top of page

April 6, 2024

cinch Championship





Nikolay Todorov 1
Charlie Telfer 15
Mason Hancock 68

Greenock Morton

Michael Garrity


Nikolay Todorov’s wonder goal got the Diamonds off to a dream start as a controlled overall performance saw them stroll past Greenock Morton in the hunt for a play-off place.

Dougie Imrie’s Morton side made the trip to a windswept Excelsior Stadium for a showdown between two teams battling to reach the cinch Premiership play-offs.

An Airdrie win would have seen them move five points clear of the visitors, and within only four of Partick Thistle in fourth place, whilst the Ton sought to overhaul both Dunfermline and the Diamonds on a blustery day in North Lanarkshire.

Rhys McCabe made three changes to the side which dispatched Arbroath midweek, as Arron Lyall, Chris Donnell and Lewis McGregor dropped to the bench, being replaced by Adam Frizzell, Charlie Telfer and Gabby McGill.

The travelling Morton on the other hand, made no changes from the side that brushed past Queens’ Park with ease, as Dougie Imrie hoped to replicate the performance which took them to their first win in six matches.

Referee Don Robertson’s whistle preceded a frantic start to the match, with the high winds becoming an evidently important factor from the first seconds - much to the delight of Airdrie and Todorov.
The Bulgarian did well to latch onto a loose ball inside the first minute; amongst a pack of defenders on the halfway line he strode forward before spotting Ryan Mullen off his line and unleashing a ferocious strike from all of 30 yards out, the ball rocketing into the top left corner as he wheeled away in celebration with only 59 seconds on the clock.

The Airdrie pressure was maintained following the goal, as Rhys McCabe’s side kept possession well and kept the visitors very much at bay, with them posing little threat whatsoever.

The pressure paid off soon after, as Telfer added his side’s second in the 15th minute, finishing perfectly from the edge of the box as his low strike nestled in the bottom left of the visitors’ goal.

The home side continued to keep the ball well, but created less chances as they seemed happy to protect their 2-0 lead, forcing Morton to bring the game to them.

The visitors’ first real opportunity of the afternoon came in the 31st minute, with Robbie Hemfrey making an excellent stop as Cameron Blues was played through one-on-one, and the rebound was equally superbly defended by Kanayo Megwa while the goal was gaping.

A second Morton chance came in quick succession, as Robbie Muirhead got on the end of a through ball and controlled well, turning on the edge of the penalty area to release a strike which dragged narrowly wide.

This proved to be the last notable action of the second half, as Rhys McCabe made his way down the tunnel in high spirits
following a dominating first half performance from his Airdrie side.

The second half began in a considerably more subdued fashion than the first, with the Diamonds happy to allow the visitors the majority of the ball, given that they had created very few goalscoring opportunities as of yet.

Dougie Imrie sought to improve his side’s attacking threat with a triple substitution in the 57th minute, as Grant Gillespie, Michael Garritty and Jai Quitongo replaced Jack Bearne, Alan Power and Blues.

Despite this, it was Airdrie who very nearly notched the next goal of the match when Todorov was played through one-on-one by an inch-perfect Telfer through-ball, but his eventual shot blazed well over the bar.

The Diamonds pressure kept coming, as a clever Todorov dummy allowed Mason Hancock to race onto a ball on the left touchline, but his low cross was just missed by a sliding McGill who was inches away from grabbing his side’s third of the afternoon.

The goal did, however, come soon after via Hancock, who stooped low to guide home a superb header from a brilliant Telfer corner.

With a 3-0 lead to rest on, McCabe saw fit to make a triple change, swapping Todorov, McGill and Telfer with Calum Gallagher, Josh O’Connor and Chris Donnell.

Despite the changes, the visiting supporters were given some hope in the 73rd minute as Quitongo latched onto a through
ball, beating Hancock before squaring for Garrity to squeeze home at the far post.

The most controversial moments of the match followed closely, as a foul on Airdrie’s Hemfrey sparked a mass brawl in the penalty area shortly before Tyler French was booked for throwing Josh O’Connor to the ground.

The fighting did nothing but galvanise a Diamonds team determined to keep their winning position, and they saw out the remainder of the match with relative ease, moving five points clear of their opponents.

Rhys McCabe will hope to carry his side’s rich vein of form into Tuesday night’s Kirkcaldy clash with Raith Rovers as The Diamonds seek to move within two points of Partick Thistle in third place in the cinch Championship.

Daniel Sutherland at Excelsior Stadium.

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

bottom of page