Saturday February 8, 2020
Ladbrokes League One
Airdrie dominated possession against Dumbarton, but were unable to make the breakthrough in a match played in awful conditions.
Innes Murray made his Diamonds debut after joining on loan from Hibs, with Nat Wedderburn and Calum Gallagher also back in the starting line-up. Kurtis Roberts, Paul McKay and Dale Carrick were the men to make way, with Roberts and McKay on the bench while Carrick missed out through injury.
Jim Duffy’s side elected to shoot against the strong wind in the first half, but it was Airdrie who controlled the game from the off, Andy Ryan latching on to Sean Crighton’s second-minute through ball only to be denied by the boot of Sons keepers Conor Brennan.
Calum Gallagher was next to threaten against his old club, firing in a 20-yard shot which went just wide of Brennan’s right-hand post.
Dumbarton’s first chance came midway through the half, recent re-signing Ross Forbes finding space at the far post but unable to get sufficient power on his header to trouble Scott Gallacher.
Callum Smith did well to get a shot away just after the half-hour mark, but a defensive block saw the ball safely back to Brennan.
The Diamonds were putting together some incisive passing moves in spite of the conditions, and Smith was just unable to make contact with a 34th-minute cross from Murray, who was impressing with his delivery from the left.
Ryan McGeever sent a powerful header wide of the target as half-time approached, but Airdrie ended the half strongly with Smith forcing Brennan into a fine reflex save before the Dunfermline loanee saw another effort blocked behind for a corner.
There was a penalty claim on the stroke of half-time as Wedderburn and Ryan combined to feed Gallagher in the box, but referee Lloyd Wilson saw nothing wrong with Sam Wardrop’s clumsy challenge as the striker shaped to shoot.
The second half began cagily as the weather worsened, and Dumbarton’s efforts to prevent the Diamonds getting a grip of the match saw McGeever and Rico Quitongo booked for kicking the ball away.
Brennan did well to palm out Sean Crighton’s volley after 62 minutes before Quitongo defended well to prevent Ryan and Smith’s neat interplay from producing results.
Kyle MacDonald saw his 74th-minute drive deflected behind as the Diamonds continued to press, and five minutes later Murray was unlucky with a well-struck free-kick.
The second half ended as the first had, with Airdrie penalty shouts ringing out as Quitongo pulled substitute Ally Roy to the ground, but again the referee was unimpressed.
The final whistle signalled another frustrating result for Ian Murray’s side, who produced a much-improved performance but continue to suffer something of a goal drought.
Stuart Mathie at C&G Systems Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.