Saturday November 4, 2017
Ladbrokes League One
Craig Malcolm 41
A single Craig Malcolm goal consigned Airdrie to defeat in a tight match at Alloa.
Luke Watt replaced Dean Cairns in the Diamonds starting XI, the only change from the line-up which drew last weekend's Monklands derby.
The visitors got off to a fine start, Jake Hastie forcing a corner inside the first minute, but former Airdrie goalkeeper Neil Parry punched clear before Luke Watt fired over the bar.
Parry was quick off the mark after eight minutes, racing out of his area to clear with his head as Willis Furtado chased down a long ball.
Watt had started brightly, and a determined run on 13 minutes saw him engineer space to shoot, but his effort was just wide of the target.
Tom Fry should have opened the scoring three minutes later, MacDonald and Hastie combining down the left to leave the Welsh midfielder facing an open goal, but he couldn't connect cleanly with the driven cutback and the ball went harmlessly wide.
Alloa's first real chance came on 19 minutes, full back Scott Taggart volleying a corner towards goal but David Brownlie's touch took the sting out of the shot and Gourlay gathered with ease.
The Wasps were coming into the game, and Kieran MacDonald had to stretch to touch a through ball back to Gourlay on 22 minutes.
Furtado showed quick feet in the middle of the park just after the half-hour mark, spinning past two Alloa players before scooping a long ball towards Stewart, but Parry was alert to intercept.
With five minutes of the first half remaining, Jim Goodwin's men broke the deadlock. Towering defender Andy Graham nodded a fine corner kick delivery towards goal, and an unfortunate break of the ball saw the deflected effort land at the feet of striker Craig Malcolm, who couldn't miss from five yards out.
Airdrie started the second half in similar fashion to the first, winning a corner straight from kick off.
Seven minutes in Stewart went on a trademark run down the right, crossing to Fry who couldn't get his header on target.
Watt shot wide three minutes later, before a spell of Alloa pressure saw Robertson and Graham go close.
Stewart broke through the centre of the Wasps defence on 69 minutes, but Parry rushed out to block the shot.
Jordan Allan replaced Furtado as the half wore on, and his powerful effort from the edge of the box drew a good block from Parry.
As full-time approached and Airdrie pushed forward in search of an equaliser, Gourlay had to be in top form to prevent Alloa adding to their lead as they exploited the extra space.
PJ Crossan unleashed a powerful drive on 84 minutes, but the on-loan Dundee keeper somehow got a fingertip to the ball to touch it over the bar.
It looked to be all over as Alloa were awarded a penalty kick for a stoppage time trip in the box. Up stepped captain Andy Graham, but Gourlay made an impressive save to his right.
It wasn't enough to earn a point for the Diamonds, who will feel the tie could have gone their way on another day.
Referee: Mr Grant Irvine
Stuart Mathie at the Indodrill Stadium
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.
9. Malcolm ⚽ 🔽 (75)
10. Crossan 🔽 (90+1)
14. Martin 🔼 (90+1)
15. Renton 🔼 (75)
6. Watt 🔽 (78)
9. Furtado ▊ 🔽 (70)
11. Hastie 🔽 (78)
14. Allan 🔼 (70)
15. Tierney 🔼 (78)
18. Russell 🔼 (78)