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Saturday December 7, 2019

Ladbrokes League One

Raith Rovers




Ross Matthews 42



Airdrie found themselves on the end of some hard treatment from the opposition and some harsh decisions from the officials as their winning run ended in controversial circumstances at Raith Rovers.


It was the home side who had the first real effort on goal after four minutes when James Gullan was able gain some space just outside the penalty box and sent his shot against keeper David Hutton’s post. As play continued the ball broke to Tony Dingwall who fired wide from inside the box. 


Airdrie responded on ten minutes after Calum Gallagher showed good control from a ball into the box then saw his shot for goal blocked. Kurtis Roberts was alert to the clearance to drill in a 20-yard effort with keeper Ross Munro diving to his left to gather the ball near his post. 


Four minutes later Paul McKay rose to meet a Kyle MacDonald cross into the box with his header coming off the crossbar at the corner of the Raith goal.


A 20-minute spell followed in which neither side were able to provide a threat to their opponent’s goal. A superb slipped pass from Dale Carrick left Callum Smith in the clear and with Munro to beat he sent the shot past the far post.


Leon McCann made a timely clearance on 39 minutes to send the ball past his own post after it appeared that Raith would threaten the Airdrie goal.


Out of the blue Rovers opened the scoring on 42 minutes when Ross Matthews met a Kieran MacDonald cross into the box and sent the ball past Hutton.


Kieron Bowie fired into the side netting after good play down the Raith left on 44 minutes, while Kyle MacDonald sent a volley from outside the box wide of the target just before the half-time whistle.


Callum Fordyce met Smith’s cross on 51 minutes to send a headed attempt on goal which Munro gathered on his line.


Raith defender Iain Davidson was shown a straight red card on 54 minutes after a high lunge on Kurtis Roberts in the middle of the park.


With 58 minutes gone McKay was felled as he ran into the box with penalty claims waved aside while nothing was said to McKay.


Brad Spencer fired a shot wide of Hutton’s goal on 62 minutes. Kyle MacDonald then tried from outside the box but fired wide as Airdrie tried to break through the numbers in the box defending.


McKay had another headed attempt striker the home side’s crossbar on 72 minutes.


With 78 minutes played Carrick stretched to reach a MacDonald cross and could only send his header into Munro’s arms.


Six minutes later Fordyce tripped former Diamond Joao Victoria and was stunned to receive a red card when a yellow looked more appropriate.


Airdrie were reduced to nine men when the Diamonds’ final substitute Charlie Reilly had to be carried off the field in agony by two physios, but the numbers were evened again when Raith goalscorer Matthews’ 93rd minute lunge was deemed to be worthy of a red card by referee Aitken.


As Airdrie pressed in added time McKay had a header that almost went in while Ally Roy nodded over from close range.


Smith also went close while a shot from outside the box was netbound but was blocked by a Rovers defender with handball shouts again being ignored.


Manager Ian Murray could not contain his disappointment and was also red carded.


The final whistle brought the Diamonds excellent run to an end, but the six-game winning sequence provides a record to be beaten as the second half of the season approaches.

John O'Brien at Stark's Park.

Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.

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