Saturday October 24, 2015
Ladbrokes League One
Airdrie's up-and-down form continued in the North East as Peterhead's top scorer Rory McAllister put the Diamonds to the sword.
Boss Gary Bollan welcomed David Cox back from suspension while the hosts started Jamie Stevenson, with fellow ex-Airdrie midfielder Nathan Blockley among the substitutes.
Cox's passion threatened to boil over again as early as the first minute, when referee Alan Newlands showed the ex-Peterhead man a yellow card for an over-exuberant challenge.
Jim McInally's Blue Toon were the first to get a sight of goal, with in-form hitman McAllister screwing an effort wide from six yards.
Jordon Brown was next to threaten for the home side, but Airdrie keeper Neil Parry was equal to his fourth minute effort from the edge of the box.
With Ayr and Dunfermline taking early leads, the pressure was on the visitors to keep up with the top two, but Peterhead were getting the best of the opening exchanges, Stevenson trying his luck from distance but seeing his left-footed effort go wide.
In a game that was becoming bogged down by free kicks in midfield, McAllister went close after 14 minutes, but his close-range header was just wide of Parry's left hand post.
McAllister looked in the mood for Peterhead, and saw another attempt go wide as the half-hour mark approached.
On 31 minutes George Hunter was quick off the mark to intercept a loose backpass, but goalkeeper Graeme Smith was out smartly. The St Johnstone loanee went down amid penalty shouts from the away crowd, but referee Newlands was unimpressed.
The Diamonds were coming into the match, and Nicolas Šumský's 35th minute free kick picked out Sean Crighton, who nodded the ball toward fellow centre-back Alan Lithgow. The defender was first to the cutback, but his close-range header hit the underside of the bar.
Lithgow went close again four minutes later, rising to power a header at goal from Šumský's corner, but Smith made a point blank save to deny the big defender his first Airdrie goal.
Three minutes from the break McAllister broke the deadlock.
A solo run aided by some slack defending saw the former Brechin frontman fire home a left-footed effort from just outside the penalty area.
Blockley, who had replaced Stevenson on the half-hour mark, almost doubled the lead only a minute later, his 20-yard strike drifting just wide of Parry's goal.
McAllister was clearly playing with confidence, and he tested Parry straight from the second-half kick-off. The Diamonds goalie did well to tip the drive over the crossbar with his vision obscured by strong sunlight.
Taylor Morgan tried to hit back after 50 minutes, but his effort from the right was parried by Smith and Scott Ross beat Šumský to the rebound to clear for a corner.
Parry was in action again, making a smart stop from Brown's half-volley on 53 minutes before plucking a curling, netbound effort out of the air ten minutes later.
Bryan Prunty replaced Šumský with 20 minutes later, and the forward was quick to test Smith with a header, but the big keeper was equal to it.
Peterhead had also brought on a striker in the shape of Leighton McIntosh, who replaced the injured Nicky Reilly, and it was he who doubled the Blue Toon's advantage with ten minutes to play.
Cameron Kerr's shot was kept out by Parry, but the former Dundee man reacted quickest to fire the loose ball high into the net.
Morgan had a late chance to pull one back for the Diamonds, but his snapshot from outside the penalty area was just over the bar.
The result, coupled with Albion Rovers win at Brechin, means Airdrie slip down to fourth in League One with Monklands neighbours Rovers leapfrogging them into third ahead of next Saturday's derby match.
Stuart Mathie, with thanks to David Hendrie at Balmoor Stadium.