Saturday February 22, 2020

Ladbrokes League One

Peterhead

0-2

Airdrieonians

Andy Ryan 47 pen

Craig Thomson 83

Andy Ryan’s penalty and Craig Thomson’s first Airdrie goal provided the Diamonds with this season’s third win over Peterhead.

 

The three points keep Ian Murray’s side tucked in behind the top two in the table with a  third consecutive clean sheet, having conceded only one goal in their last five games. Airdrie’s strong defensive record is second only to Falkirk this season.

 

Following the win against Clyde it was “same again” in the starting line up, with skipper Sean Crighton taking a place on the bench.

 

With the wind in the visitors’ favour Andy Ryan broke into the box with five minutes gone, and his low effort was on target but well taken by keeper Greg Fleming.

 

Two minutes later Innes Murray was on the end of a clearance to the edge of the Peterhead box but curled the ball just wide of the home goal with his shot.

 

Gary Fraser shot wide of Scott Gallacher’s goal a minute later after Jim McInally’s side broke upfield.

 

Peterhead were managing the Airdrie attacks well, putting in timely challenges and playing the safety-first approach as the Diamonds tried to make passes. In fact, it was Peterhead who threatened twice inside a couple of minutes when a Luc Bollan header was comfortably taken by Gallacher in 23 minutes, then former Diamond Ryan Conroy’s attempt from distance was wide of the Airdrie goal.

 

As the first half wore on the wind was making conditions difficult, while Peterhead’s defence deserved to go into the interval on level terms, having blocked anything coming their way.

 

A minute after the restart the home made a break down the left then created a chance with another ex-Diamond Jack Leitch firing in an angled shot which Gallacher gathered at his near post. 

 

Airdrie reacted well and Callum Smith’s run into the box from the right saw him crudely challenged by Jason Brown with a penalty awarded. The spot kick saw Ryan drill the ball low past Fleming into the net at his left post. 

 

The Diamonds had much more fluency to their play facing the wind with most of their best play coming down the right.

 

Gallacher though was called into action again when Leitch shot from 25 yards out and again the keeper was equal to the shot, saving cleanly to his right.

 

The Airdrie rearguard were playing very confidently at the back with Josh Kerr attacking every high ball into the final third to great effect while Callum Fordyce was providing that extra assurance that comes with his experience. Nat Wedderburn, sitting in front of the back line, was also muscling out the opposition with timely challenges and clever passes after breaking up the play.

 

Frustration within the home ranks led to Cammy Eadie wastefully blasting the ball high over the Airdrie goal on 61 minutes.

 

Gallacher made another fine stop on the 70-minute mark after Scott Brown was on the end of a loose ball following a corner, with the Peterhead midfielder getting his effort on target only to see the Airdrie keeper make the save.

 

Airdrie bagged a second goal on 83 minutes. Wedderburn’s ball wide to the left saw Murray advance toward the box before sending in a curling cross. Ryan attempted to make contact but was unable to do so. Paul McKay was quick to react to the loose ball, teeing up Thomson with an excellent cutback, and the substitute sent the ball into the net for the second goal.

 

Although changes had been made both sides played out the remaining period with no further goals added, and Airdrie left Balmoor with two victories for the first time in over a decade.

John O'Brien at Balmoor Stadium.

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

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