Saturday February 3, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Dale Carrick 40
An inspired goalkeeping performance kept the scoreline down as Airdrie got back to winning ways against Forfar Athletic.
Diamonds boss Stevie Findlay made four changes to the side which drew with Arbroath last week as the suspended Jordan McGregor dropped out while Jake Hastie, Sean McIntosh and Luke Watt settled for seats on the bench.
Chris O’Neil came in for his second Airdrie “debut” 18 months after leaving for Brechin City, and new signing Ross Brown was handed a start in the centre of midfield. Josh Edwards and Dean Cairns also returned to the starting lineup.
Dale Carrick and Darryl Duffy are certainly proving themselves to be a Diamond double act after just three games together. The link-up play between the pair provided a raft of chances but Airdrie came up against an outstanding performance from Loons keeper Marc McCallum.
After just five minutes, from a Scott Stewart knock on into the box Duffy made space to slide the ball across goal to Carrick, whose snap shot from ten yards was well blocked by McCallum.
From Ross Brown’s corner Dean Cairns sent a header in on goal only to see the ball cleared off the line.
The home side threatened on 11 minutes when a terrific angled ball into the box almost saw Ross MacIver race on to it inside the box until a timely diving interception by Rohan Ferguson saw him take the ball cleanly ahead of the striker.
Greg Hurst collected Murray MacKintosh’s cross in 20 minutes, turned away from his marker and drilled a low shot wide of the far post.
Three minutes later Cairns and O’Neil combined on the left, the cross into the box was controlled then volleyed for goal by Tom Fry and again McCallum reacted to make a sensational one-handed save.
After 27 minutes a free kick by Michael Travis was taken by Hurst and his shot was blocked by Ferguson.
On the half hour mark Fry collected a Josh Edwards ball outside the penalty box and fired in a curled shot that looked bound for the top right hand corner only to strike the crossbar and rebound to safety.
Five minutes of the half remained when Airdrie took the lead. Fry’s free kick into the box saw the ball headed on by Cairns to Duffy whose intelligent header back across goal allowed Carrick to nod the ball into the back of the net.
O’Neil attempted a long range effort two minutes later with McCallum catching the ball.
There was still time for Duffy to have a further couple of shots on goal to increase the advantage but McCallum was equal to them both and ensured the margin remained at one goal at the break.
Seven minutes into the second half, Carrick rose to head Duffy’s delivery toward goal only for McCallum to deny the striker again.
With an hour gone a long pass forward saw Duffy cushion the ball for Stewart who couldn’t keep his effort on target.
Airdrie were showing a disciplined approach as they closed down the opposition and restricted chances to grab an equaliser while continuing to go close at the other end.
Stewart’s through ball into the box in 67 minutes picked out Fry but his shot lacked the power of his first half effort and McCallum gathered easily.
Ferguson dealt with any chances for the home side in the closing 20 minutes, one from Russell Dingwall and a couple from substitute Mark Millar, while substitute Luke Watt forced McCallum into another low stop at his left post in stoppage time, ensuring the big keeper took the home side’s man of the match award.
For Airdrie though, the final whistle signalled a second win on the road, along with back to back shut outs for the first time this campaign.
Referee: Mr David Lowe
John O'Brien at Station Park
Photographs © Stuart Mathie. Click to view full size.
4. Munro ▊
5. Travis ▊
6. McNaughton 🔽 (45)
7. Easton 🔽 (81)
11. Maciver 🔽 (65)
12. Peters 🔼 (81)
14. Millar 🔼 (65)
16. Malone 🔼 (45)
3. Edwards 🔽 (73)
4. MacDonald ▊
8. R Brown 🔽 (81)
10. Carrick ⚽
11. Fry 🔽 (89)
12. Watt 🔼 (81)
14. McIntosh 🔼 (72)
15. Hastie 🔼 (89)
18. A Brown