Saturday July 19, 2014

Alan Brown Testimonial

Blackburn Utd

1-3

McQuillan 63

Airdrieonians

Parker 32, 66 pen
Blockley 72

To round off their preseason fixtures, Airdrieonians returned to Blackburn to play the home side in another Testimonial, this time for appearance record breaker Alan Brown, who is now in his second spell with the club.

A decent support took advantage of the 16 mile drive along the M8 to take in the match and have a look at some of the close season additions.

Manager Gary Bollan started the match with a strong line up and although the Diamonds were able to maintain possession for long spells there was some resolute defending by the home side, eager to show they could perform well against their senior neighbours.

Nathan Blockley thought he had opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark when he stopped to head the ball into the net after John Boyle’s shot had been well saved by the Blackburn keeper Wightman but the flag went up for offside.

In 37 minutes John Boyle was harshly tackled on the edge of the penalty area. Up stepped Keigan Parker to curl the ball into the net for the opening goal, in similar fashion to his strike in April against Dunfermline.

The on-field changes began at half time and were continuous through the second 45 minutes.

As the match wore on Blackburn began to enjoy more of the possession in the Airdrie final third of the field and levelled matters when a fine cross was headed past McNeil into the far corner of the net.

Airdrie reacted positively and restored their lead from the spot soon after. John Boyle gathered a through ball, 20 yards out, turned his marker and was brought down inside the penalty box, giving the referee little option. Parker wasted little time in picking his spot for his own and his team’s second of the match.

Blockley struck a volley that took a slight deflection en route to the net to make up for the disappointment of his earlier disallowed ‘goal'.

As Airdrie strived to add to their total, a mixture of some poor crosses into the middle of the penalty area, some stout defending and inaccurate shooting ensured there was to be no further goals.

Both Blockley and John Boyle played for the full ninety minutes gaining some much needed game time ahead of a very challenging season which is less than a week away.

The manager was also able to have a look at Callum Tapping, the former Hearts midfielder who played a good chunk of the second half.

Of the first team squad only Liam Coogans and Jim Lister did not feature.

John O'Brien at Murrayfield Park.

Photograph © Stuart Mathie. Click to view full size.

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