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Saturday October 20, 2018

Ladbrokes League One






Darryl Duffy 19 pen, 37

Joao Victoria 79

A Darryl Duffy double and Joao Victoria's eighth goal of the season eased the Diamonds to a comfortable win over Montrose to end a run of five games without a victory.

Assistant manager Marc Fitzpatrick and first team coach David Proctor were in charge of the Airdrie side following Stevie Findlay's departure last week. New boss Ian Murray watched on from the stand ahead of his first day in the role on Monday.

There were a number of changes from the Diamonds line-up which lost to Brechin City a fortnight ago, with Chris O'Neil, Josh Edwards, Dean Cairns, Scott Stewart and Kyle Wilkie making way for Kieran MacDonald, Jonathan Page, Grant Gallagher, Ryan Conroy and Darryl Duffy.

Strike partners Duffy and Dale Carrick looked sharp from the off, Carrick beating his man on nine minutes before sending a low angled strike which flew just wide of Jordan Millar's post.

Conroy had a gilt-edge opportunity to open the scoring four minutes later, pouncing on a loose Seán Dillon pass and firing in a shot which Millar was well placed to gather.

Following a well-worked short corner on 18 minutes, Danny Cavanagh sent Carrick tumbling to the ground as the striker lined up a shot. Referee Scott Millar had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Duffy stepped up to confidently despatch the penalty past the Montrose keeper.

Carrick made an acrobatic attempt to get his name on the scoresheet after 28 minutes, but his close-range overhead kick was high and wide.

Duffy did double the Diamonds advantage on 36 minutes, driving into the box before side-footing a precise low angled shot past Millar.

Airdrie took their lead into the break, and the large travelling support were almost celebrating again straight from the restart as Joao Victoria went on a trademark run only to see his final ball blocked in the box en route to a surefire goal of the season contender.

Montrose broke up the park and Diamonds goalkeeper David Hutton somehow managed to get his fingertips to a close range Martin Rennie effort, tipping the ball over the bar when a goal looked certain.

It was the first shot on target for Stewart Petrie's side, but it signalled the start of a spell of pressure for the Gable Endies, with Rennie and Chris Antoniazzi linking well to cause problems in the Diamonds defence.

As Crighton and Page marshalled the backline, Airdrie looked dangerous on the break and Carrick was denied by the woodwork after a bustling run took him free of the home defence.

Kieran Millar made a surging run forward on 72 minutes, crossing well for Victoria who saw his low strike saved. The Portuguese attacker had another effort deflected wide two minutes later.

The Diamonds' top scorer was not to be denied with ten minutes remaining, Carrick again showing great strength to burst through the defence before unleashing a strike which cannoned off the underside of the bar. Victoria had time and space to stroke the loose ball home at the far post.

Hutton performed further heroics five minutes from time, clawing Rennie's header off the line before Bolochoweckyj skied the rebound.

In the end it was a comfortable three points for Airdrie who looked solid throughout, and the win will no doubt have pleased the new manager ahead of the start of his reign.

Stuart Mathie at Links Park.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.

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