Saturday August 24, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
Ross Davidson 7
Liam Watt 23
Aaron Dunsmore 56
Scott Agnew 71
Calum Gallagher 90+1
East Fife ran out convincing winners as Airdrie suffered a dismal afternoon at Locality Hub Bayview Stadium, a venue that has rarely been a happy hunting ground over recent years.
The Diamonds contributed to their own downfall with just seven minutes on the clock after keeper David Hutton rolled the ball to Nat Wedderburn and his misplaced pass was collected by Ross Davidson, who sent the ball back at goal with Hutton unfortunately slipping as he retreated and able only to watch the ball rolling into the net.
Sean Crighton made a timely interception after 15 minutes as Anton Dowds looked set to get his shot away, while Liam Watt following up had his effort deflected for a corner.
The Diamonds backline was exposed on the left on 23 minutes when Watt received the ball midway in the visitors’ half and was able to make ground into the box before cutting back to his right then curling the ball beyond Hutton at his far post to double the advantage.
Another former Diamond Ryan Wallace was next up on the left, going close as he raced into the box then sent his shot into the side netting.
Still East Fife looked to score again and on 34 minutes a fine run by Wallace saw his ball across the face of goal met by Aaron Dunsmore, whose low first-time effort was gathered by Hutton.
Gallagher advanced with the ball on 37 minutes breaking upfield. His pass to Dale Carrick was blocked by Stewart Murdoch and although Craig Thomson collected the loose ball he fired a 25 yard effort over the crossbar.
In the closing five minutes of the first half both sides made chances with a Dunsmore 30-yard shot well wide, while Thomson cut into space then sent a low drive which Jordan Hart was down quickly to gather before Callum Smith’s good work in the penalty box saw him gain room for a shot ten yards out, but the left-footed effort was wide of the target.
As Airdrie tried to get back in the match Thomson collected Wedderburn’s pass on 53 minutes and saw his 25-yard shot deflected for corner.
Almost immediately at the other end good work from Dowds and Wallace set up Watt who sent his close-range attempt wide of goal.
The home side broke quickly on 56 minutes as Dunsmore and Dowds combined down the right with Dunsmore running into the box to send the ball into the net for a third.
Airdrie were indebted to Crighton on the 59-minute mark after he cleared Watt’s dangerous ball into the box.
Threeminutes later Gallagher was stretching for a Crighton knock on from Thomson’s free kick but could not make contact.
With 20 minutes left Thomson weaved between two East Fife defenders and was brought down inside the box, with Airdrie’s penalty shouts waved aside.
A minute later the home side broke to the other end of the park and as Airdrie players backed off, Scott Agnew collected a Wallace cross from wide right and curled the ball past an unsighted Hutton for number four.
As the visitors looked for a crumb of comfort from the match Kyle McDonald cracked a superb effort off the crossbar with 11 minutes left and Callum Fordyce fired the rebound over the goal.
Substitute Leon McCann sent a shot from inside the box wide of goal with five minutes to play but in stoppage time Smith sent Thomson in behind the home defence, keeper Hart came out to block and the ball fell for Gallagher, who sent the late consolation strike into the net.
A poor result on the back successive wins and with next week’s opponents Falkirk travelling to Airdrie following a defeat themselves, both will be looking to pick themselves up from the weekend’s results.
John O'Brien at Locality Hub Bayview Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.