Saturday October 5, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
David Ferguson 26
Calum Gallagher 4
Dale Carrick 75 pen
Airdrie returned to winning ways at Balmoor Stadium thanks to goals from Calum Gallagher and Dale Carrick, as the Diamonds moved into fourth place with their third win in four away league fixtures.
David Hutton returned in goals in place of Reece Willison, while Kyle MacDonald, Josh Kerr and Kurtis Roberts replaced Craig Thomson, Charlie Reilly and Ally Roy in the starting line up. James Cowan was a late addition to the substitutes bench after a pre-match injury to Reilly.
Paddy Boyle, David Ferguson, Jamie Stevenson and Ryan Conroy faced their former side in the blue of Peterhead.
The Diamonds started as they had finished the week before against Stranraer, on the front foot and taking the game to their hosts.
Some decent passing play between Roberts and MacDonald fashioned a chance on two minutes as MacDonald got sight of the Peterhead goal, sending a curling shot well away from the target.
Conroy saw an early effort inside the box blocked and cleared upfield.
Airdrie took a deserved lead on four minutes, again after good build-up play on the right. Roberts’ cross into the box was met by Gallagher, and Airdrie’s top scorer was on hand to send his sixth goal of the season beyond Greg Fleming into the net, despite the best efforts of the keeper at the far post.
As Airdrie threatened to add to their lead after eight minutes, Paul McKay’s whipped in cross from the right saw the ball being punched away by an anxious Fleming before the danger was cleared.
With 14 minutes gone a foul by Scott Hooper on Gallagher provided a shooting opportunity some 25 yards out. Adam Eckersley’s free kick was on target, but the ball was comfortably taken by Fleming under his crossbar.
Having had an excellent opening quarter of an hour, the home side showed a reaction as the Diamonds dropped their early levels of play. Airdrie defenders backed off and Scott Brown served notice of Peterhead’s intent by firing a low shot inside the box against Hutton’s left post.
Aidan Smith then forced a decent save from his angled shot after being able to run into the penalty box on 19 minutes, while Smith should have done more with a Rory McAllister pass two minutes later but could only send his attempt off target.
A deserved leveller for Peterhead arrived on 26 minutes, having knocked on the door several times. Gary Fraser’s 25-yard free kick was allowed to drop inside the visitor’s box and David Ferguson sent the ball beyond Hutton from ten yards out.
McKay rose to meet an Eckersley corner a minute later, but his headed attempt was off target.
As Airdrie tried to restore their advantage in the closing quarter of an hour of the first half, McKay had a headed effort blocked then Josh Kerr rose well to meet another Eckersley corner but sent his header over the top of Fleming’s goal. The sides went in at the interval level.
After the break the home side looked to try and grab the lead. Conroy’s free kick on 47 minutes never threatened and was sent well over Hutton’s cross bar.
Hutton was down quickly on 53 minutes to take Fraser’s angled shot comfortably.
The home side’s frustration started to grow as the half wore on, and long-range efforts from McAllister and Stevenson were wide or too high to trouble Hutton.
With 63 minutes played Callum Smith’s persistence saw him chase down the ball into the Peterhead penalty box but the striker flattened as he tried to run in on goal. Airdrie’s penalty claims were waved aside.
Scott Brown was next to have a go up for the home side from distance on 69 minutes, and like several before, the shot was off target - but closer to the goal than others had been.
With just over twenty minutes left Ian Murray replaced defender Josh Kerr with attacker Dale Carrick.
A decent MacDonald delivery from a corner found Callum Fordyce and the ball got caught under his feet as he sent it wide of the Peterhead goal on 73 minutes.
Airdrie started to pass the ball with confidence in the final third, and after Stevenson took the legs away from Gallagher inside the box, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Up stepped Carrick, only on the field for five minutes, to send keeper Fleming the wrong way with his well-placed penalty.
The home side tried desperately to restore parity in the closing quarter of an hour, and while Hooper was on target on 78 minutes with a header, he sent the ball straight at Hutton.
McAllister had a couple of efforts in the closing stages but sent both attempts wide of the Airdrie goal.
The Diamonds back-line coped well with the high balls launched into their half for the remainder of the match, which included an additional seven minutes of stoppage time.
With results elsewhere, Airdrieonians moved closer to the three sides above them in the table, with the visit of Elgin City to look forward to before the second quarter of matches kicks off a week later.
John O'Brien at Balmoor Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.