September 30, 2023
Lewis McGregor 32
Airdrie ran out 1-0 victors against Greenock Morton as Lewis McGregor’s goal ensured a first away win of the season against his former side.
The Diamonds made the trip to Cappielow for their seventh game of the cinch Championship season, hoping to carry on the momentum of a huge home win against Raith Rovers the previous weekend.
Manager Rhys McCabe sought to emulate the free-flowing football of last week by naming the same side as the one which had dispatched the Stark’s Park side.
Dougie Imrie named his Morton team in an attempt to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Dunfermline Athletic - as he swapped Kirk Broadfoot for Robbie Crawford and Lewis McGrattan for George Oakley.
Referee Euan Anderson’s whistle was followed by a fast Morton start, as Josh Rae was forced out of his goal after only a minute to smartly prevent a shot after a missed header allowed the home side a quick break.
Despite McGregor delivering a couple of crosses into their box, Morton maintained the early pressure as Murray Aiken charged down a shot before Alan Power fired the rebound just wide of the post.
Airdrie grew into the game around the 20 minute mark, when Gabby McGill delivered a clever low ball across goal, which was missed by everyone.
As the away players were still queued up in the box, Callum Fordyce was forced into a brilliant block to deflect Oakley’s close range shot behind for a corner following a fast break from the home side.
Airdrie’s greatest scare of the match came in the 27th minute, when a curling Tyler French strike clattered Rae’s right hand post after an effort from just outside the box.
The afternoon’s first and only goal came only five minutes later. McGregor drilled home against his old side from the right of the Morton box after being laid off by Calum Gallagher following a typical sweeping move from the Diamonds.
The away side pushed for a second as Adam Frizzell’s low cross was just missed by McGill at the far post, before a direct Gallagher free kick was smartly saved by Jamie MacDonald just prior to half time.
The referee sounded the end of an action-packed first half, allowing Rhys McCabe a chance to address his side to push for a second clean sheet in the same number of matches.
The second half began as a rather more subdued affair, as the first real chance came in the 59th minute when Gallagher just managed to latch onto the end of a Cammy Ballantyne cut-back which trickled narrowly wide.
The Airdrie backline was called into action for a sustained period following this, and strong Morton pressure was met with stern resistance - resulting in Steven Boyd bending a shot just over the bar.
The travelling Diamonds fans were in ecstasy in the 74th minute as the in-form Gallagher had swept the ball into the back of the net via a neat Nikolay Todorov ball, only for it to be chalked off by the linesman’s offside flag.
Greenock Morton had the majority of possession in the last 10 minutes of play, but the rock-solid Diamonds defence kept them in check and limited to only half-chances, despite being under almost constant pressure.
The full time whistle was greeted with huge cheers from the Wee Dublin end as Airdrie climbed to fifth in the table, behind Arbroath in fourth on goal difference, and two home matches in a row upcoming - starting with Ayr United next weekend.
The home fans hoped for an upturn in results, looking forward to a match against Queen’s Park at Hampden in a week’s time, after falling to bottom of the league.
Daniel Sutherland at Cappielow Park.
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