Saturday April 30, 2016

Ladbrokes League One

Ayr United

0-3

Airdrieonians

Lithgow 3
Mackin 10
Crighton 79

A top four spot wasn't to be for Airdrie, but the large travelling support had plenty to cheer with another excellent performance against Ayr United.

The Diamonds recorded a 3-0 victory over the League One runners up, turning on the style to end the season with three wins in a row.

The club went into the fixture knowing that their fate was not in their own hands and after 45 minutes of the match, everything was going nicely.

After just three minutes they pushed the home side back as central defender Gerry McLauchlan conceded a corner on the right.

Nicky Cadden’s delivery picked out Dylan Mackin who headed the ball for goal only to see it strike the post. As the rebound was not cleared, Alan Lithgow controlled the ball before drilling it past Greg Fleming into the net for an early opener.

Two minutes later Mackin and Jim Lister combined, with Mackin’s through ball just racing beyond Lister to keeper Fleming.

Nine minutes into the match, Neil Parry was down low to gather Alan Trouten’s effort from inside the box after the ball broke back to him from a floated free kick.

It was Airdrie who were to add to their lead a minute later. A long ball forward from deep in the visitor’s half was flicked on by Lister. Mackin gathered the ball then raced into the box before firing a terrific strike high into the net to double the lead, his finish displaying the confidence of a player on a run of scoring three important goals in a week.

With 24 minutes gone Mackin’s endeavour won a corner, with Sean Crighton rising to meet Cadden’s cross, but heading wide of the target.

On the 28 minute mark Crighton missed Cadden’s cross by a fraction, after rising well above the opposing defenders.

On the half hour a decent back post ball from Mackin was fired wide of goal. A long range effort from Lithgow was not much over the crossbar in first half stoppage time.
With both Stranraer and Albion Rovers’ matches goalless, the club sat in fourth spot at the interval.

The second half began with a double change, but anything the home side brought to the match was comfortably dealt with.

Scott Stewart was a real workhorse after the break, fetching and carrying the ball from defence and going on some decent runs upfield. He also chased down the short pass back to constantly put Ayr under pressure while providing a real threat.

In 62 minutes, a good run by Stewart down the right was followed up by a decent cross from the wing. Unfortunately Mackin was unable to make good contact on the ball.

In 69 minutes Stewart made an excellent interception and carried the ball to the edge of the box, before blasting an angled shot wide of the target.

With 75 minutes played yet another good run took the midfielder to the edge of the box, squaring the ball into the path of Marc Fitzpatrick whose curled 20-yard shot was marginally over the goal.

A third goal was coming and Stewart was the architect after he set the ball up for Cadden and his curled shot struck the crossbar before coming back out. Crighton was quick to react and after gathering the ball he turned and fired the ball past Fleming to seal the points.

Even though the team had missed out on fourth spot, their performance was worthy of well received appreciation from the travelling support.

John O'Brien at Somerset Park.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.

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