Tuesday July 25, 2017

Betfred Cup Group H

Airdrieonians
1-2
Partick Thistle

Dean Cairns 55

Kris Doolan 10

Blair Spittal 40

The Diamonds were desperately unlucky not to take something from their Betfred Cup clash with Premiership side Partick Thistle.

Airdrie went with one change from the starting line-up which faced Livingston, with Robbie Leighton replacing Adam Brown. Marc Fitzpatrick remained sidelined with a leg knock.

The Jags made a couple of changes from the side that hammered St Mirren, Ryan Edwards and James Penrice coming in for Stuart Bannigan and the suspended Abdul Osman.

It was Edwards who had the first real effort on goal, firing on target in seven minutes with a 20-yard shot which Rohan Ferguson took comfortably.

Three minutes later Chris Erskine kept himself onside, racing into the box before squaring the ball for Kris Doolan to send it past Ferguson for the opening goal.

Erskine went close in the 13th minute, sending a headed effort against the crossbar from Callum Booth’s cross.

Ryan Conroy lashed a 14th minute shot at Tomas Černý who was equal to the volleyed effort.

Ferguson pushed away Steven Lawless's 20-yard shot in 17 minutes with the danger cleared away.

A long angled pass by Conroy in 22 minutes picked out Andy Ryan who did well against two markers before sending in a drive that Černý was forced to save.

A minute later a 25-yard Conroy free kick saw the Thistle keeper dive to his left and push the shot away from goal to his left.

Airdrie went close to equalising in the 32nd minute when Kieran MacDonald’s cross from the left was headed against the crossbar by Cammy Russell.

Good interplay on 36 minutes between Lawless and Doolan saw the striker in for a shot and his volley was turned over the bar by Ferguson.

Thistle added a second goal five minutes from the interval. A shot from Erskine was parried by Ferguson and the mix-up that followed gave Blair Spittal the chance to blast the ball into the net.

10 minutes into the second half, Airdrie centre back Dean Cairns rose high inside the box to powerfully head Conroy’s delivery from a corner past keeper Černý to reduce the deficit.

Goalscorer Spittal fired a 25-yard curling free kick over the Airdrie goal with 65 minutes on the clock, but he was closer in 71 minutes after he sent in a low deflected shot which Ferguson turned away for a corner.

Airdrie took the play to the Thistle goal almost immediately as Ryan’s 30-yard effort was turned away by Černý to the keeper’s left.

With seven minutes to play Murray Loudon raced down the right wing but his cross into the box was gathered by Černý.

The visitors went close four minutes from time when Doolan’s flick at the near post hit the side netting.

On the 90-minute mark following a superb run by Scott Stewart a dangerous ball into the box led to a corner for the Diamonds. Conroy’s cross was met by Cairns but this time the ball landed in the arms of Černý.

A hard working performance by the Diamonds against a side who finished in the top six of the top division last season.

The result leaves Partick Thistle and Livingston chasing the possibility of qualifying from the group.

Referee: Mr Don Robertson

Attendance: 1,255

John O'Brien at Excelsior Stadium.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.

Airdrieonians

1. Ferguson

2. Stewart

3. MacDonald

4. Cairns ⚽

5. Brownlie

6. McIntosh

7. Higgins

8. Conroy

9. Ryan

10. Russell 🔽 (87)

11. Leighton 🔽 (51)

12. McLaughlin

14. Loudon 🔼 (51)

15. Thomson 🔼 (87)

17. Kerr

Partick Thistle

1. Černý

3. Booth

14. Elliott

15. Devine

21. Penrice

7. Spittal ⚽

10. Erskine 🔽 (68)

11. Lawless 🔽 (81)

13. Barton

19. Edwards 🔽 (77)

9. Doolan ⚽

8. Bannigan 🔼 (81)

12. Scully

20. Nisbet 🔼 (77)

24. McCarthy 🔼 (68)

25. Lamont

26. McLaughlin

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