February 4, 2023
cinch League 1
Charlie Telfer 49
Charlie Telfer’s third goal in four games saw Airdrie climb to third in the League 1 table as the Diamonds edged to victory against a stuffy Clyde side.
Cammy Ballantyne returned to the starting line-up in place of fellow defender Craig Watson in the only change from the side which beat Alloa Athletic 4-0 last weekend.
Ex-Diamonds Neil Parry and Kurtis Roberts started for Clyde, who Airdrie were facing for the first time since Jim Duffy took over as manager.
The visitors got out of the blocks quickly, Ross Cunningham forcing a third-minute save from Josh Rae before Parry beat Callum Smith to a searching pass from player-boss Rhys McCabe.
Airdrie began to get the ball in behind in the wide areas, and it took a good defensive block to stop Adam Frizzell’s 12th-minute cutback finding Calum Gallagher.
Smith accepted a fine touch on by Frizzell five minutes later, but again the big Bully Wee defence blocked behind.
Midway through the half Cammy Salkeld almost took advantage of an unfortunate slip by McCabe, picking up the loose ball and firing for goal from just inside the box, but the former Ayr striker’s effort hit the upright.
Gallagher sent a 25th-minute effort just over the top and Parry parried then smothered a long-range drive from Telfer four minutes later.
As Clyde continued to press high, Kyle Doherty headed a cross from recent signing Martin Rennie over the bar.
The visitors’ defending was proving effective if somewhat last-ditch at times, Ryan McGeever sliding in to stop Smith getting on to another Frizzell pass ten minutes before the break.
Telfer saw a strike deflected wide in the last action of a first half which hadn’t provided a great deal of excitement.
Winger Lewis McGregor replaced Gabby McGill at the break, and the wide-man’s electric pace brought a much-needed spark to proceedings.
After two promising early runs down the right from the ex-Morton midfielder, a heavy touch from Darren Hynes allowed Telfer to nick possession on 49 minutes. The midfidler strode forward before picking his spot from 25 yards to give the Diamonds the lead.
McGregor’s 57th-minute pass was too much for Gallagher after some lovely control by the substitute, and Smith’s shot a minute later was taken by Parry.
As McGregor continued to cause problems down the right wing, referee Lloyd Wilson waved away penalty claim as the midfielder was pushed in the box on 63 minutes.
Cunningham slashed over a minute later as Clyde looked for a way back into the match, but the Diamonds had perfect out-balls with the pace of Smith and McGregor out wide.
The pair combined on 72 minutes, with Smith’s effort deflected behind before the Airdrie number 11 almost turned provider with a square ball for Gallagher which was cleared by the visiting defence.
As the game moved into the final ten minute, Doherty fired over twice.
A second McGregor penalty appeal fell on deaf ears with five minutes remaining, Ross Lyon barging the Airdrie man to the ground.
Rae saw the game out with two clean takes from Clyde crosses, and Cunningham’s last-ditch effort flew wide to ensure the points remained in Airdrie.
A double-header against league leaders Dunfermline Athletic now beckons for the Diamonds, who leapfrog FC Edinburgh into third position.
Stuart Mathie at Excelsior Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.