Saturday November 2, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
Calum Gallagher 1
Dale Carrick 35, 39
Reghan Tumilty 16
Calum Gallagher and Dale Carrick supplied the fireworks as Airdrie produced a sparkling performance to beat Dumbarton and blow away the Diamonds’ home hoodoo.
Goalkeeper David Hutton came in for Reece Willison while Kieran Millar replaced Nat Wedderburn in midfield.
The Diamonds went into the match mindful of the fact that their opponents could take their place in the top four with a win, while Airdrieonians would try and follow up last week’s fine victory at Station Park.
Once again impressive pace and energy were on display with all the goals coming in the first half.
The first came in the opening minute as Airdrie were quick out of the blocks. The home side took the lead in the opening minute after a Callum Smith 20-yard shot was blocked but not held by Conor Brennan and Gallagher was alert to follow up, lifting the ball over the keeper and turning into the net from close range.
There was almost the perfect start after five minutes when Gallagher rose to meet a Leon McCann cross, but after the ball went beyond Brennan the striker headed past the post.
Out of nowhere Dumbarton were level on 16 minutes after a speculative cross into the box from the right wing by Reghan Tumilty which flew beyond Hutton then struck the bar and back post before nestling in the back of the net.
Airdrie went close to providing an immediate response when Carrick met a cross from the right by Kyle MacDonald, but the header went wide to the left of Brennan’s goal.
Callum Fordyce defended well on the 21-minute mark after Adam Frizell was almost in on goal, with Dumbarton defender Morgyn Neill firing the ball wide from the resulting corner.
MacDonald went down inside the penalty area on 32 minutes with Dumbarton counter-attacked after any penalty shout was ignoring. Goalscorer Tumilty fired wide of goal after the visitors had taken the game to the other end.
Three minutes later goalscorer Gallagher provided the assist as Airdrie went back in front. A strong run by the former Dumbarton man was followed by a neat pass in behind, setting up Carrick to slide a low shot under Brennan.
Six minutes from the interval Smith, who had covered the length and breadth of the park with his running, set up goal number three after a powerful run down the right then pinpoint cross into the middle that allowed Carrick to hammer the ball past a helpless Brennan.
Diamonds top scorer Gallagher went close to adding to his season’s tally a minute from half-time, but his effort lack power and the lead remained at 3-1 at the break.
Dumbarton looked to get back in the game quickly and a superb save by Hutton on 49 minutes ensured the two goal advantage remained, as he dived low his right to claw out Ryan McGeever’s header from Joe McKee’s corner.
Despite a late challenge by McGeever on 62 minutes, Roberts had been able to move the ball on to Carrick in the middle but his powerful shot went wide as he went close to his treble.
On 68 minutes a fine move saw Gallagher pick out Roberts who in turn passed to Carrick, then he sent the ball wide to Leon McCann but the on-loan Accies player volleyed the ball over the top of Brennan’s goal.
Roberts showed great commitment to get back and block a Frizzell effort in 71 minutes after the Dumbarton player had initially gone past him.
With quarter of an hour remaining a free-kick gave Dumbarton an opportunity 25 yards out, though McKee was wasteful as fired his shot over Hutton’s crossbar.
12 minutes remained when an excellent pick out by Smith to Carrick provided further sight of Brennan’s goal, however Carrick’s well-struck volley had plenty of power but lacked the direction to threaten Brennan’s goal.
Striker Isaac Layne, who had got little change from Sean Crighton all day, found himself in space in 81 minutes but could only blast a 20-yard shot high over the goal.
The home defence was working resolutely and a Fordyce block on a Tumilty effort in 83 minutes sent the ball for a corner.
Stefan McCluskey was next to have a go for the frustrated Dumbarton forward line but, like others before him, the former Diamond was met with strong defending from the home side and fired his curling shot into the side netting on 83 minutes.
Stuart Carswell was fortunate to only receive a yellow card after he cleaned out MacDonald as he raced down the right with four minutes left.
Marshalled by Crighton and Fordyce there were no glimmers of hope given as Airdrie saw out the remaining minutes to end the run of indifferent displays at home.
Following results elsewhere the top four clubs are now separated by just two points with Airdrie travelling to leaders Falkirk next Saturday.
John O'Brien at the Penny Cars Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.