Saturday August 4, 2012

Scottish Communities Cup round 1

Queen's Park

3-2

Brough 60, 104
Shankland 89

Airdrie United

Blockley 47
Cook 67

Airdrie fell out of the Scottish Communities League Cup at the first time of asking to a more organised and composed Queens Park.

Even though both sides were technically visitors to Firhill, "home" team Queens Park had ex-Diamond Sean Burns on the bench, whereas Airdrie had Willie McLaren and Andy Gilchrist come in for Grant Evans and Kieron Stallard.

From the start there was risky defending from Airdrie, nine minutes in Kenny Arthur miskicked a clearance which was then mishit by Marc Warren and Owen Ronald slipped a ball through to Quinn but it was cleared.

Up front the Diamonds were just as wasteful. Gavin Griffin sent a cross in from the left wing and it wasn’t cleared by the Spiders defenders. Paul Di Giacamo should have gone for the header rather than the kick, which he missed.

Just after 21 minutes in, a Queens Park corner was headed over by James Brough who was causing problems for Airdrie in both boxes.

In the last five minutes of the first half Airdrie had a few more chances but it wasn’t until the second half they got their break.

McLaren’s cross from the right hand side was met by the head of ex-Spider Nathan Blockley at the far post to put the Diamonds 1-0 up.

Shortly after the hour mark the Glasgow side pulled one back. After a corner there was a scramble in the box and it was Brough, this time using his feet to get the ball rather than his head, who got the goal.

It didn’t take long for Airdrie to hit back though as John Boyle played the ball through to substitute Alan Cook who smashed the back of the net with a left foot shot.

In the 89th minute Queens Park had yet another corner, and the ball came towards Lawrence Shankland who hit a sweet volley to equalise in dramatic fashion.

Extra time followed, and it continued to be end to end stuff until the end of the first 15 minutes. Tony Quinn had the chance to be a hero but couldn’t quite connect to the ball as it rolled past a helpless Arthur and across the goal.

Then Queens Park took the lead for the first time in the match, unsurprisingly after a corner. The ball fell to Alan Cook on the line but he couldn’t clear it in time for Brough to barge in and make it 3-2.

Both sides had a mix of chances in the second period of 15 but neither could capitalise and the Third Division side progress to the next round, while Airdrie will have a dent in confidence ahead of next week’s crucial league opener against Dumbarton.

Douglas Barrie at Firhill.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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