Saturday February 1, 2020
Ladbrokes League One
Ross Matthews 4
League leaders Raith Rovers recorded their third 1-0 win over Airdrieonians this season, extending their unbeaten sequence against the Diamonds to 17 meetings.
John McGlynn’s side now have a three point lead over second placed Falkirk and a seven point advantage over Airdrie.
The match followed a similar pattern as the previous two meetings with neither goalkeeper being overrun by attempts on their goal and a single goal deciding the outcome.
That goal came after three minutes when Kieran MacDonald’s early ball from the left was met by Ross Matthews whose flick towards the goal was just beyond keeper Scott Gallacher’s reach.
Gallacher was down quickly to collect Kieran Bowie’s 12th minute effort.
Kurtis Roberts picked out Andy Ryan who did well to get a shot away after 14 minutes which was deflected for a corner, and Roberts also did well on 18 minutes finding Dale Carrick who sent his shot wide of goal from distance.
Gallacher made an excellent save when former Diamond John Baird went close to adding a second with a 20-yard curling effort which was netbound only for the big keeper to make a super save, touching the ball over the crossbar.
As Airdrie tried to get back on level terms before the interval they found the visitor’s defence heavy in numbers and able to make the clearance or block any crosses delivered.
Six minutes of the half remained when an excellent Andy Ryan run in behind the Raith defence was followed by an excellent cutback and Paul McKay’s shot from inside the box looked destined for the net only to be blocked then cleared.
Ryan tried to create a chance three minutes later as he weaved his way to the line but his cross flashed across the goal with no one making the run for the home side.
Airdrieonians made a double change at the interval as Nat Wedderburn and Ally Roy replaced Roberts and McKay to try and change their fortunes.
A headed clearance was met by Kyle MacDonald seven minutes after the restart and he fired a tremendous angled 25 yard shot just wide of the far post.
Sean Crighton headed a Callum Fordyce ball wide of the goal on 67 minutes. Airdrie continued to be crowded out as they tried to make a breakthrough with Rovers content to play on the break.
Steven McLean sent an 83rd minute curling shot wide of Gallacher’s goal, proving there was a lack of cutting edge from both sides in the final third as the clock ticked down.
A minute later a Leon McCann cross was met by Ryan with substitute Calum Gallagher coming in at the back post to send the ball wide.
There was to be no further scoring as Rovers once more took the points.
John O'Brien at the Penny Cars Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.