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Saturday October 26, 2019

Ladbrokes League One

Forfar Athletic




Dale Hilson 34


Dale Carrick 52

Calum Gallagher 53

Callum Smith 80

Ally Roy 89


Four different scorers provided Airdrie with their best result at Station Park since 2002 as Dale Carrick, Calum Gallagher, Callum Smith and Ally Roy brought the Diamonds from behind to earn all three points.


It was a match in which Airdrie displayed their ability to move the ball with pace and stay close to their opposite number when the occasion arose. A four-goal haul against a side who had conceded just four in their previous five league fixtures at Station Park this season is also worthy of note. 


12 minutes had passed before the first threat from either side when Michael Travis rose well to head a Jordan Kirkpatrick corner wide of the Airdrie goal.


A minute later Dale Carrick raced on to a pass from Calum Gallagher and Forfar keeper Marc McCallum spread himself to block the striker’s shot on goal.


Ross Forbes tried a speculative effort from distance a minute later, but his attempt was far too high to threaten the visitor’s goal.


With 23 minutes played a cross from Leon McCann was headed down by Paul McKay and Gallagher’s netbound shot from inside the box was blocked with the danger cleared.


Forfar’s Travis had a shot on goal blocked by Callum Fordyce on 34 minutes with the home side scoring from the resulting corner. Kirpatrick’s far post delivery was headed back across goal with Dale Hilson providing the finishing touch to send the ball past Reece Willison for the opening goal.


With four minutes of the half remaining skipper Sean Crighton’s timely challenge as Hilson looked set to run in behind the Airdrie backline ensured the home side would only take a goal advantage in at the interval.


The introduction of Kieran Millar early in the second half brought a change in Airdrie’s game plan as they moved the ball with great purpose and pace, creating a succession of chances. 


With 50 minutes gone Kurtis Roberts fired the ball over the crossbar as Airdrie looked to level matters.


Roberts and Carrick combined on 52 minutes with the latter’s low driven shot being fumbled by McCallum, and the ball spun over the line for the equaliser. 


A minute later as Airdrie pushed on, the ball broke to the edge of the box and Gallagher chased it down before neatly lobbing it over the advancing McCallum, watching it drop under the crossbar into the net to give the Diamonds the lead.


With 57 minutes gone Roberts fired a 20-yard shot over the Forfar goal following another strong run.


Gallagher then fired wide from outside the box a minute later as the Diamonds searched for a third goal.


Willison was down quickly to comfortably collect a Forbes’ 25-yard free kick on 63 minutes. 


The home side made changes as they searched for an equaliser, but Airdrie went close to a third after keeper McCallum sent a clearance off Gallagher with the ball going wide, to the relief of the home keeper. 


Airdrie were defending well and breaking with good pace and accurate passing and after a sweeping move took them to the edge of the box on 72 minutes, Travis fouled Carrick. Roberts, looking for the goal his play deserved, could only curl the free-kick over the crossbar.


With ten minutes left, nice interplay between Smith and Gallagher through the middle saw Gallagher leading his marker away from goal, while Smith made great headway to the edge of the box then fired in a 20-yard shot which gave McCallum no chance.


Hilson, who had been the home side’s best player, went close on 86 minutes after his shot from 25 yards out dipped at the last moment and kissed the crossbar on the way over the top.


Substitute Russell McLean fired wide to the right of Willison’s goal with a minute remaining as the home side tried to reduce the deficit.


Airdrie were not finished though, and added a fourth on the 90-minute mark after substitute Ally Roy reacted quickly to a shot from Roberts inside the box, controlling the ball then sending it past McCallum to round off a miserable day for the hosts. 


Airdrie’s win took them back into fourth spot while gaining revenge for that opening day league loss to Jim Weir’s side.

John O'Brien at Station Park.

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

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