March 24, 2023
cinch League 1
Kyle Doherty 10
Gabby McGill 2, 37
Justin Devenny 14
Adam Frizzell 69
Callum Smith 89
Airdrie continue scoring for fun as a 5-1 win over Clyde made it 18 goals in three matches for the relentless Diamonds.
With Aaron Taylor-Sinclair on international duty, player-manager Rhys McCabe was forced to make one change to the side which trounced Peterhead 7-0 last weekend, opting to return to the heart of the defence himself.
Ex-Diamonds Neil Parry and Kurtis Roberts lined up for Clyde as Airdrie attempted to make it four wins out of four against the Bully Wee.
Strong starts have been a hallmark of the side’s recent good run, and Gabby McGill continued his red hot form inside two minutes, a brilliant touch carving open the home defence after Callum Smith had been clattered, and the in-form Englishman planted a fine finish beyond Parry.
Any thoughts that the Diamonds were in for an easy night were quickly dismissed by Jim Duffy’s side, who forced a good save from Josh Rae as Barry Cuddihy got on the end of an incisive 10th-minute move.
Clyde made no mistake from the corner, a well-worked setpiece being knocked down to Kyle Doherty, who grabbed the equaliser with a cheeky backheeled finish.
The Clyde striker’s glee didn’t last long, as four minutes later Justin Devenny had Airdrie back in front with a howitzer of a striker after Rhys McCabe’s corner had been played out to him.
With conditions worsening in Hamilton, both sides struggled to keep their footing at times on the slick pitch, but for all of Clyde’s endeavour they were reduced to long-range efforts which failed to trouble Rae.
Adam Frizzell linked well with Smith just after the half-hour, but the midfielder took a touch too many and the home defence got back to block.
Doherty fired well over a minute later, before Calum Gallagher almost added to his highlight reel with an impressive first-time effort which went just wide.
McGill showed that he knew the way to goal on 37 minutes, Craig Watson’s powerful effort blocked by a defender with Parry palming out to prevent an own-goal, but McGill was on the scene quickly to turn home from close range.
Clyde hit back immediately once again, but Rae was in no mood to be beaten for a second time, pouncing on Ross Cunningham’s volley after a wayward header had fallen kindly for the striker.
Cammy Ballantyne was doing good work at both ends of the pitch, and almost got on the scoresheet on the stroke of half-time as his low cross threatened to sneak in at the far post, but the effort drifted wide and the Diamonds had to settle for a 3-1 lead at the break.
Ballantyne was in action again seven minutes into the second half, blocking well after good play from Doherty. After Watson had mopped up following some pinball in the Airdrie box two minutes later, the Diamonds took control of the match.
Parry denied Smith on 56 minutes before the Diamonds number 11 saw a cute effort deflected wide three minutes later.
The home defence got enough on Smith’s 64th-minute pass to Gallagher and it was ushered back to Parry, but the Clyde goalie was helpless five minutes later as Adam Frizzell cut inside and looped a stunning finish into the top corner, leaving the former Airdrie keeper rooted to the spot.
Substitute Charlie Telfer sent a 74th-minute shot spinning wide of the target after attempting to score with his first touch, and McGill fired wide with eight minutes remaining after a fantastic flicked pass from Gallagher.
There was time for one more, and Smith’s hard work paid off as he added his name to the scoresheet with a minute to play, Ben Stanway’s persistence allowing the ball to be played through to the Diamonds striker, who took a touch and fired a measured finish low beyond Parry’s dive.
The final score perhaps did not reflect the balance of play, but Airdrie’s superior finishing once again bore impressive fruit as the Diamonds prepare for a six-pointer against Alloa Athletic.
Stuart Mathie at ZLX Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.