Saturday November 14, 2015
Ladbrokes League One
Airdrie remain in third place in League One, but it was a bad day at the office as the Diamonds went down to Dunfermline.
With only one win in their last five home matches, the performances at Excelsior Stadium are in need of significant improvement if the expectation of a play off spot is to be met this season.
While there have been some moments of inspiration while suffering the loss of points when hosting the league meetings, there was very little to be pleased about in this defeat.
From the moment Dunfermline took the lead early on, the Diamonds never looked likely to extend that run beyond their four successive matches unbeaten against their opponents.
It was former Diamond Ryan Wallace who returned to provide the ammunition for the two Dunfermline goals that separated the sides at the end.
His delivery into the penalty area picked out Rhys McCabe in line with the front post, who flicked the ball on and Michael Moffat stooped low at the far post to head it past Neil Parry into the net for the opening goal.
Airdrie failed to get a shot on target in the first half with their one real moment of inspiration coming in 12 minutes after an excellent run by Nicky Cadden down the left took him to the line with his drilled cross just racing across the face of goal, while David Cox was so close to making contact with the ball as he powered in to the penalty area.
Dunfermline were controlling the game but saw efforts from Wallace and El-Bakhtoui well wide of the target, though a 25 yard angled effort by Paton two minutes from the break was well taken by Parry.
Nine minutes into the second half, substitute Shaun Byrne was provided with the chance for early involvement.
Wallace was once again involved in the build up as he weaved his way into the box on the right, before picking out Byrne in front of goal and he wasted little time in hammering the ball past Parry who had no chance with the shot.
Two minutes later the Airdrie keeper made a decent save from Moffat.
Cox then clipped a shot wide of goal in 65 minutes and a minute later after decent play, provided a possible goalscoring opportunity chance. Liam Watt’s attempt was on target but blocked by the visitors' strong defending.
Parry was working hard to ensure that Dunfermline were unable to add to their lead, saving from Wallace on 65 minutes, collecting a dangerous cross by El-Bakhtoui and pushing Byrne’s shot from inside the box over the crossbar, with both coming in the closing 10 minutes.
An injury to Marc Fitzpatrick added to what proved to be an extremely disappointing day for Airdrieonians.
John O'Brien at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.