Tuesday July 2, 2019
Ally Roy 79
Sean Crighton 87
The Diamonds were derby winners in the club’s first official pre-season friendly.
Late goals from debutant Ally Roy and captain Sean Crighton gave Airdrie the win in what was a good workout for the squad as no quarter was given in this fast-paced derby match.
There was a new look about the Diamonds side as they took to the field in the new sky blue third kit, with Adam Eckersley, Josh Kerr, Callum Fordyce, Craig Thomson, Calum Gallagher, Ally Roy and Kurtis Roberts all making their first appearances in front of a sizeable crowd at the Penny Cars Stadium.
Kevin Harper’s Albion Rovers side fielded three trialists with a fourth on the bench for the Coatbridge men.
The Rovers were first to threaten, forcing two routine saves from Airdrie goalkeeper David Hutton in the first few minutes.
As the home side settled, it was Hutton’s opposite number Daniel Potts who caught the eye, keeping out early chances for Roy and Cammy Russell.
Russell was behind two free-kicks around the midpoint of the first half, picking out Crighton who headed straight at Potts before curling a second dead-ball effort high and wide.
In a rare foray upfield, Rovers’ trialist striker fired wide of goal from outside the penalty box.
Potts had his defence to thank ten minutes from the break as he fumbled a Russell strike, but the danger was cleared.
As is usually the case in friendly matches, frequent substitutions disrupted the flow of play after the restart, but Smart Osadolor had an early chance for the visitors before Kurtis Roberts fired wide from a defence-splitting pass.
Airdrie almost took the lead on 70 minutes after Rovers’ substitute keeper Goodfellow had dropped a Dean Hawkshaw free-kick, but the visiting defence were alert to clear the danger as the ball was forced goalward.
Hawkshaw and Fordyce showed a good understanding down the right hand side five minutes later, with Roberts heading over from the full-back’s cross.
The deadlock was eventually broken on 79 minutes, Hawkshaw showing skill and determination to burst through the home defence and feed Roy, who played in Carrick and fired the return pass beyond Goodfellow.
Eight minutes later the lead was doubled as a Hawkshaw corner picked out Crighton. The defender’s header took a couple of touches as the visiting defence desperately tried to keep it out, but it crossed the line nonetheless.
Roy almost added a third in some style as he smashed in a 25-yard strike in the final minute, but the ball flew just wide of the post.
A worthwhile exercise and a well deserved win for the Diamonds, who now turn their attention to the home friendly against Cowdenbeath on Saturday before the competitive action gets underway a week later.
Stuart Mathie at the Penny Cars Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.