Saturday April 14, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Adam Brown 32
Tom Fry 88
With their league position confirmed a week ago, the small matter of a Monklands derby was the first of Airdrie’s three remaining fixtures towards the end of the campaign.
Manager Stevie Findlay was so restricted in his selection options that only four substitutes were listed. Five of the side that started against Ayr United were missing because of injuries and suspension. Inevitably, having had to make so many changes to the starting line-up saw a lack of fluency initially in the home side’s play.
Rohan Ferguson was alert to make a smart save in six minutes from a Joao Victoria shot after the striker got in behind the home defence.
Ryan Conroy tried a long range shot from a free kick that Rovers keeper Kieran Wright gathered comfortably with 18 minutes gone.
Three minutes later Victoria’s pass into the box found top scorer Alan Trouten who put the ball in the net only to see an offside flag.
Airdrie opened the scoring with 32 minutes gone. After beating the offside trap, Cammy Russell’s run then pass back into the box found Adam Brown. He controlled the ball before firing low across keeper Kieran Wright and into the far corner of the net.
David Brownlie picked up a knock minutes from the break but returned after treatment. The first half had been very stop-start but the Diamonds held the lead at the break.
The first 20 minutes of the second half saw little threat from either side with Airdrie content with their advantage and Rovers lacking a spark to break them down.
The arrival of former Diamonds loanee Conor Scullion in 68 minutes provided Rovers with something different.
In 71 minutes he slipped in between two markers then into the box before his shot was blocked by Brownlie then cleared.
Four minutes later Scullion carried a ball into the box to a central position and again Brownlie’s deflection saw the ball go narrowly past the goal for a corner kick which was wasted.
As Rovers continued to press, Scott Maclean’s 79th minute cross from the right saw Ryan Watters head the ball against the inside of the post with the home defence reacting quickly to clear the threat.
Dale Carrick met an Adam Brown cross inside the penalty area a minute later but keeper Wright was on hand to gather the ball.
Airdrie were playing well on the counter attack and Jake Hastie’s running power took him beyond the Rovers defence, then into the box but his powerful effort on 84 minutes was pushed out by Wright to keep his side in the match.
As play moved to the Airdrie box in 86 minutes a chipped pass by Scullion saw Trouten almost on the end of the through pass until some excellent defending by Josh Edwards sent the ball away from goal with a timely challenge.
Two minutes from time following a Rovers corner, Airdrie took possession of the ball just inside their own half and broke in numbers with Jake Hastie leading the charge and hurdling the attempts to halt his progress. He raced almost half the length of the pitch, then fired the ball across the face of the Rovers goal. Substitute Tom Fry had also made that run up the field and was on hand to send the ball into the net from six yards out for the second goal to seal the points.
Referee: Mr Mike Roncone
John O'Brien at Excelsior Stadium
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.
6. R Brown
8. Conroy 🔽 (77)
11. A Brown ⚽
12. Fry 🔼 (77) ▊ ⚽
5. Baur ▊
6. Davidson ▊
7. Fisher 🔽 (68)
8. McLeish 🔽 (58)
10. Victoria 🔽 (58)
15. Gallagher 🔼 (58) ▊
18. Watters 🔼 (68)
19. Scullion 🔼 (68)