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Saturday September 21, 2019

Ladbrokes League One





Raith Rovers

Grant Anderson 55


Airdrieonians missed out on the chance to go second top of the table and move ahead of their opponents after turning in a lacklustre performance against John McGlynn’s side, who bagged top spot after a single goal win.


On-loan Hamilton 17-year old midfielder Charles Reilly was given his debut, while Adam Eckersley started with Leon McCann and Dale Carrick dropping to the bench.


After two minutes Grant Anderson looked to threaten the Airdrie goal but his 25-yard shot was blocked.


Airdrie were thankful for an offside flag on eight minutes after Raith defender Steven Anderson thought he had opened the scoring.


A scramble in the Rovers box followed, with keeper Ross Munro saving Callum Fordyce’s header. The loose ball was bundled off the line amid vocal complaints from the Airdrie players.


 Veteran keeper David McGurn replaced Munro, who was injured in the stramash.


Raith began to push forward, winning a number of corners but found the home defence able to manage that threat from the dead ball.


With 21 minutes played the ball in from the right picked out Calum Gallagher who controlled the ball before being pulled to the ground by Iain Davidson, however the clash went unpunished.


After 29 minutes Airdrie were also required to make a goalkeeping change with Reece Willison becoming Airdrie’s second debutant of the day, coming on for David Hutton.


There was little goalmouth threat in the remainder of the opening half, although Fordyce made a decent block on a Regan Hendry effort three minutes from the break, while keeper Willison was down smartly in first half stoppage time saving low from Grant Anderson’s right footed attempt from outside the box.


Four minutes after the restart McGurn collected a well placed 20-yard volley from Fordyce just under his crossbar.


Raith took the lead after 55 minutes when they played their way into the box. Former Diamond Kieran Macdonald and Kyle Benedictus linked well on the left, with the latter’s cross from the left picking out Grant Anderson, who slid in to make contact and send the ball into the net.


After 61 minutes Gullan saw his 20-yard shot blocked and cleared then after 67 minutes, Hendry fired wide from 25 yards as the visitors looked to grab a second.


Airdrie were getting little change from the visiting defence as long balls were mopped up and the visitors showed great strength in the challenge. 


On 69 minutes Sean Crighton collected an overhit cross from the left, cut back and moved into the box before drilling the ball in for Paul McKay, who blasted his 10-yard effort high over the Rovers goal.


The visitors had chances to seal the win as Airdrie threw men forward but neither side were able to add to that solitary goal.


McKay was on the end of a corner on 77 minutes but sent his header over the goal.


As Airdrie pushed more players forward, twice they were hit on the counter in time added on, and only a fine Willison diving save to his near post from Joao Victoria’s shot and a last-minute clearance from Carrick ensured that Raith would not double their winning advantage.


The defeat saw Forfar Athletic move above Airdrie into fourth spot as the Diamonds drop to fifth behind the four sides that have taken points from them in the league.

John O'Brien at the Penny Cars Stadium.

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

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