Saturday March 11, 2017
Ladbrokes League One
Ross Davidson 46
Ryan Wallace 61 Pen, 89
Jack Leitch 15
Andy Ryan 49
Iain Russell 76
Sean McIntosh 90+1
A last-gasp winner from Sean McIntosh gave the Diamonds all three points in a rollercoaster Monklands derby.
With Airdrie winning the final meeting of the season, the visitors on all four occasions have taken the spoils.
Three times Airdrie were in front and three times the home side levelled but there was no time for a comeback after the fourth went in the net.
Iain Russell’s sensational volley had looked to be the match winning goal, however it was substitute McIntosh’s final touch from a few yards out that was the decisive counter.
The seven goal fixture owed much more to the second half than the first 45 which were low on incident by comparison.
Striker Ross Stewart collected a ball fired into the box in 10 minutes, carried it wide to Rohan Ferguson’s left then watched defender Simon Mensing get back to the goal line to collect the striker’s effort before clearing the danger.
On the quarter of an hour mark, good build up play between Scott Stewart and Iain Russell led to Russell’s fine delivery into the box which saw Jack Leitch scoop the ball over keeper Ross Stewart to open the scoring.
Russell did well to create some space for himself on 21 minutes only to see his 20-yard effort saved by Stewart, while Leitch had a great opportunity in 38 minutes after Scott Stewart’s cross picked him out on the edge of the box but he fired his shot straight at the Rovers keeper.
The second half was only two minutes old when Rovers levelled. A Stewart cross into the box saw Ferguson come off his line and palm the ball out to former Diamond Ross Davidson who simply curled it back beyond the keeper into the goal for an equaliser.
Rovers almost went in front on 48 minutes but Davidson's effort hit the post.
Airdrie’s reaction was almost immediate, going back in front in 49 minutes. Andy Ryan held the ball up well then passed to Russell who was in support. Russell’s chipped pass into the box for Ryan allowed him to draw the Rovers keeper and send the ball into the net.
After a fine run by Ryan on 55 minutes he fired the ball across goal, but Jack McKay was unable to reach the delivery.
Rovers levelled for a second time on the hour. A cross from the right was only cleared as far as Gary Fisher, who picked up the loose ball and Stewart’s challenge on him saw a penalty awarded. Another ex-Diamond, Ryan Wallace, sent the spot kick past Ferguson.
With 14 minutes remaining Ryan Conroy’s free kick into the penalty box was headed clear to the edge of the area. It was pounced upon by Russell and having had two assists, his sensational 25-yard volley flew past Stewart, glancing the crossbar on the way into the net.
Airdrie had a penalty shout waved aside three minutes later after Reid appeared to palm the ball out of the box as he attempted to carry the ball clear.
Rovers were not finished, and Wallace raced on to a ball in behind the Diamonds back line to hammer a third equaliser into the net in the 89th minute.
A foul on Ryan in time added on saw Adam Brown’s free kick from the right put the Rovers defence under pressure and when the ball broke to Sean McIntosh the substitute sent the ball into the net in front of the visiting support to secure all three points.
Midfielder Kyle Hutton picked up a second yellow card on full-time, but it wasn't enough to stop the singing from a vocal Diamonds fans who were delighted to head home with the bragging rights.
John O'Brien at The Exsel Group Stadium.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size.