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October 28, 2023

cinch Championship

Inverness CT




David Wotherspoon 37



A David Wotherspoon goal was enough to hand Inverness CT victory over Airdrie in the Highlands, with the Diamonds left disappointed not to have taken something after a dominant second half.

Manager Rhys McCabe made a number of changes after last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Queen’s Park, perhaps with one eye on Tuesday night’s match against league leaders Dundee United.

The Diamonds player-boss brought himself back into the starting XI, alongside Charlie Telfer and Nikolay Todorov, with Murray Aiken, Dean McMaster and Lewis McGregor making way.

The home side, under the management of the recently-appointed former Scotland striker Duncan Ferguson, had the first chance of the match when a raking fifth-minute pass almost found Billy McKay, but Callum Fordyce got across well to chest the ball out of harm’s way.

Airdrie responded through former Caley Jags striker Todorov, but the Bulgarian fired over after Kanayo Megwa had done well to get down the line and square.

Mason Hancock repeated the feat on the other side two minutes later, but the full-back’s cross was intercepted at the back post and cleared.

Canadian international Wotherspoon gave a tenth-minute warning of his ability to join the attacking, forcing a good block from Megwa after a smart one-two on the edge of the box.

Megwa was the Diamonds’ stand-out performer in the early stages, finding Telfer on the edge of the box on 13 minutes only for the midfielder to send his strike well over the bar.

Todorov fell foul of the offside flag after what looked to be a good Telfer pass as the half-hour mark approached, and Josh Rae had to save well from Nathan Shaw on 32 minutes, McKay skewing the loose ball harmlessly over.

The home side took the lead five minutes later, and Wotherspoon was afforded far too much space in the box as the ball was squared from the right, although the former St Johnstone man turned, controlled and finished very well.

Airdrie’s passing around the box created a chance for Liam McStravick just before half-time, but the midfielder’s shot was tame and wide.

Cameron Harper had the last chance of the half for Inverness, powering well over from distance.

The Diamonds took control of the match after the break, but Craig Watson’s 49th-minute cross was too high for Calum Gallagher before a controversial moment.

Adam Frizzell raced onto Megwa’s 52nd-minute through ball, clearly having his shirt pulled by Max Anderson, who compounded the foul by tripping the Airdrie captain. To the bewilderment of Frizzell and the Diamonds fans behind the goal, referee Calum Scott awarded a free-kick to Inverness and booked the midfielder for simulation.

Nikola Ujdur headed over from a corner four minutes later, and Frizzell was denied by the whistle again, this time play being called back for a Todorov handball as the skipper finished.

The visitors defended well as Shaw broke through on 58 minutes, with former Diamonds loanee Mark Ridgers saving at the feet of McStravick two minutes later.

Both sides made changes going into the final 20 minutes, but Airdrie still couldn’t find a breakthrough as Gallagher shot weakly at Ridgers.

The goalkeeper punched out a good cross from substitute Lewis McGregor with ten minutes remaining, and got behind Watson’s header a minute later.

Desperate defending denied Frizzell and Todorov in the closing minutes as both players saw efforts blocked, and Ridgers saved from Gabby McGill as Airdrie’s final chance to equalise came and went.

The Diamonds must pick themselves up quickly with games coming thick and fast - and a double header against the top two, Dundee United and Raith Rovers, in the week ahead.

Stuart Mathie.

Photos © Redacted Media. Click to view full-size.

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