Saturday March 26, 2016
Ladbrokes League One
A wonderful goal from Marc Fitzpatrick was not enough to see Airdrieonians win the final Monklands derby of the season.
A point apiece was probably the best outcome for fourth placed Stranraer rather than the Diamonds or Rovers.
Albion Rovers enjoyed the better of the first half.
Ally Love’s second minute 20-yard volley flew high over Neil Parry’s goal while Nicky Cadden fired wide to the right of Ross Stewart’s goal in eight minutes after being played in by Jim Lister.
Parry was comfortably dealing with anything coming at his goal although Gary Fisher’s free kick just before the interval fizzed by the keeper’s left post.
In the second half Parry once again made a super save when Rovers could have opened the scoring in 51 minutes.
Love robbed Alan Lithgow then after getting into the box squared the ball to Paul Archibald whose shot was well blocked by Parry.
Airdrie took full advantage following a good spell of possession and took the lead four minutes later through a superb piece of play by Fitzpatrick who made space for himself 25 yards out, shifted the ball from left foot to right then hit a 25 curling yard strike into the net that gave Stewart no chance.
The home side played with more freedom after taking the lead, but their good passing play was nullified by a stuffy Albion back four.
On 71 minutes the Diamonds' goalscorer went close to adding a second when he headed Cadden’s cross from a corner for goal though this time Stewart collected the ball neatly.
Rovers came back to level ten minutes from time after Archibald's low cross into the box was met by Love to put the ball past Parry for honours even.
As it was in the last New Broomfield meeting, a 1-1 draw and a share of the spoils. The Diamonds are unbeaten against their neighbours this season, and the sides remain deadlocked on 39 points as the play-off race draws to a conclusion.
Airdrie now face a crucial trip to Stranraer, who currently occupy fourth place. The Blues went down 2-1 to Ayr United but an away win next weekend would see the Diamonds overtake Brian Reid's men on goal difference with a game in hand.
John O'Brien at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.