Saturday February 6, 2016

Ladbrokes League One

Airdrieonians

2-0

Fitzpatrick 14
Lister 89

Cowdenbeath

Marc Fitzpatrick and Jim Lister were Airdrie's goalscorers as the Diamonds continued their very decent start to 2016 with a win over Cowdenbeath to strengthen their position in fourth place.

Eddie Wolecki Black went with the same starting line up and substitutes that defeated league leaders Dunfermline eight days ago.

It took a while for the match to get going as there was very little happening around either goal to threaten the goalkeepers in the early stages of the match.

With 14 minutes on the clock it was Airdrie who were able to grab an advantage.

A long throw by Alan Lithgow into the heart of the penalty area saw Jim Lister spring between between two Cowdenbeath defenders and knock the ball on. Marc Fitzpatrick took the chance by making a timely run into the box to meet the ball and chipped it beyond Cowdenbeath keeper Grant Adam to open the scoring.

Lister was pulled back for a push on his opposite number two minutes later as he looked set to run in behind the visitors defence.

Cowdenbeath central defender Pat Scullion caught the ball on 22 minutes in a moment of madness and was lucky not pick up a yellow card.

From an overhit cross in 39 minutes, David Cox was under pressure when he picked up the ball on his goal line but he weaved his way past three players down the left before spoiling some great work with an overhit pass beyond Liam Watt.

As the first half drew to a close Airdrie were enjoying some pressure around the visitor’s goal after Cox, Jamie Bain and Fitzpatrick linked well but the ball was cleared.

In the first two minutes after the restart the Diamonds went close twice.

A minute into the second half, fine build up play involving Ferguson and Watt resulted in a cross into the box where goalscorer Fitzpatrick attempted an overhead kick. His effort was on target but was comfortably taken by Adam.

A minute later Fitzpatrick sent the ball wide left to Lister, who sent an angled shot across Adam’s goal.

Parry was down quickly to his near post, collecting a low driven cross powered in from the right by Bradley Donaldson in 49 minutes.

The Diamonds should have doubled their lead in 59 minutes. A neat back heeled pass by Cox allowed Kieran MacDonald to make progress down the left and into the box before cutting the ball back for Bain.

The midfielder’s shot was well struck but was blocked by Scullion, hitting him flush in the face. The rebound came back to Watt who blasted the ball high over the top of goal from 10 yards out.

A high ball into the box in 65 minutes was missed by Adam and eventually fell to Lithgow who was unable to get good contact and direct the ball on target.

The visitors were taking confidence from Airdrie’s inability to finish them off the longer the margin stayed at one goal.

They began to have a go and press the home side back, and enjoyed a decent spell of pressure.

With 67 minutes gone, substitute Craig Johnston looked to trouble Parry with a low driven cross from the right but once again the keeper was equal to the delivery and took it cleanly.

Declan McDaid was proving to be the visitors' best forward. With 18 minutes left he drifted into the box and it took a timely challenge by Ferguson to send the ball away for a corner.

He followed that up a couple of minutes later when he struck a 20 yard effort directly at Parry who got behind the ball, although it struck his chest and Sean Crighton cleared the ball away for a corner.

His involvement continued when he looked to develop a threatening position inside the penalty area on 78 minutes, but he appeared to get too close to the goal line as he fired a powerful cross that raced across the goal face.

Two minutes later a high ball into the Cowdenbeath box was not defended well, but the clearance broke to full back David Ferguson who turned and fired the ball wide to the right of Adam’s goal.

The visitors were enjoying a lot of possession and even the defensive clearances were not proving effective as the ball was coming back at them. A foul for a high footed challenge on Hugo Faria was waved aside, with the Diamonds looking to move upfield.

Airdrieonians eventually ended any belief the visitors held with a minute remaining.

Moving the ball quickly upfield, substitute Dylan Mackin slid the ball wide left to Lister. The frontman cut back inside to find himself in line with the centre of the goals, sufficient incentive for the Diamonds centre forward to drill the ball low past Adam into the back of the net to guarantee all three points.

John O'Brien at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size

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