Saturday January 26, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
Thomas Halleran 75
Airdrie paid the price for a poor performance at Ochilview, which saw relegation-threatened Stenhousemuir take all three points while Forfar Athletic moved six points clear in fourth spot after a surprise win at Arbroath.
Declan Glass was in the Diamonds starting line-up in place of fellow loanee Josh Campbell, while Dale Carrick came in for Kyle Wilkie against the Warriors who many had thought might have had their Scottish Cup replay with Aberdeen on their minds.
On the back of a four game unbeaten run in the league, the result was a real shock.
A sixth minute lay off from striker Mark McGuigan set up Conor McBrearty with a shooting chance but he drilled a 25-yard effort well wide of David Hutton’s goal.
A free kick awarded on 13 minutes after a foul on Dale Carrick saw Kieran MacDonald send his shot over the crossbar.
Glass tried to put his stamp on the match running on to a MacDonald ball forward on 18 minutes and heading for the goal line though keeper Graeme Smith gathered his cross cleanly.
Four minutes later after good build-up play Glass's ball into the box found Carrick who delayed his shot and defender Andy Munro had time to make the interception.
Leighton McIntosh fired wide to the right with a 30-yard attempt after 25 minutes.
The home side had sight of goal in 28 minutes when a cross from the left struck Josh Edwards and fell kindly for Connor Duthie who fired a shot from outside the box just over the Airdrie crossbar.
Carrick was on target on the half hour but keeper Smith was comfortable behind the shot, while the impressive Glass could not get his 35th minute attempt through the numbers in the home penalty box as his shot was blocked.
McGuigan’s turn on the edge of box was followed up by a decent effort which was taken by Hutton on 38 minutes as the deadlock continued.
Conor McBrearty’s driven cross on 41 minutes flew across the face of Airdrie’s goal with no takers. McGuigan then missed a gilt-edged chance on half-time when he sent a volley over Hutton’s crossbar to leave the sides going in at the interval goalless.
Five minutes after the break a MacDonald free kick saw Smith spill the ball, but there was no one on hand following up.
A superb run at the home backline by Glass forced a fine save by Smith on 67 minutes though Carrick’s last action of the match saw him fire the rebound wide with the goal gaping.
Airdrie were indebted to Hutton after he pulled off a fabulous save from McGuigan’s netbound shot to see the sides remain goalless with 20 minutes to play.
Less than 15 minutes remained when substitute Thomas Halleran took full advantage of a free-kick on the edge of the box, curling a lovely strike over Diamonds wall and into the net for the only goal of the game.
Despite Airdrie’s late pressure, the Diamonds could not see their way through the home side’s defence and the visiting support went home disappointed with the final outcome, a real blow against the bottom side who have now won successive matches between the clubs.
Stenhousemuir had shown a level fitting for a side battling to stay in the division while the Diamonds had performed well below the standards set in the previous weeks.
John O'Brien at Ochilview Park.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.