Saturday October 31, 2015
Ladbrokes League One
It was all square at New Broomfield in an entertaining Halloween derby as Ally Love cancelled out Bryan Prunty's opener.
Airdrieonians rang the changes with David Vanten, Caolan McAleer, Bryan Prunty and Nicky Cadden coming in for Kevin McBride, George Hunter, Taylor Morgan and Nicolas Šumský.
Albion Rovers went with the same side as the week before, when they took third place from their local rivals and there was the opportunity for Gary Bollan’s side to swap places with a home win.
In a match that was far removed from a dirty contest, there were five yellow cards dished out and a stoppage time red shown to Rovers' substitute John Gemmell, having been on the park less than ten minutes.
The match was a test of whether or not the two wide players McAleer and Cadden would be successful.
With only four minutes gone McAleer delivered a cross into the box that was comfortably taken by keeper Ross Stewart.
Rovers' first effort came in seven minutes after Andy Barrowman had a 20 yard shot blocked.
Gary Fisher also had a similar attempt blocked in 14 minutes while Ross Davidson was well off target with a 25 yard shot wide of goal to Parry’s right in 16 minutes.
On the 20 minute mark, good play from Cadden on the right was followed by a nice delivery in for Prunty who chested the ball back for David Cox on the edge of the box. Unfortunately his volley was straight at Stewart in the middle of his goal.
A strong 15 minute spell from the Diamonds pushed the visitors back.
They opened the scoring in 23 minutes, and both wingers were involved.
McAleer did well racing down the left then drilled a low powerful shot across the face of Rovers goal. Cadden collected the ball on the right then very quickly turned and delivered the ball to Prunty inside the box and he headed it powerfully into the net past Stewart.
In 33 minutes Cox was alert to some poor defensive play by Albion Rovers as keeper Stewart had come out of his goal. Cox sent a ball towards goal that was partially blocked by Stewart and although it was on target Ross Dunlop was on hand to usher the ball off the line and away from goal.
In 38 minutes Ross Davidson’s shot was deflected into the path of Barrowman but Parry was out sharply to smother the strikers attempt on goal.
Cadden went close to increasing Airdrie’s lead in 39 minutes when he cut inside then curled a left footed shot just over Stewart’s crossbar.
After Marc Fitzpatrick was adjudged to have fouled Paul Willis and a penalty awarded to Rovers, the spot kick from Willis was well saved by Parry but in similar circumstances to his stop at Brechin, Rovers' Ally Love was ahead of the Diamonds players and he sent the ball into the net.
Having snatched a lifeline before the break, the visitors embarked on a heavily weighted rearguard action.
On the hour mark a head flick on from Prunty sent Liam Watt through but his 25-yard shot was wide to the right of Stewart’s goal.
Love had an angled shot easily taken by Parry a minute later.
Ferry’s shot in 78 minutes was easily taken by Parry while Barrownman’s attempt a minute later was wide of goal.
The closing 10 minutes and stoppage time was dominated by Airdrie but they were unable to make that breakthrough or provide a finish to their build up play.
In 82 minutes Jordan Morton passed inside to Watt who raced into the box and as sight of the goal opened up, he tried to beat Stewart at the near post and was off target with his chance.
In 87 minutes Cox had a header saved by Stewart, Bain headed wide of the target in 89 minutes and finally in stoppage time, Morton did really well with a strong run, winning the ball on the edge of the box and in a repeat of Watt’s earlier shot, fired the ball to the near post and the ball went wide.
The red card for Gemmell, for lashing out at Fitzpatrick, was the last activity of the match.
Only a point gained, and the continued presence in the top four is laudable but Rovers remain above Airdrie in the table while we strive to improve our current form of one win in six matches.
John O'Brien at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.