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Saturday November 19, 2016

Ladbrokes League One





Jim Goodwin 30 OG
Andy Ryan 45+2

Alloa Athletic

Scott Taggart 67


It was a bad day for Goodwin, but a good win for Airdrie as the Diamonds made it five consecutive victories.

The New Broomfield men continued their impressive run of form by beating fellow promotion contenders Alloa for the second time this season. The Diamonds have now pushed themselves into second top spot, their highest of the season.

The match started at a high tempo and saw some meaty challenges made and quite a few go unpunished.

Jack Leitch though was booked inside the first minute for his mistimed tackle.

With three minutes gone Leitch’s through ball for Iain Russell was just over hit as he tried to play him in on goal.

Russell made a great run into the box in six minutes which led to him cutting wide to the left. Alloa's former Airdrie keeper Neil Parry caught the striker, but he tried to retain his balance with the ball running over the bye-line, while any penalty claim was to be dismissed.

Another ex-Diamond, Jordan Kirkpatrick, was proving to be the visitor’s main threat. He made space on the left before firing a dangerous ball across the Airdrie goal in nine minutes, then he turned on the edge of the box on 17 minutes from Scott Taggart’s quick free kick before firing the ball over the top of Rohan Ferguson’s goal.

Ferguson was also on the spot in 19 minutes to gather Iain Flannigan’s angled shot with ease.

Andy Ryan was frequently on the end of some heavy challenges from player/manager Jim Goodwin and one such challenge led to an opportunity on the edge of the box in 26 minutes with Adam Brown curling a 20-yard free kick over the wall but safely into Parry’s hands.

Two minutes later Goodwin was booked for going through Russell with a bad challenge.

On the half hour things got even worse for the Alloa gaffer as a poor piece of play by Andrew Graham gave Russell the chance to race forward then deliver a pass wide right for Ryan who made further ground then drilled a tempting ball across the face of the Alloa goal. Goodwin was only able to send the ball into the net.

With 35 minutes gone a high ball saw Goodwin challenge with Ryan. As Marc Fitzpatrick went for the ball in the middle of the park he tripped over the grounded Goodwin with the Airdrie skipper stretchered off.

Calum Waters was booked five minutes from the interval after a poorly timed challenge on Scott Stewart.

In 42 minutes, Kirkpatrick fired a decent shot on target after good build up, but Ferguson turned the ball away for a corner. The keeper was having a fine game and pushed a dangerous angled shot by Scott Taggart over the crossbar then followed up on the delivery from the resultant corner by punching the ball out of the box.

It was Airdrie who were to add to the scoreline and they did so in time added on. Brown showed electric pace as he raced on to a loose ball inside the Alloa half. A run forward was followed by a terrific delivery into the box and Ryan met the ball immediately to send it past Parry for a second goal and the striker’s tenth of the campaign.

The second half was only seven minutes old when another poor Goodwin challenge saw him receive a second yellow and head for the changing room.

Alloa started to go for it despite their disadvantage. Only a superb challenge by Daniel Boateng in 56 minutes stopped Greig Spence from having a clear run on goal.

A minute later Ferguson turned another Kirkpatrick effort away for a corner.

Ryan Conroy’s free kick in 62 minutes saw Boateng flick the ball just wide to the right of Parry’s goal.

Alloa reduced the deficit in 67 minutes as their full backs delivered a wonderful goal. Waters raced down the left then sent over a far post cross with Taggart volleying the ball powerfully into the net.

The loss of the goal spurred Airdrie into action and in 75 minutes Russell’s knock on to Brown gave him time to fire over a great ball across the Alloa goal that had no takers.

Two minutes later a terrific pass from Brown picked out Russell inside the box and his first shot was saved by Parry with Russell stumbling to knock the rebound away.

Brown put a great ball in for Ryan with eight minutes remaining but he fired the ball over the top of Parry’s goal.

Russell then set up Brown on the edge of the box and his 20-yard shot looked netbound until Parry made a fine save pushing the ball over his goal.

Airdrie got even closer to their third goal when Joe Gorman rose to head the ball for goal with five minutes remaining, but Parry pushed the ball against a post before the ball was cleared upfield.

In the end there was no need for that third goal. The win was the second of a trio of match ups against the other top three clubs with league leaders Livingston visiting next week on cup business.

John O'Brien at New Broomfield.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size.

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