Saturday March 2, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
Darryl Duffy 47
Airdrie moved closer to their opponents after Darryl Duffy ended the Diamonds’ seven game run without a victory.
On both occasions when the sides met this season there have been wins for the visitors, however that sequence has now been broken with Duffy on target for the thirteenth time this season to provide the Diamonds with a precious three points.
The blustery weather conditions would play a part, with the wind making passing difficult.
Montrose threatened on two minutes when keeper David Hutton did well to touch away an inswinging corner, then a minute later Graham Webster fired over the crossbar from close range.
After ten minutes Russell McLean’s low 20-yard shot was easily gathered by Hutton.
Sean Crighton’s timely block stopped Martin Rennie’s attempt a minute later as Airdrie tried to weather the early storm.
The home side’s first effort on goal came on 26 minutes when Josh Campbell was put in on the left by a Declan Glass pass, though his shot was off target.
Montrose suffered a blow on 32 minutes when McLean was stretchered off the field, after injuring himself as he fired another close range effort over the crossbar. The Diamonds had earlier lost Dale Carrick to injury, with Kyle Wilkie replacing the forward.
A Rennie cross into the box was headed wide by full back Terry Masson with six minutes of the half remaining.
Airdrie went close in the closing minutes through a curling Kyle Wilkie shot from the corner of the penalty box, then a Jordan Houston shot from the edge of the box which Fleming gathered easily.
Two minutes after the interval Airdrie scored the vital goal. A corner on the left from Ryan Conroy was headed towards goal by skipper Sean Crighton. Duffy, with his back to the goal, controlled the ball from six yards out, then pivoted and powered the ball high into the net giving keeper Alan Fleming no chance.
A minute later as Montrose tried to get back in the match, an Airdrie counter attack took them up the field and the ball broke to Declan Glass only for Fleming to save well.
Montrose missed successive chances on 55 minutes as Jamie Redman headed over from a corner, and on 58 minutes when Lewis Milne sent the ball wide of the goal from inside the box.
Following a foul on Campbell on 65 minutes, Duffy lined up a free-kick but saw his shot deflected off the wall for a corner. Crighton’s header from the resulting cross created defensive worries for Montrose after Fleming had pushed the ball out and several players from both sides were unable to get good contact on the ball before it eventually cleared away.
Airdrie were indebted to Hutton on 72 minutes after a Conroy header back into the box was missed by Crighton allowing substitute Euan Henderson to fire in a volley from ten yards which saw Hutton push the ball over the crossbar.
Montrose were pressing hard for an equaliser as Airdrie began defending deep.
With five minutes left Henderson looked set to find the net as he met a cross in from the right hand side. Hutton made a terrific diving save and aided by Crighton and Scott Robertson, defended the position to ensure the Diamonds had their shut-out.
An excellent three points against a Montrose side who have surprised many sides this season, as their league placing confirms.
Ian Murray’s men now face back-to-back matches on the road against Raith Rovers and Dumbarton, two sides chasing points for different reasons.
John O'Brien at Penny Cars Stadium.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.