Saturday July 21, 2012

ARR Craib Cup

Everton XI

2-1

Barkley 56
Garbutt 63

Airdrie United

Di Giacomo 73 pen

JIMMY BOYLE declared himself satisfied with Airdrie's opening-day showing in the ARR Craib Cup.

The Diamonds lost narrowly to an Everton XI at Partick Thistle's Firhill but the manager was encouraged with the display produced.

He said: "I thought we did very well in the first half and more than matched them. We created some half-chances and could have been more clinical.

"Everton hadn't really threatened us but a ten-minute spell in the second half saw us concede a couple of goals and leave us up against it.

"We are still a wee bit away and it will be a different team that plays against Celtic in the game on Sunday.

"There are boys who are needing games and they will get their opportunity."

Airdrie fielded former Aberdeen and Hibernian right-back Michael Hart as a trialist alongside former Dundee United stopper Garry Kenneth.

Keeper Kenny Arthur returned to Glasgow's West End where he spent many happy years as a Jag and he watched as Ryan Donnelly headed over a Sean Lynch free-kick.

The Toffees stepped it up a gear after the break. Arthur did well to deny John Lundstram before George Green blazed a shot over the bar.

But the opening goal was coming and it arrived in the 56th minute. Good footwork and a nice pass from Hallam Hope found Ross Barkley who made no mistake.

Everton made it 2-0 seven minutes later when Luke Garbutt fired a free-kick from the edge of the box in off the underside of the bar after Gavin Griffin handled.

However, the Diamonds pulled one back when Paul Di Giacomo converted a penalty following Garbutt's challenge in the area on Jamie Bain.

Airdrie will now face a Celtic XI in the 3rd/4th place play-off on Sunday (kick-off 12noon).

The hosts, Partick, will take on Everton in the final after a fine 2-0 victory over the Hoops in the first match of the ARR Craib Cup.

Colin Paterson at Firhill.

Photograph © Stuart Mathie. Click to view full size.

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