October 1, 2022
cinch League 1
Alfredo Agyeman 85
Alfredo Agyeman’s late goal secured the points for Kelty Hearts at New Central Park as the Fife side won their first ever league meeting with Airdrie.
Diamonds boss Rhys McCabe made six changes to the side that had lost the SPFL Trust Trophy match at Alloa in similar fashion; Callum Fordyce, Adam Frizzell, Callum Smith, Lewis Jamieson, Gabby McGill and McCabe himself returning to the starting line-up in place of Salim Kouider-Aïssa, Ben Wylie, Calum Gallagher, Dean McMaster, Craig Watson and Justin Devenny.
Former Diamond Joe Cardle started for the hosts, with recent Airdrie loanee Scott McGill named among the substitutes.
Chances were at a premium on a tight pitch at New Central Park where there was little space for flowing football, although the majority of the early attacking possession belonged to Airdrie.
Jamieson had the first sight of goal after seven minutes, working space on the corner of the box before curling in a left-footed effort which Kelty keeper Darren Jamieson got behind.
A tenth-minute corner kick almost paid dividends for the Diamonds, a quick passing move leaving captain Callum Fordyce with a shot on goal, his effort hooked over the bar by defender Jordon Forster.
Jamieson held a McCabe free-kick four minutes later as Airdrie pushed for the opener, with a powerful Euan Deveney drive whistling just over after Callum Smith had held the ball up well.
Kelty hit back through recent loan signing Nicky Low, who fired over after some good midfield play by the hosts.
Adam Frizzell showed his usual mesmerising control on the half-hour mark, wriggling free from three home defenders and teeing up Fordyce to send a half-volley over the bar.
A 34th-minute ball over the top had Alex Henderson racing out to collect at the feet of Nathan Austin before the Kelty striker broke free of the defence and lobbed the Airdrie keeper only to see his effort strike the base of the post before being cleared behind.
From the resultant corner the hosts managed to turn the ball home, but the goal was rightly disallowed for a push.
Jamieson was the first keeper called into action after the restart, claiming Charlie Telfer’s 52st-minute effort before a well worked Kelty free-kick came to an abrupt end when Cardle launched the ball over the bar.
Cammy Ballantyne blocked a 59th-minute Low shot as the hosts began to find spaces in the attacking third, with Cardle firing wide five minutes later.
The home side wanted a penalty on 68 minutes as Henderson reached over the top of Austin to palm away the striker’s interception, but referee Steven Kirkland was unimpressed.
The Diamonds keeper made a smart parry as substitute Scott McGill got in on the action with 15 minutes remaining, and Austin was perhaps lucky to remain unpunished as he appeared to leave a foot in on the goalkeeper.
Former Motherwell youth Agyeman replaced Cardle on 80 minutes, and five minutes later the lively striker had the ball in the net, latching onto a head-flick and waiting for Henderson to commit before rolling in from a tight angle.
A very scrappy contest was always likely to be settled by a single goal, and that proved to be the case with the Diamonds unable to find a late reply.
An early chance to make amends lies in wait for Airdrie, who travel to Montrose on Tuesday evening knowing that three points would see the Diamonds return to the top of the table ahead of next weekend’s fixture.
Stuart Mathie at New Central Park.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.