Tuesday July 5, 2016
Airdrie's pre-season continued with a trip to face Spartans, but there were no goals to excite the travelling fans.
Defences came out on top in this Ainslie Park stalemate where neither side did enough to win the match.
It was certainly a case of there being little space to create anything in the final third and both keepers were rarely involved.
The hosts set up with two solid banks of four and the creativity to break that system down was not in evidence.
In fact the Lowland League side had a great opportunity 15 minutes from time to snatch a goal in the keenly fought contest.
With eight minutes played Ryan Conroy’s angled pass found John Higgins wide on the left and the full back’s cross was just beyond the trialist striker’s reach inside the box.
Airdrie’s passing saw them retain possession for long spells but the cutting edge was missing when the goal was within sight.
Ciaran Reilly's attempted overhead kick from the edge of the penalty box looped over the top of the net on the half-hour mark, after Conor McLaughlin had passed the ball through the middle to the striker.
Conroy’s cross in 32 minutes was just beyond Scott Thomson, although a five minute spell of pressure from the visitors that followed came to nothing.
A corner won by the home side was delivered under the crossbar and Rohan Ferguson tried to take the ball cleanly but it escaped from his grasp, although his quick reaction saw him gather the loose ball.
And the Diamonds keeper also reacted well on the stroke of half time, diving to his left to collect an overhead kick attempt on goal.
Around the interval five changes were made, and Airdrie went close to opening the scoring on 48 minutes when the trialist centre forward burst into the box though his low shot was blocked by the Spartans keeper.
Spartans went close in 56 minutes after the ball arrived from a back post cross, but their striker clipped his shot over the crossbar.
An excellent delivery in 64 minutes by Higgins saw McLaughlin race in, but the midfielder was unable to make contact with the ball.
With 15 minutes to play Spartans worked the ball into space and a threaded angled pass took out the Airdrie back linem however the home striker was still faced with Ferguson and could only blaze the ball high over the goal at the near post.
Robbie Leighton and Andy Ryan worked a quick short corner with eight minutes remaining and Ryan’s powerful strike was on target but punched away by the home keeper.
Ryan had a header on target two minutes later from Iain Russell’s cross but again home keeper Carswell was equal to the effort on goal.
Joe Gorman’s organisational skill and John Higgins ability to get up and down the right hand side and deliver some decent crosses led to very decent contributions throughout the match, as Kevin McBride tries to give as many players that chance to show their worth prior to the real competitive action just over ten days away.
John O'Brien at Ainslie Park.
Photographs © Stuart Mathie. Click to view full-size.