Saturday December 22, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Darryl Duffy 72 pen
Airdrie gave their supporters extra cause for celebration this Christmas with a 1-0 win over Brechin City.
A Darryl Duffy penalty kick was enough to see Ian Murray’s side win a rather tousy affair, confirming that the Diamonds are capable of grabbing the points while not performing at their best.
The second-half spot kick gave Airdrie only their second win in eleven meetings at Glebe Park.
There were six bookings in the match with Chris O’Neil being Airdrie’s only player to be yellow carded, although the home side could easily have seen one of their number sent packing.
Callum Tapping fired in the first shot of note after four minutes, although his 20-yard effort was deflected but comfortably taken by keeper Ben McKenzie.
A minute later Andy Jackson’s pass to Jordan Sinclair was followed by another tame effort easily gathered by the Diamonds keeper.
Grant Gallagher’s 11th minute free-kick saw him pass to Kieran MacDonald who fired the ball high over the Brechin goal.
Kyle Wilkie then Dale Carrick tried to find space in the home side’s final third on 19 minutes but both attempts to get a shot away were blocked.
There was little happening in a very congested midfield where both sides were simply nullifying their opponents' efforts to make the breakthrough.
Nine minutes from the break Sean Crighton saw his long range shot blocked behind. Scott Stewart was on the end of a clearance from the resulting corner and his shot inside the penalty box was collected by Conor Brennan.
After 42 minutes a bad injury to Callum Tapping saw him stretchered off the field after receiving treatment for several minutes.
The half ticked on as the players tried to get things going again, with only a tame header from Leighton McIntosh being taken by Brennan to ensure the first 45 minutes ended goalless.
On 48 minutes, Stewart linked well with Carrick before seeing his shot spilled by the Brechin keeper. McIntosh tried to get on the end of the loose ball but a last-ditch tackle prevented clean contact.
Kieran Millar’s header four minutes later was blocked and cleared to the edge of the box. Gallagher controlled the ball but volleyed over the top of Brennan’s goal.
O’Neil was the first player booked on 59 minutes for a challenge on former Diamond Sean Burns, while three minutes later substitute Callum Hendry was only spoken to for a poor tackle on the Airdrie full-back. A 65th minute lunge on keeper McKenzie could easily have led to Hendry being sent off, but a booking on this occasion left the subsitute counting himself lucky that his prior challenge was not similarly punished.
Sinclair’s long range attempt drew a 70th minute save from McKenzie.
Minutes later some fine interplay involving Stewart, O’Neil and Carrick had the home side under pressure. Sinclair’s challenge on Carrick took him down and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped substitute Darryl Duffy to send the ball into the net with Brennan's touch unable to keep it out.
Airdrie were able to see out the match from that point on to record their third league shut out of the campaign.
Ten points from quarter one and 13 from quarter two has the Diamonds tucked in close to the play off challengers.
John O'Brien at Glebe Park.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.