Saturday September 12, 2015
Ladbrokes League One
M.Dunlop OG 19
Taylor Morgan and David Cox were the Diamonds' derby-day strike stars as bragging rights went back to Airdrie.
Airdrie travelled to Cliftonhill for their first visit since March 2012 when the clubs were in the same division and the Diamonds made the play-offs.
Rovers fans were mindful of last season’s Petrofac cup success, but goalkeeper Neil Parry moved to the Diamonds in the close season and they let him know their feelings on that decision throughout the match.
After a tentative start by both sides, the match came alive in the seventh minute. Some neat passing just outside the Airdrie penalty box eventually led to the ball running to Paul Willis. His sweet shot from the edge of the box was netbound, but Parry dived high to his right and pushed the ball over his crossbar for a corner.
Four minutes later a needless foul in the middle of the park on George Hunter saw Airdrie break the deadlock.
Hunter picked himself up and curled a pinpoint pass in to the box. The ball was well controlled by Taylor Morgan who took a touch to steer the ball away from goalkeeper Ross Stewart then slid the ball into the open goal.
With 17 minutes gone Parry was fortunate with a clearance which struck Ally Love, but he reacted quickly to punt the ball away from danger.
Another unnecessary free kick in 18 minutes, given away by a robust Rovers challenge, saw Liam Watt deliver a free kick into the penalty area. Morgan rose to challenge the aerial cross but failed to connect, and the loose ball was headed past his own goalkeeper by Mick Dunlop to provide the Diamonds with a two goal lead.
Rovers then enjoyed their best spell in the match. With 22 minutes gone some good passing play from the left wing across the 18 yard line left the visitors' goal exposed on the right hand side as the ball reached Alan Reid. The full-back’s low driven shot fizzed in front of Parry, but went wide at his far post.
In 29 minutes Parry failed to hold a delivery from a corner and was happy to see his defenders help out and clear the danger.
Adam Brown struck a low shot in 31 minutes which Stewart gathered comfortably.
Rovers were the more dangerous side at this stage, overpowering Airdrie’s midfield and providing dangerous cross through their wide play.
Watt’s effort in 37 minutes lacked power and was easily collected by Stewart.
Five minutes from the interval, after a similar build up to a previous effort, the ball was switched to Willis on the right, who on this occasion sent an angled effort that struck Parry’s post before being cleared.
Gary Bollan made a half-time switch, with Marc Fitzpatrick replacing Brown, presumably to add a physical presence.
A minute into the second half Albion Rovers were given a lifeline after Andy Barrowman found Darren Young and the player-manager took advantage of poor marking to fire the loose ball high into the net.
A speculative Jamie Bain effort saw Stewart backtracking and taking the ball, but colliding with the goal frame and as Hunter tried to move in for the finish, the ball was cleared.
David Cox served notice of his intentions when he fired a 30 yard shot that was set to find the postage stamp corner, only for keeper Stewart to react with a wonderful save, turning the ball over the top of goal.
Cox then restored the two goal advantage in 67 minutes, drilling the ball low from 20 yards past Stewart at his right post after receiving Marc Fitzpatrick’s pass.
In the remaining period the Diamonds had opportunities to add to their tally but wrong decisions or misplaced passes ensured there was no further scoring, while Parry would have been happy to dive low in stoppage time to save John Gemmell’s final effort of the match.
The derby win gives Airdrie four wins in a row and a really positive start to the campaign.
John O'Brien at Cliftonhill Stadium.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.