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March 9, 2024

cinch Championship

Inverness CT






Airdrie secured another clean sheet on the road, but were unable to find the net against Inverness as the sides played out a battling 0-0 draw.

Rhys McCabe went with the same XI and bench as Tuesday’s away win at Dunfermline, while Duncan Ferguson named three January signings including James Carragher, the son of former Liverpool and England ace Jamie.

The home side were on the attack straight from kick-off, but McCabe was well placed to head clear Cameron Harper’s second-minute cross, with Mark Ridgers holding a long-range Adam Frizzell effort at the other end a minute later.

Danny Devine fired wide from 18 yards on five minutes, and five minutes later Kanayo Megwa had to defend well to deny Harper a route to goal.

A spell of Airdrie pressure followed, Nikolay Todorov seeing an 11th-minute cross hacked behind before a Callum Fordyce shot was blocked by a ruck of players a minute later.

Craig Watson was alert to Billy Mckay’s pass for Alex Samuel on 21 minutes, with Gabby McGill’s effort then deflected back to Ridgers as play moved from end to end.

Josh Rae was called into action for the first time just after the half-hour mark, Harper racing in to get an angled shot away, but the Diamonds keeper had closed the gap and blocked well.

Todorov was denied by the flag three minutes later, smashing into the top corner only to be see the stand-side linesman signal an offside.

Mason Hancock began to join the attack to good effect as half-time approached, his 36th minute cross bundled behind for a corner before another good ball across goal was just out of reach of Todorov and substitute Calum Gallagher, who had replaced the injured McGill.

The home side ended the half strongly, Callum Fordyce blocking well as Inverness record goalscorer Billy Mckay threatened, and Rae getting down to save a stoppage-time strike which took a deflection on the way through.

Duncan Ferguson’s men started the second half as they had ended the first, with Alex Samuel bursting down the flank only to be dispossessed by Hancock after the Airdrie defender had made up an impressive amount of ground.

Megwa leapt to nod a goalbound header off the line from the resultant corner, but Airdrie were also getting forward well and Charlie Telfer got agonisingly close to a 51st-minute Gallagher cross.

Liam McStravick saw his cross knocked behind after doing well to create some space, before Todorov got on the end of a Gallagher flick but was unable to trouble Ridgers.

Fordyce was off-target with a 58th-minute header from McCabe’s ball in, and the Diamonds player-manager was back in his own box four minutes later, combining with McStravick to clear the danger as Inverness countered.

Mckay nodded a free-kick over the bar on 65 minutes, before being replaced by Luton Town loanee Aribim Pepple.

Two minutes after coming on, the Inverness substitute was denied by a brave save from Josh Rae, who took a knock to the face as he prevented the goal and was unable to continue. Player-coach David Hutton took over in goal for the remaining 20 minutes, and Inverness pushed hard for a winner.

Pepple was in a good position again wtih nine minutes remaining, but his angled effort only found the side netting, with Wallace Duffy’s low cross evading everyone in red and blue two minutes later.

The closing stages became a little scrappy with both sides picking up cheap bookings, and a late Megwa block saw the match end in a stalemate.

On a day where two players were lost to injury and another two required on-field treatment, the Diamonds may well consider this a good point on the road ahead of next week’s return to the Excelsior to take on bottom side Arbroath.

Stuart Mathie.

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

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