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Saturday January 25, 2020

Ladbrokes League One







Airdrieonians failed to score in consecutive fixtures for the first time this season with a frustrating goalless draw against relegation favourites Stranraer. 


The second draw between the sides at the Penny Cars Stadium this season will be seen as a case of two points dropped, unlike the first meeting was seen when the Diamonds battled back from two goals down.


The Diamonds made changes from their last league fixture in Fife with Scott Gallacher replacing David Hutton, Josh Kerr and Andy Ryan starting with Kyle MacDonald and Kurtis Roberts on the bench.


Ryan in particular worked keeper Max Currie on a number of occasions but each time Stranraer were indebted to their goalkeeper who played a critical role in his side earning a share of the points.


With two minutes gone a free kick by Josh Kerr fell to Ryan and his early effort went wide of the opposition goal.


Ryan Stevenson had Stranraer’s first shot from 25 yards with five minutes gone, a speculative shot wide of keeper Gallacher’s goal, while Andy Ryan was on target a minute later with Currie taking the ball cleanly after good play by Kerr. 


With ten minutes on the clock Denny Johnstone sent a shot from outside the box high over the Airdrie goal. 


A good run by Callum Fordyce after 20 minutes put Dale Carrick wide on the right. He cut inside then had his shot on target blocked with Currie coming to collect Ryan’s cross as Calum Gallagher tried to connect.


As they enjoyed a good deal of possession the home side were unable to make any breakthrough. Gallagher made poor contact from a Callum Smith cutback, then Smith made poor contact to a Ryan cross despite trying to stretch for the ball, while Kerr’s effort from distance was on target but easily taken by Currie. 


Paul McKay was next up ten minutes from the interval rising to meet a front post corner delivery but heading wide of the goal. 


Currie was again in the right place to save from Gallagher after decent work by Carrick on 39 minutes but the first half finished goalless. 


The second half was only three minutes old when Carrick sent a terrific ball into the box to pick out Gallagher in front of the goal but he failed to get his header on target. 


A challenge on Carrick inside the box led to penalty shouts which were waved aside three minutes later.


As Airdrie continued to try and press Gallagher and Ryan were unable to break the deadlock while Cameron Elliott raced upfield and it took a well-timed block by Sean Crighton to keep the scoreline blank.


The Ryan vs Currie match continued on 56 minutes with the keeper making a save from a shot fired straight at him. 


Josh Kerr had an angled 20-yard free-kick pushed over the top of his goal by Currie who was having a fine match. 


With 68 minutes played Ryan rose highest to meet a Leon McCann cross but Currie made another decent save, then with 88 minutes gone Ryan collected a cross into the box from the left then had his shot blocked. He got up quickly to meet the rebound but could only send his follow up wide of the target.


Former Diamond Scott Robertson looked to have held skipper Crighton inside the box but once again claims were ignored. 


Even in stoppage time Ryan met a cross from the left some ten yards out and his netbound header was pushed away by keeper Currie to earn his side a point.


The draw allows Raith Rovers and Falkirk to move further clear of the Diamonds but also increases the gap to East Fife and Montrose who are in fourth and fifth place.

John O'Brien at the Penny Cars Stadium.

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

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