Tuesday March 13, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Ryan Conroy 11 pen
Darryl Duffy 71
Kyle Turner 4 pen
Airdrie continued their impressive home record with an important win over Stranraer.
Ryan Conroy was making not only his first start for the Diamonds in 2018, but also making his mark, with Darryl Duffy scoring the goals for the third win of the season over Stranraer and gather an important three points.
Chris O’Neil, David Brownlie, Darryl Duffy and Tom Fry returned to the home side’s starting line up.
Despite enjoying some early possession, it was the visitors who took the lead with just three minutes on the clock. David Brownlie’s challenge on Stephen Okoh saw the striker go down and a spot kick awarded. Up stepped Kyle Turner to drill a low shot into Willie Muir’s left hand side and give Stranraer the lead.
Their advantage lasted eight minutes after Airdrie levelled in similar circumstances. Duffy was alert to the ball breaking into the box and a poor challenge from Scott Robertson saw the second penalty awarded. Conroy sent Stranraer keeper Currie the wrong way with his spot kick to square the match.
With both sides getting on the scoresheet early, a very open match prevailed in the first half, Scott Stewart firing a shot from inside the box after good link up play with striker Dale Carrick.
Grant Anderson stung the palms of Muir who pushed away his powerful angled volley after 20 minutes.
The Diamonds keeper reacted well three minutes later diving to collect a Morgyn Neill's head flick from Turner’s free kick.
Dan Higgins did well after he powered down the right touchline with six minutes of the half remaining.His cross into the penalty box was met by Carrick but the visiting keeper Currie had read the situation to take a decent catch.
Stewart had another good look at the Stranraer goal a minute later but repeated his earlier effort in the match sending the ball wide of the target.
A minute of the half remained when a sweeping move from the visitors took them the length of the park but they overran the ball inside the Airdrie penalty box.
In time added on Duffy tested Currie with a shot on target while Anderson was off target at the other end to send the sides in at the break all square.
Good linking play between Conroy and Kieran MacDonald took Airdrie up the field without delivering that threat in the final third as both sides turned the match into a highly contested midfield battle.
Carrick and Duffy combined in 54 minutes to set up Tom Fry on the edge of the box but he fired his shot high over Currie’s goal.
Carrick was unable to pick out Duffy with his cross in 57 minutes and after play raced to the other end Okoh fired wide of Muir’s goal from 20 yards out.
Muir, who was turning in a confident performance, saved a low drive from the dangerous Turner midway through the second half.
Good hold up play by Carrick saw the striker fouled 25 yards out on 70 minutes. Conroy sent his free kick over the wall and over the opposition crossbar.
Airdrie were rewarded for their patient build up when Dean Cairns's chipped pass on for Duffy allowed the striker to carry the ball away from his marker, race into the box then slide the ball beyond Currie and send the Diamonds in front with 19 minutes to play.
The visitors went close to conceding again in the 82nd minute. A high ball forward was headed up in the air by Stranraer’s Neill, who followed up by volleying the ball just wide of this own goal in an attempt to clear.
The visitors threw caution to the wins in the closing stages with Turner and Anderson failing to find the target from outside the box as the clock ticked down.
A succession of corners had the home fans on the edge of their seats until the additional six minutes of stoppage had passed.
With those sides below all collecting points the win moves Airdrieonians closer to mid-table safety.
Referee: Mr John McKendrick
John O'Brien at Excelsior Stadium
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.
7. Stewart 🔽 (65)
8. Conroy ⚽🔽 (79)
9. Duffy ⚽
10. Carrick 🔽 (90+1)
12. R Brown
14. McGregor 🔼 (90+1)
15. Hastie 🔼 (65)
16. Watt 🔼 (79)
6. Hawkshaw 🔽 (75)
11. Anderson ▊
16. Turner ⚽
23. Thomson 🔽 (26)
25. Dykes 🔽 (81)
10. Agnew 🔼 (26)
17. Elliott 🔼 (81)
20. Lyon 🔼 (75)