Saturday July 6, 2019
Dean Hawkshaw 32
Dale Carrick 48
Cammy Russell 90
Dean Hawkshaw, Dale Carrick and Cammy Russell were on target as the Diamonds recorded their second win in five days against League Two opposition.
Ian Murray started seven of the side that began the match against Albion Rovers, with Kieran Millar, Hawkshaw, Carrick and Nat Wedderburn making their first starts.
The visitors arrived with a number of former Airdrie connections in their group with manager Gary Bollan in addition to players Craig Barr and David Cox.
Cowdenbeath had started brightly as Cox raced into the box in the first minute, but Josh Kerr defended well to snuff out the threat.
Hawkshaw’s third minute corner saw Wedderburn meet the delivery only to head the ball over the goal.
Three minutes later Calum Gallagher was next to threaten after a good run into the box from the right wing, but the frontman sent a powerful shot into the side netting.
Cox had the first real effort on target on nine minutes but it lacked power as keeper David Hutton gathered the ball easily.
Hawkshaw was looking lively and with ten minutes gone he raced on to a Wedderburn though ball, evaded a poor challenge but could only fire his shot wide of the far post.
A high tackle midway through the half saw Hawkshaw take a few minutes to recover. He picked himself to deliver another decent corner on 26 minutes which Wedderburn met but the header was off target.
After a foul on Craig Thomson 25 yards out, Ally Roy’s free kick on 28 minutes was blocked by the defensive wall.
Defender Adam Eckersley’s experience saw him make a highly effective block on the half hour then two minutes later play a part in the opening goal. An excellent crossfield pass picked out Craig Thomson who showed immediate control before racing inside then squaring the ball to Hawkshaw who advanced into the box before curling the ball beyond keeper Kevin Dabrowski into the far corner of the net.
Kris Renton had a chance to test Hutton with six minutes of the half remaining but sent his 20 yard shot wide of the target.
After the break Euan O’Reilly came on for goalscorer Hawkshaw and made an early impact. Three minutes after the restart he did well to give himself space on the left and deliver a fine cross beyond the keeper with Dale Carrick racing in to power his header into the net.
Kieran Millar showed great commitment on 50 minutes to cover back after some midfield confusion allowed Robbie Buchanan to race into the box, but by the time the striker was able to get his shot away Millar was back to block the shot.
A minute later, O’Reilly raced in behind the Cowdenbeath back line to reach Wedderburn’s ball over the top only to be flagged offside.
As Airdrie pressed for a third, on 55 minutes Callum Fordyce’s cross into the box was met by Roy who headed the ball just wide of goal.
The ability to break with pace was evident in 59 minutes after O’Reilly and Thomson linked well to move upfield quickly, only to end with Thomson volleying his shot well over the visitor’s goal.
Roy tested keeper Dabrowski after 63 minutes after a decent break, though Cowednbeath’s Buchanan missed a great opportunity to reduce the deficit four minutes later after a ball into the box from the left was missed by a couple of Airdrie defenders, but he could only send his shot wide of goal at the far post.
Kurtis Roberts was quick to show his long-range shooting ability only a minute after coming on as a substitute. With 20 minutes remaining, a 30-yard shot by the former Queen’s Park midfielder saw keeper Dabrowski having to stretch to touch the powerful shot over his goal.
A minute later Roy and O’Reilly linked after a mistake by Cowdenbeath and it took another decent save by Dabrowski diving to his left to push away O’Reilly’s net bound effort.
As the clock ticked down both sides made multiple changes to their line-ups which had an impact as the substitutes tried to make their mark.
With six minutes left a Josh Edwards run down the left was a followed by a cross for Roy who sent his shot wide of goal.
O’Reilly and Russell combined with a minute left with Russell’s flicked effort taken easily by Cowdenbeath’s trialist substitute keeper.
However, after Russell gathered a ball from the left, he cut inside before lining up the shot and firing the ball low past keeper for the third and final goal.
The second of two good workouts with a number of players getting game time ahead of the competitive action.
John O'Brien at the Penny Cars Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.