Saturday May 6, 2017
Ladbrokes League One
Andy Ryan 41, 45
Iain Russell 54
Dario Zanatta 15
Kalvin Orsi 53
Airdrieonians sealed their play-off place after seeing off Queen's Park and finishing clear in third spot.
A double from top scorer Andy Ryan and a goal from Iain Russell earned a second win in succession to set up the match with Alloa Athletic.
With just six minutes gone the Diamonds had a great opportunity to open the scoring after a fine through ball by midfielder Ryan Conroy found Andy Ryan who held off his marker, but his angled effort was sent wide of the goal.
Kieran MacDonald was put in on goal on the left by Conroy but the full back’s shot was blocked by Muir then cleared upfield.
Two minutes later Queens were fired ahead after Dario Zanatta controlled the ball from headed clearance and hammered a 25-yard volley past Rohan Ferguson to give his side the lead.
Airdrie pushed for an equaliser with Ryan blazing a 23rd minute shot high over the goal and in 36 minutes Scott Stewart attempted to chip the ball over Muir after being put clear by Adam Brown, but the keeper was alert to push the ball away.
Queens had a great chance to double their advantage in 38 minutes but Kalvin Orsi blazed over a shot from inside the penalty area after being set up by Anton Brady.
Four minutes from the break Airdrie equalised. Kyle Hutton gathered the ball in the middle of the park and raced forward before picking a great ball for MacDonald. The ball back across goal was met by Ryan, who side footed past Muir.
A minute after the restart Ryan fired the home side in front, and grabbed top place in the League One goalscoring charts.
MacDonald combined with Brown and his deft ball in behind the Spiders defence saw the striker blast the ball high into the net.
Brown had a great chance for the third in 50 minutes after pressure from Iain Russell won the ball ahead of Muir. he passed to Ryan who squared the ball for Brown and his shot was sent well over the goal.
With 53 minutes gone the ball broke Orsi inside the box, and the St.Mirren loanee was able to turn and pass the ball into the net to square the match once more.
Airdrie’s reaction was immediate. A powerful run down the right a minute later by Stewart was followed by a great ball in to Russell who buried the ball past Muir.
Rohan Ferguson made a fine save from substitute Alistair Miller with 18 minutes left, while a Brady shot in stoppage time was wide of the goal just before the final whistle was blown.
The win was enough to see the Diamonds through to the play-off matches against Alloa Athletic, while Brechin City will square up to Raith Rovers in the other semi-final fixtures.
John O'Brien at New Broomfield.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size.