Monday January 2, 2017
Ladbrokes League One
Adam Brown 24
Steven Boyd 15, 44
A stunner from Adam Brown wasn't enough to secure the three points as Albion Rovers won the first Monklands derby of 2017.
Jack Leitch and Scott Stewart were missing through illness giving U20s captain Dean Cairns a chance to shine in the first team, while Kyle Hutton was suspended. New loan signing Jack McKay started up front.
The Diamonds had the first look at goal when Adam Brown fired a 20-yard free kick over the bar in six minutes.
Rovers retaliated when a Scott McBride corner flashed across goal on 12 minutes however the danger was cleared.
After quarter of an hour the visitors took the lead after a long ball forward was missed by Joe Gorman and Steven Boyd made the most of his opportunity by firing the ball low past Rohan Ferguson.
The lead lasted only eight minutes after Brown gathered a pass inside on the left from Ryan Conroy before hammering a wonderful curling shot high into the right hand corner of the net to equalise.
Airdrie enjoyed their best spell of the match with good interplay across the park eventually seeing Kieran MacDonald send over a dangerous cross in the 28th minute that was eventually cleared, while Andy Ryan went close to giving the home side the lead in 34 minutes after Brown’s pass to Iain Russell was crossed for Ryan to head just past the target.
Ryan picked a great ball with a cross in 40 minutes from the left and Russell’s shot was netbound only for Rovers keeper Ross Stewart make a superb stop pushing the ball into the air then punching it away before the danger was cleared.
Against the run of play Rovers took the lead almost on half time. Sean McIntosh was beaten on the left by former Diamond Ross Davidson and his cross into the box saw Boyd race between Gorman and Daniel Boateng and slide the ball into the net for a 2-1 interval lead.
Six minutes after the restart Ryan forced keeper Stewart into a decent save as he turned the ball away for a corner from the striker’s 20-yard effort.
Brown was off target from a 64th minute free kick from 25 yards out while Russell went closer still to equalising two minutes later only to see his attempt cleared off the line.
As the match wore on the stuffy Rovers defence were managing to frustrate the Diamonds time and again.
In the final minutes Airdrie went close to scoring on two occasions. Brown made space for himself in 89 minutes and again Stewart dived low to his right to push the ball away for a corner, while the keeper also made another fine save from a Ryan Conroy free kick as it looked bound for the top left corner of the net.
Perhaps not the result Airdrie deserved on balance of chances, but with only four days until a trip to Hampden to face Queen's Park, the Diamonds have an early opportunity to get back on track.
John O'Brien at New Broomfield.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size.