Saturday July 29, 2017
Betfred Cup Group H
Cammy Smith 9, 88
Gavin Reilly 31, 69
Lewis Morgan 82
Both sides missed from the penalty spot as St Mirren put five past Airdrie in the final Betfred Cup group tie.
Ex-Buddie Adam Brown replaced Robbie Leighton as he returned for the Diamonds first ever trip to St Mirren’s new stadium. Former Airdrie players Gregor Buchanan and Jordan Fitzpatrick were on the bench for the home side.
The home side ran out comfortable winners in the dead rubber.
After a compact start to the match the Saints made the breakthrough after nine minutes when a cross by the speedy full back Stelios Demetriou from the left was bundled over the line. The final touch appeared to come from defender Kieran MacDonald, but the goal was awarded to St Mirren's Cammy Smith.
Two minutes later Demetriou raced down the left again but his cross was knocked clear by David Brownlie.
With quarter of an hour gone a short corner led to Ian McShane sending over a cross from the right and defender Gary Mackenzie headed the ball over the bar.
Andy Ryan did well to rob central defender Jack Baird in 19 minutes then raced in on the angle but his near post shot was blocked by keeper Craig Samson’s legs, with the danger cleared.
Three minutes later Demetriou's headed clearance from Cammy Russell’s cross was timely with John Higgins racing in at the back post.
A spell of pressure from the home side was met by poor finishing by Ian McShane and Gavin Reilly and some decent goalkeeping by Rohan Ferguson.
Saints added a second goal on 31 minutes after Stephen McGinn’s cross into the penalty box was headed down to Reilly by Mackenzie and the striker fired the ball high into the net.
The two goal margin remained until the interval.
Five minutes after the restart a penalty was awarded for Mackenzie’s hold on Dean Cairns, but Ryan hammered the spot kick wide of Samson’s goal.
Adam Brown sent a dipping free kick in on top of Samson who collected the ball comfortably in 56 minutes.
Lewis Morgan's 20-yard effort in 59 minutes was pushed away for a corner by Ferguson.
With Saints pressing for a third goal they had a chance in 67 minutes after Cairns was judged to have taken down substitute Ross Stewart. Ferguson dived low to his right to gather Reilly’s spot kick
Three minutes later though Reilly made amends as his header from close range was flagged to have cross the line with Ferguson trying to palm the ball clear.
Ferguson did well to dive low to his right to make a fine save from a Jordan Kirkpatrick 20-yard drive.
A real spell of Airdrie pressure to get on the scoresheet followed only to be met by some acrobatic goalkeeping by Samson. In 79 minutes he touched Brownlie’s powerful header from Ryan Conroy’s corner over the bar.
Samson saved Ryan’s headed attempt from Conroy’s subsequent delivery a minute later, then immediately after made an excellent save from Murray Louden’s angled drive as the substitute took Higgins' cross on the volley.
It was the home side who added another couple of goals in the closing stages.
Morgan scored the goal of the match with an excellent 20-yard angled drive past Ferguson on 82 minutes, while Smith was able to race into the box two minutes from time to send the ball in off the near post to round of the scoring.
In between these goals Higgins was taken down inside the penalty box and claims waved aside.
Another learning curve for the young Airdrieonians’ side ahead of the more important league campaign.
Referee: Mr Craig Napier
John O'Brien at The Paisley 2021 Stadium.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.
6. Mackenzie ▊ 🔽 (68)
10. Morgan ⚽
11. Smith ⚽⚽
9. Sutton 🔽 (65)
20. Reilly ⚽⚽ 🔽 (75)
5. Buchanan 🔼 (68)
17. Kirkpatrick 🔼 (75)
19. Stewart 🔼 (65)
10. Russell 🔽 (46)
11. Brown 🔽 (76)
14. Thomson 🔼 (76)
15. Loudon 🔼 (46) ▊