The Diamonds will be hoping to build on this return to form when they face Alloa Athletic on SPFL Trust Trophy duty on Friday evening.
Stuart Mathie at Excelsior Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.