Saturday March 24, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Scott Stewart 46
Lewis Vaughan 8
Jason Thomson 20
Raith's two goal half-time lead saw them over the line against the Diamonds, whose much-improved second half performance wasn't enough to rescue the match.
Despite Scott Stewart’s well taken goal after the break, the Kirkcaldy side ended the Diamonds' unbeaten home league record which had stretched back to September.
Raith Rovers were under real pressure to take all three points to maintain their promotion challenge and stay in touch with Ayr United.
The visitors had controlled the first half after exposing Airdrie’s fragility against high balls into the box with two goals in the opening 20 minutes.
With eight minutes on the clock, former Diamond Willis Furtado’s corner on the right to the front post was flicked on. Lewis Vaughan was quickest to react and fired a low shot into the corner of the net past keeper Willie Muir.
Luke Watt tried an ambitious 25 yard shot three minutes later that was wide of the goal.
Rovers added a second on the 20-minute mark when defender Jason Thomson was able to rise unmarked in the penalty area to head the ball past Muir from another corner by Furtado.
A powerful run on the right in 27 minutes from Scott Stewart did well to take Airdrie up the field although he slightly overhit his through pass for Cammy Russell who was unable to keep his cross in play.
Rovers came close to adding a third when Furtado met a free kick into penalty area in 31 minutes and sent his header off the top of Muir’s crossbar with the rebound cleared.
Seven minutes from the break Vaughan ran in behind the home defence and Muir did well to block the shot on target.
In the first minute after the interval Airdrie showed greater intent. After making space for himself on the left Ryan Conroy ‘s cross from the left was met by Scott Stewart whose powerful header gave keeper Aaron Lennox little chance as it flew into the back of the net.
A minute later some fine passing play between Vaughan and Furtado created a chance inside the penalty area although Muir made a decent block from Furtado’s shot.
As the match wore on there was a flurry of yellow cards building up between the two sides, with Rovers challenges made when Airdrie were making inroads to the opposition box.
Chances were less clear-cut and neither side were able to make any further breakthrough.
As time added was being played Luke Watt was sent off, having been shown a second yellow although a minute later the full time whistle was blown.
Three of Airdrie's five remaining fixtures are against the three sides below them, as the Diamonds enter a crucial battle for any points that will make their final league position certain.
Referee: Mr Gavin Duncan
John O'Brien at Excelsior Stadium
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.
2. O'Neil ▊
3. MacDonald ▊
6. Watt ▊▊
7. Stewart ⚽
8. R Brown ▊ 🔽 (68)
11. Russell 🔽 (82)
14. Hastie 🔼 (68)
16. A Brown 🔼 (82)
2. Thomson ⚽
14. Davidson ▊
8. Robertson ▊ 🔽 (82)
11. Barr ▊
10. Vaughan ⚽▊
4. Herron 🔼 (82)