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Sunday December 10, 2017

Ladbrokes League One

Raith Rovers

Jake Hastie 23

Cammy Russell 38

Greig Spence 22

Jonathan Court 90+1

A strong performance against front-runners Raith warmed the frozen Diamonds faithful, but the Kirkcaldy men snatched a late draw.


It took a stoppage-time goal to earn Rovers, League One's early leaders for much of the season, a point.


The Starks Park side certainly had the bulk of the second half possession but Rohan Ferguson was not called upon to any great extent after the interval.


First-half goals by two 19-year-olds, Jake Hastie and Cammy Russell, had turned the match around in favour of the Diamonds, only to be denied victory in the closing stages. 


The visitors were first to threaten in the opening two minutes from a corner with a header going wide at the near post.


Lewis Vaughan’s cross took a deflection, then struck Jason Thomson with the ball hitting the outside of the post.


With five minutes on the clock Dario Zanatta fired the ball across the face of the Airdrie goal with no one making a run for the delivery. 

Airdrie’s first chance came in seven minutes. A break forward by Jake Hastie was followed by a pass to Luke Watt and his shot was well over Graeme Smith's goal.


Hastie’s pace almost took him on to Josh Edwards' pass ahead of keeper Smith in 13 minutes but unfortunately the ball came back off him and went wide.


A minute later Hastie’s cross from Kieran MacDonald’s pass was almost put into his own net by Jamie Watson before being cleared away.


Scott Stewart missed a great chance to break the deadlock on 19 minutes after Edwards and MacDonald linked well down the left, with the full back’s cross racing across the penalty box and the inrushing Diamonds skipper firing wide to the right of Smith’s goal.


Luke Watt had a couple of long range shots blocked as the home side pressed the visitors back.


Greig Spence ran in behind Jordan McGregor on 21 minutes firing from an angle with Rohan Ferguson pushing the ball out.


A minute later Vaughan picked up a quickly taken throw and slipped the ball in for Spence who had kept onside. This time the former Alloa hitman made no mistake to put his side in front against the run of play.


Airdrie reacted quickly to level matters in 24 minutes. Watt’s chipped pass beyond the Rovers backline was volleyed back across goal by Stewart and Hastie raced in to lash the ball high into the net for the equaliser.


After 38 minutes the Diamonds had bagged their second goal against statistically the best defence in the league. 17-year-old Edwards made a great run forward and laid the ball off for Hastie who cut inside and fired in a low shot. Keeper Smith made the save but was unable to hold the ball and Cammy Russell raced in to send the ball into the net from a tight angle.


Raith were unable to get back on terms before the break. 


After a foul on Russell in 57 minute MacDonald stepped up and sent a 30-yard free kick high well over the Raith goal.


The visitors were looking short of ideas as to how to break through the home side’s well drilled defence while Airdrie also were unable to provide much of a threat in the final third.


Rovers boss Barry Smith made changes hoping more opportunities would come.


A quarter of an hour remained when Lewis Vaughan clipped a 25-yard free kick around the Airdrie wall and only just wide of Ferguson’s goal.


With eight minutes remaining the hard working Willis Furtado did well on the break and saw his 20 yard shot on target until it was deflected by Euan Murray over his side’s goal.


Two minutes later Vaughan was given another dead-ball opportunity from the same range, but this time his effort was well over the crossbar. 

Cammy Russell received a well-earned thanks from the supporters as he was replaced by Tom Fry in the 90th minutes.


Then in the first minute of stoppage time a hopeful ball into the box Thomson saw a lucky deflection past Ferguson give the visitors a very fortunate draw.

The relative positions of the sides make it a decent point for Airdrie to follow on from the Forfar win, but the nature of the equaliser saw the Diamonds fans leaving disappointed not to have taken all three.


Referee: Mr Don Robertson

Attendance: 450

John O'Brien at Excelsior Stadium.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.


1. Ferguson

2. Brownlie

3. MacDonald

4. McGregor 

5. Watt

6. Edwards  🔽 (80)

7. Stewart

8. Cairns

9. Russell ⚽ 🔽 (90)

10. Hastie ⚽

11. Furtado

12. Brown

14. Fry 🔼 (90)

15. McIntosh 🔼 (80)

16. Allan

17. Mason

18. Higgins

19. Leighton

Raith Rovers

1. Smith

2. Thomson

3. Watson  

5. Murray

18. McKay

8. Robertson

10. Vaughan

12. Matthews 🔽 (50)

19. Zanatta

7. Spence ⚽ 🔽 (70)

9. Buchanan

6. Berry

11. Barr 🔼 (59) 

14. Davidson

15. Osei-Opoku

16. Court 🔼 (70) ⚽

17. Lennox 

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