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Sunday July 21, 2019

Betfred Cup Group F





David Goodwillie 75 pen, 85


Ally Roy 34 pen, 59

Adam Eckersley 39


A double from Ally Roy and an excellent strike from Adam Eckersley saw the Diamonds beat Clyde and pick up three points from their second match in Betfred Cup Group F.


The win provides an outside chance to qualify to the knockout stages after moving into third place.


It took just short of 20 minutes for the visitors to get going as Clyde enjoyed good early possession though lacked a real threat in the final third.


Chris Johnston shot directly at keeper David Hutton after five minutes with the ball easily gathered.


With 13 minutes gone Krystoffer Syvertsen’s through ball to Darren Smith saw his fellow striker fire an early angled shot with Hutton touching the ball over the crossbar.


Airdrieonians’ first threat came on 19 minutes after a fine run by Callum Smith was followed by a timely cutback into James Cowan’s path, but the English midfielder fired a 20-yard attempt over the Clyde goal. 


Eight minutes later as the Diamonds started to grow into the game, Clyde keeper David Mitchell was called into action. Cowan’s corner on the left picked out Sean Crighton whose back-post header was directed toward Nat Wedderburn, who headed powerfully on target with Mitchell acrobatically pushing the ball over his crossbar.


12 minutes from the interval Airdrieonians took the lead. After a spell of concerted pressure, Euan O’Reilly worked some space on the left and his cross was blocked by Raymond Grant’s raised arm, with referee Steven McLean pointing to the spot. Ally Roy gave Mitchell little chance, sending him the wrong way with his shot as he buried the spot-kick.


After Josh Kerr was booked for a pull back on 36 minutes, Barry Cuddihy could only drill his 20-yard free kick into the wall and the ball was cleared.


On the 38-minute mark after Craig Howie cleaned out an energetic Craig Thomson down the right, the Diamonds worked a splendid free kick. Eckersley ran over the ball with Cowan rolling the ball into his path as he raced into the penalty box before unleashing a wonderful left-foot strike into the top corner to give the Diamonds a two-goal lead at the break.


Five minutes into the second half it was almost three after excellent link-up play between Thomson and Roy led to the former Partick Thistle man forcing Mitchell into another fine save.


In 54 minutes O’Reilly combine with the strong running Smith, but his effort was well defended and blocked.


Clyde went close on 57 minutes after Johnston’s cross in the box was met by Syvertsen, whose header was blocked for a corner that was also well defended.


On the hour after winning the ball back down the right, Thomson and Smith’s interplay took them into the penalty box where a lay off to Roy allowed him to pass the ball into the open goal for the third.


Roy missed a great opportunity to bag a hat trick on 63 minutes after being set up by Thomson, blazing his shot high over the target.


As the clock ticked down it seemed that game management to the final whistle was all that was needed. With quarter of an hour remaining, play was allowed to continue in spite of a number of poor challenges on Smith and a long ball upfield landed in the Airdrieonians penalty box with referee McLean pointing to the spot for the second time with no real indication of the reason.


Substitute David Goodwillie fired home from the spot, then added a second five minutes from time when he headed home Johnston’s well placed ball into the box.


Despite the home side’s late flurry there was no further scoring.


A big game against Queen’s Park now takes on some significance prior to the visit of Hamilton Accies at the weekend.

John O'Brien at FOYS Stadium

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

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