Saturday April 20, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
Ross Campbell 41 pen
Terry Masson 67
Leighton McIntosh 90+1
Airdrie will be a League One team next season after defeat at Montrose ended the Diamonds promotion play-off hopes, while results elsewhere made relegation impossible.
A late strike by Leighton McIntosh wasn’t enough to provide a way back into the match after Ross Campbell and Terry Masson had scored for the Gable Endies, with Scott Robertson’s late red card adding insult to injury.
Dean Hawkshaw was handed his first start for the Diamonds and showed some nice touches in the early stages, providing a fine cross for Sean Crighton after two minutes, but the Airdrie captain couldn’t keep his header down.
McIntosh attempted an acrobatic effort two minutes later, but Allan Fleming was down quickly to save.
Darryl Duffy and Hawkshaw linked well after quarter of an hour, but the final ball drifted across goal with nobody in an Airdrie shirt able to get a touch.
Montrose began to make chances as the half wore on, Graham Webster firing wide from a good position on 21 minutes.
David Hutton had to be at his best to keep out two good strikes in a sustained attack a minute later, and the keeper did well to keep out Ross Campbell’s header just after the half hour mark.
Duffy almost got on the end of a short passback on 33 minutes, but Fleming was off his line quickly to clear the danger.
Seven minutes later the home side were awarded a spot kick when Scott Robertson was adjudged to have fouled Chris Antoniazzi. The midfielder went over in a crowd of players, and the award was a harsh one. Ross Campbell slammed home the resultant penalty despite Hutton getting a good hand to the strike.
With their noses in front, Montrose defended strongly to protect their lead, Webster putting in a well-timed challenge to deny McIntosh three minutes from the break.
In the last action of the first half, Fleming made a good diving save to keep out Ryan Conroy’s curling strike.
The Gable Endies continued to press after the break, Masson heading over on 51 minutes before a miskick spun towards goal eight minutes later, forcing a good save from Hutton.
Airdrie had a penalty claim on 64 minutes as Josh Edwards went down in the box, but referee Craig Napier waved play on.
Three minutes later the home side doubled their lead, breaking out from an Airdrie attack and squaring from the right for Masson to sweep home.
As the Diamonds searched for a way back into the game, a last-ditch tackle denied McIntosh on 78 minutes.
The striker got his head to a deep cross from substitute Kyle Wilkie with five minutes remaining, but was unable to find the target.
Former Montrose man McIntosh did have the ball in the net in the final minute, spinning on the corner of the six-yard box and firing into the roof of the net.
With the Diamonds pushing for a stoppage-time equaliser, Montrose broke forward again and Robertson barged Milne on the edge of the Airdrie box. The defender, who was booked during the earlier penalty incident, was shown a second yellow followed by the inevitable red card.
There was no time for any further action, with the final whistle confirming Airdrie’s status as a League One side next season.
Stuart Mathie at Links Park.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.