Saturday December 19, 2015
Ladbrokes League One
Spence 45, 70
Airdrie were unable to provide any festive cheer after being well beaten by Cowdenbeath.
The contest was all going to come down to which side best managed the other factors.
On a very heavy pitch coupled with a swirling wind to contend with, Cowdenbeath proved they were much more able to manage the conditions and were to gain payback for the September defeat by Gary Bollan’s side.
The Diamonds have now gone over three months since they were able to record back to back league wins.
The Blue Brazil had the ball in the net in the first minute, with Greig Spence ‘s effort being called back for offside.
Three minutes later Declan Hughes headed the ball over the crossbar from Liam Callaghan’s corner.
Bryan Prunty headed the ball straight at keeper Jamie Spence in six minutes after Taylor Morgan had made the most of Pat Scullion’s slip to deliver a cross from just inside the penalty box on the right.
Alan Lithgow won a challenge in the middle of the park in 16 minutes before picking a pass for Prunty and his 20-yard effort was deflected for a corner.
Prunty’s neat backheel in the 21st minute released Nicky Cadden down the left, although after making headway into the box his angled cross fizzed across the face of goal, with David Cox coming in at the back post able to get a shot away, but his effort was blocked and cleared.
The home side were enjoying decent possession, but lacking threat in the final third of the field.
A chance came for the Diamonds as ten minutes of the half remained, but Liam Watt’s free kick was curled into the box and was taken easily by Spence.
The keeper was not being fully tested, despite his not being fit due to an inability to kick the ball at goal kicks or from hand.
The visiting fans were stunned when almost on the half-time whistle, Cowdenbeath took the lead.
Dean Brett carved out some space for himself on the right before sending over a perfect delivery for Spence to head home from inside the 6-yard box.
The half-time advantage allowed the home side to restart on the front foot without looking likely to add to their lead.
Cadden fired a free kick high over the goal in 51 minutes, while six minutes later Watt got on the end of Morgan’s knockdown but shot straight at Sneddon.
On the hour mark Andy Murdoch blasted a thirty yard screamer of a shot well out of Neil Parry’s reach, to increase Cowdenbeath’s lead.
Any outside hope that remained for the Diamonds went with 20 minutes of the match remaining.
A mistake by David Van Zanten allowed Spence the chance to run in on goal from the right and the striker hammered the ball past Parry into the net to round of the scoring.
Jim Lister was at least able to have a good 20 minutes as he targets a return to full fitness.
Three league matches inside an eight day spell now loom high on the team’s horizon and some consistency will be needed to take as many points as possible, before the year end and a new year begins.
John O'Brien at Central Park.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.