Saturday February 23, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
Bobby Linn 43, 59 pen, 63 pen
Dale Carrick 27
Darryl Duffy 52
A Bobby Linn hat-trick gave league leaders Arbroath a narrow win over Airdrie despite a good showing from the Diamonds.
The old belief that sides struggling for form tend to get very few breaks, while those at the top seem to get everything going for them, would not have been misplaced at Gayfield.
There were only four minutes played in the match when Kieran MacDonald was on hand to make a last ditch goal-line clearance from a Greig Spence effort.
Three minutes later debutant Jordan Houston’s challenge on Colin Hamilton saw Arbroath players pressurise the referee but only a yellow card was given.
As the home side tried to make the breakthrough, their long ball game was taking them up the park though the well marshalled Airdrie defence was managing their threat.
Ryan Conroy and Josh Campbell both went close within a three-minute spell, but both sent their shots wide of Darren Jamieson’s goal, while in between David Hutton easily gathered Bobby Linn’s free kick.
The visitors took the lead on 27 minutes. A good run from midfield by Darryl Duffy took him to the edge of the box, with Dale Carrick controlling his pass before drilling a low shot into the net for the opener.
As Arbroath tried to get back on terms a Bobby Linn header from inside the box saw Hutton make an excellent save to keep his side in front.
Gavin Swankie went to ground under pressure from Kieran Millar in the 42nd minute, and from the resultant free-kick Linn curled the ball over the wall into the net to equalise.
Both goalscorers had chances at either end in the minutes remaining with Linn’s attempt going wide, but Carrick’s shot was netbound and brought out an excellent save from Jamieson to send the sides in at the break level.
Linn sent a looping header over the crossbar just after the restartm but in 53 minutes Airdrie were back in front with Duffy and Carrick combining once again. This time Carrick played a neat one two with Declan Glass before rolling the ball across goal for Duffy to net from inside the six-yard box.
As the match wore on the visitors looked comfortable until in 59 minutes Arbroath were awarded a penalty. Jason Thomson went to ground when Kieran Millar made a challenge inside the box, and Linn netted from the spot.
Four minutes later David Gold went to ground as he ran past MacDonald and Crighton, and another penalty was awarded with Linn rounding off his hat-trick.
After 64 minutes, an almost immediate response saw Declan Glass unable to make good contact on a ball into the box, and the Dundee United loanee sent his low shot straight at Jamieson.
Substitute Ryan Wallace was on target in 74 minutes though Hutton made the save and as play swung to the other end Airdrie substitute Leighton McIntosh was on target with a shot inside the box, only for Jamieson to save with his trailing leg as he went the other way.
Hutton did well again as he blocked another Wallace attempt with his foot on 80 minutes.
With seven minutes remaining McIntosh was blocked off as he tried to run between two Arbroath defenders and went to ground inside the box, with any penalty shout ignored.
In the end Airdrie saw the game they led twice turned around by two spot kick awards within four minutes. The defeat did not measure up to the best away performance of the season and the long journey home pointless was hard to take.
John O'Brien at Gayfield Park.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.