Saturday March 10, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Chris Duggan 13
Kyle Wilkie 90+2
Dan Higgins 32
A stoppage time East Fife winner saw Airdrie lose a match they had dominated for long spells.
Manager Steve Findlay rang the changes from the side that lost at Ayr. In came Willie Muir and Dan Higgins for their first starts with the Club. They were joined by Josh Edwards, Adam Brown and Cammy Russell.
Rohan Ferguson, Chris O’Neil, David Brownlie, Darryl Duffy and Tom Fry were all taking a place on a very experienced bench joined by the returning Ryan Conroy, having only just signed a two-year contract extension.
As the match got underway the Diamonds had the benefit of the wind at their backs.
As they probed for an opening through the retreating East Fife rearguard, Airdrie were enjoying a lot of possession.
With nine minutes gone Daniel Higgins fired a long range effort high over keeper Ben Mackenzie’s goal.
With their first attack on 13 minutes the home side opened the scoring. A ball in from the left was not cleared effectively and as it bounced high in the air Chris Duggan reacted quickest to send the ball into the net with an overhead kick.
Airdrie reacted and pushed for an equaliser. A fine run by Scott Stewart after quarter of an hour saw him weave his way into the box then fire an angled shot that was well defended with the ball cleared away.
Higgins was almost on the end of an 18th minute Dean Cairns cross from the right into the penalty box but just could not make good contact with the ball.
Dale Carrick was next up after picking up a loose ball in 20 minutes but the striker sent his 20 yard shot over the top.
Adam Brown sent a free kick from similar distance over the goal three minutes later.
Goalscorer Duggan created some space for himself on 28 minutes and forced Muir to push his 25 yard strike over his goal for a corner, from which Duggan threatened again but the danger was cleared away.
Good play from Cammy Russell won a corner on the right. His curling corner went beyond the group in front of goal and reached Higgins at the back post. His control was instant before powering an angled volley into the net to square matters.
Ross Brown was looking to add to that goal after 36 minutes after setting himself up around 30 yards out but his attempt was blocked and deflected for a corner which came to nothing.
Two minutes later Carrick reacted quickly inside the box to send in a glancing header from Kieran MacDonald’s cross, but keeper Mackenzie took the ball cleanly.
Carrick had another effort before the break again taken by the keeper, and the sides went in at the break level.
The opening five minutes after the interval saw chances at both ends as Carrick's decent run to the left was finished with an angled shot that rippled the side netting, while Connor McManus tested Muir from 25 yards with the keeper making the save.
Duggan curled a decent effort just wide of the goal frame in 61 minutes while McManus had an attempt just wide of the Airdrie goal ten minutes later.
The Diamonds then enjoyed a terrific spell of pressure without making it count. With 15 minutes remaining Darryl Duffy reacted to a ball into the box and only a goal line headed clearance by Johnathan Page denied the on-loan striker of a goal.
Two minutes later a cross into the box in front of goal by Carrick was cleared away anxiously for a corner.
MacDonald and Hastie were combining regularly down the left but the final ball continually allowed the home side to cover back.
Carrick went close nine minutes from time but could only send his 20 yard shot wide of Mackenzie's goal.
With two minutes left Cairns superb angled pass picked out MacDonald wide on the left, but his fine run was ended with a shot that lacked the power to fully test MacKenzie.
Against the run of play the Fifers were awarded a corner in stoppage time. A near post delivery by Mark Lamont took a deflection into the net off Kyle Wilkie to leave the Diamonds unrewarded for all their efforts and without a win in the four meetings this season.
Referee: Mr Grant Irvine
John O'Brien at Locality Hub Bayview Stadium.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.
5. Page ▊
6. Watson ▊
8. Slattery 🔽(62)
15. Millar 🔽(80)
9. Duggan ⚽
20. Knox 🔽(62)
7. Lamont 🔼(62)
10. Smith 🔼(62)
11. Wilkie 🔼(80) ⚽
2. Higgins ⚽
6. Edwards 🔽(73)
8. R Brown 🔽(67)
11. A Brown 🔽(67)
12. Conroy 🔼(67)
14. Duffy 🔼(73)
19. Hastie 🔼(67)