December 2, 2023
Ricco Diack 7
Callum Fordyce 37 OG
Craig Watson 54
The Diamonds suffered an unlucky 2-1 defeat at a sub-zero Wyre Stadium as a freak own goal allowed Partick Thistle to retain all three points.
Rhys McCabe had sought to continue his side’s four-game winning run by naming the same side which dispatched Stranraer the previous weekend in the Scottish Cup third round tie.
Kris Doolan’s Thistle team hoped to solidify their position in third place of the cinch Championship by moving eight points clear of the Diamonds with a win. The loss of suspended marksman Brian Graham was a profound one, the top scorer replaced by young debutant Ricco Diack.
Referee Steven McLean’s whistle was followed by a fast start from both teams, as Liam McStravick’s quick feet found him break free of defenders numerous times in the opening minutes, but no real threat to Jamie Sneddon’s goal allowed Thistle a chance to break away.
A quick counter attack saw Aidan Fitzpatrick bend just wide of Josh Rae’s post from the left of the penalty area, before a corner only a minute later saw the first goal of the afternoon.
18-year-old Diack leapt above the Diamonds defence to nod beyond Rae and send the home fans into raptures only seven minutes into the match.
Clear cut chances were hard to come across however, as despite some good play from both sides, no further threat to either goal was made until the 37th minute.
The Jags’ second goal came out of nowhere, as a cross hit the thigh of Airdrie’s Callum Fordyce, cruelly looping up and over a diving Rae into the far corner of his goal.
A deflated travelling support were lifted by the ever-energetic Dean McMaster as he covered most of the pitch to execute a perfect sliding challenge and prevent a break from the home team, but the half time whistle sounded to dejected groans from a group whose team went down the tunnel 2-0 down despite a far from poor performance.
Airdrie began the second half in a considerably more lively fashion, harassing the home backline straight from kick-off and notching an early goal as a result.
Some superb Adam Frizzell play saw him play a floated ball to Calum Gallagher at the back post, knocking it down for Craig Watson who made no mistake in rifling home into the top left corner of Sneddon’s goal in the 54th minute.
A rejuvenated Airdrie heaped the pressure on the home side, but it was Partick Thistle who would have scored the next were it not for an important Kanayo Megwa clearance following a stramash in the penalty area.
The travelling side continued their attempts to pry open the Thistle backline, and Kris Doolan sought to restore some order in the middle of the park with the introduction of former Diamond Kerr McInroy in the 69th minute.
Despite huge amounts of pressure, possession and the introduction of attackers Nikolay Todorov and Elliot Dunlop, Airdrie saw no clear goalscoring opportunities until the very final minute of stoppage time.
A 93rd minute free kick swung in by Frizzell was the final throw of the Diamonds’ dice, and as it was met by Fordyce, the ball fell kindly to Todorov inside the penalty area, but he could only drag his shot agonisingly wide of the post.
Met by the full-time whistle, Airdrie fell to an unlucky defeat, but remain in fifth place only a point behind Dunfermline Athletic in fourth, who they look forward to playing in a week’s time at the Excelsior.
Daniel Sutherland at Wyre Stadium.
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