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Saturday September 29, 2018

Ladbrokes League One





Gavin Swankie 51

Colin Hamilton 64

Ryan Wallace 85


Joao Victoria 24

It was the proverbial “game of two halves” at Gayfield, with league leaders Arbroath triumphing over Airdrie in almost farcical conditions.


Arbroath made more impact with the awful wind at their backs in the second half to increase their advantage over the Diamonds with one match remaining in the first quarter.


The visitors had dominated the first half, but found it difficult to create clear-cut opportunities with the large numbers that Arbroath had pulled back into the final third of the field. 


With two minutes gone Joao Victoria did well to set up Dale Carrick who fired his effort over the bar from just inside the box.


Two minutes later the hardworking Scott Stewart created some space on the right, but his cross was too close to keeper Darren Jamieson who collected the ball in.


In a rare Arbroath move forward on 12 minutes, the alert Chris O’Neil was quick to block an effort from Bobby Linn. 


Kyle Wilkie’s netbound shot on 18 minutes was instinctively headed over his goal by defender Thomas O’Brien as the deadlock looked set to be broken.


Soon after, a long ball forward saw Victoria run from deep and in beyond the home defence when the far-side assistant referee flagged for offside to curtail the visitors attacking opportunity. 


Minutes later the Diamonds did make the breakthrough. Carrick and Stewart combined down the left and Stewart’s ball in was finished off by Victoria to open the scoring. 


On 26 minutes Dean Cairns found himself in the book for a poor challenge, but former Diamond Ryan Wallace could have seen red for raising his hands after he raced down the field to needlessly get involved. 


O’Brien’s late challenge on Carrick on 32 minutes as he raced in behind the Arbroath backline also saw only a booking given.


In the closing quarter of an hour Victoria had a shot from inside the box blocked for a corner, Wilkie saw his corner blown on to the top of the crossbar, and Cairns had a long range effort easily taken by Jamieson.


The second half saw the home side control the match although Airdrie had been able to get forward much more than their hosts had done in the first half, but to no avail.


A speculative shot from their own half saw David Hutton gather the ball immediately after the restart, with Linn sending a free kick high over the goal on 48 minutes. 


Gavin Swankie was in behind the Airdrie defence on 51 minutes to level matters from inside the box. 


Hutton did well to save from a Wallace free-kick two minutes later.


On 64 minutes Linn’s swirling corner saw Colin Hamilton rise unchallenged to head home. 


Hutton then made a strong save from a Swankie effort on goal in 72 minutes, while Linn fired a shot well over the goal minutes later.


Five minutes remained when the home side added a third. A long range effort from Danny Denholm rattled the Airdrie bar, while Wallace followed up to put the ball in the net. 


Hutton made another decent stop on the 90 minute mark from Ryan McCord, but it was the home side who made more of their wind assisted advantage to earn the victory.

John O'Brien at Gayfield Park.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.

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