Saturday December 29, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Leighton McIntosh 5, 43
Darryl Duffy 85
Airdrie continued this season's 100% record over Stranraer to end 2018 with a 3-0 victory.
Timely goals from Leighton McIntosh and substitute Darryl Duffy ensured the Diamonds finished the year on a high note with two wins and two shut outs.
The sides sat side by side in the league table with the same points total and goal difference, but it was Ian Murray’s side who grabbed the points for the third time this season against the Blues.
It took just five minutes for Airdrie to take the lead following some decent play in the build-up.
A long ball forward was headed on by Dale Carrick and Scott Stewart was quick to send in a low driven cross from the right. The ball was well deflected into the path of Leighton McIntosh who went one way then the other before sending a powerful shot into the net past keeper Max Currie for the opening goal.
Stranraer defenders Dan Higgins and Jamie Hamill had the best attempt for the visitors with a couple off headers that were off target.
Carrick’s powerful long range volley on 36 minutes was the closest the Diamonds had come to adding to their early counter.
However, with a minute of the half remaining, some good play by Kyle Wilkie saw him thread the ball in to Stewart who then raced towards the Stranraer goal from wide. The midfielder fired a shot across goal which Currie could only block as far as McIntosh, who calmly fired the ball into the net to earn a two-goal advantage at the interval.
Kieran Millar fired a 50th minute volley over the Stranraer goal before the visitors enjoyed a good quarter of hour of possession.
Kyle Turner's volley after collecting a defensive clearance drew a good save from keeper Ben McKenzie, who turned the ball against his left post.
Mark Lamont weaved through a couple of challenges in 59 minutes before firing a 20-yard effort high over the Airdrie goal.
Wilkie sent over a decent ball in for Carrick in 66 minutes, but the forward's headed effort was wide of goal.
Changes were being made from the bench to influence the match but Sean Crighton was defending resolutely and leading by example.
Innes Cameron was on the end of a great ball into the box with quarter of an hour left, but failed to test McKenzie, sending his header over the top.
There were only five minutes left when the Diamonds sealed the points. Full-back Chris O’Neil was up in the opposition half when he controlled the ball on the right, cut inside then slid a perfect ball to substitute Darryl Duffy who sent a well-placed 20 yard shot past Currie in off his left post.
A double helping of festive joy for the Diamonds to see out the year.
John O'Brien at Penny Cars Stadium.
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.