Saturday April 21, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Danny Denholm 28
Colin Hamilton 58
The Diamonds' away league days ended as they began back in August, with a defeat in Angus.
Forfar Athletic beat Airdrie at Station Park back at the start of the league campaign and this time it was in Arbroath, who go forward to the play-off contest.
Thanks to some inspired goalkeeping from Rohan Ferguson, there was to be no repeat of their last trip to Gayfield - a 7-1 defeat six months ago to the day - but the home side were in in control throughout the game.
With three minutes played Danny Denholm fired a 20-yard angled effort wide to the left of Rohan Ferguson’s goal.
Two minutes later Ryan Wallace sent his shot wide of the target after spinning on the 18-yard line.
With ten minutes gone Cammy Russell’s cross from the left was headed back by Adam Brown to Ryan Conroy who sent in a curling shot that keeper David Hutton turned away from goal.
Ferguson did well to narrow the angle in 13 minutes after Michael McKenna raced in behind the Airdrie back line and could only send his shot high over the Airdrie goal.
Seconds later Ferguson then pulled off a terrific save, smothering the ball from Wallace’s shot after he was able to race in behind the Airdrie back line.
Jake Hastie’s excellent run on the left in 18 minutes, slipping the ball through two players, threatened to create an opportunity but ended as there came a blocking challenge as he tried to cross the ball.
Mark Whatley was next up for the home side in 25 minutes, but the Lichties skipper also fired his shot wide of goal.
The deadlock was broken by Arbroath on 28 minutes after Wallace was strong on the left in winning the challenge with David Brownlie, then raced into the box before teeing up Denholm who had the simplest of tasks to send the ball past an exposed Ferguson.
The Airdrie keeper was again alert to react in 38 minutes after Gavin Swankie raced in behind the Airdrie defence, blocking the striker’s shot with another fine save.
Russell sent a 39th minute shot wide of Hutton’s goal, then in first half stoppage time Wallace once more brought out a fine save from Ferguson to allow his side to go in at the break just a goal behind.
After the interval Arbroath went in search of a second goal and after a minute Ferguson saved Denholm’s low driven netbound shot.
The Airdrie goalkeeper saved again two minutes later from another Denholm shot.
Brownlie joined the attack for Conroy’s corner on 54 minutes, but headed the ball wide of Hutton’s goal.
Arbroath double their lead when Wallace’s 59th minute corner was met by defender Colin Hamilton who raced to the front post and was able to hook the ball past Ferguson for a second goal.
Denholm’s continued his private battle with Airdrie keeper Ferguson in 64 minutes with the winger being foiled once more by Airdrie’s number one.
Russell and Dale Carrick linked well on 72 minutes with Russell seeing his shot taken by Hutton.
As the match moved into the final period substitutions were made continually, but before the final whistle came Ferguson made one final save, this time from former Diamond Wallace.
With one home game remaining it is mission accomplished for the Diamonds but with much to ponder over results on the road.
Referee: Mr Barry Cook
John O'Brien at Gayfield Park
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.
3. Hamilton ⚽
8. McKenna 🔽 (67)
10. Swankie 🔽 (76)
11. Denholm ⚽🔽 (65)
12. Kader 🔼 (65)
15. McCord 🔼 (76)
16. McIntosh 🔼 (67)
6. R Brown 🔽 (72)
7. A Brown 🔽 (79)
10. Russell 🔽 (84)
12. Fry 🔼 (70)
15. Cairns 🔼 (72)
16. Higgins 🔼 (84)