Saturday September 28, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
Callum Smith 66
Paul McKay 90+1
Jordan Allan 8
James Hilton 31
A game of two halves saw the points shared as Airdrieonians battled back from being two goals behind to second bottom Stranraer.
Reece Willison, Nat Wedderburn, Craig Thomson and Ally Roy were brought into the starting line-up for David Hutton, Kyle MacDonald, Josh Kerr and Kieran Millar.
Cameron Elliott was first to threaten on two minutes, although he sent his powerful volley high over the Airdrie goal from inside the box.
The visitors opened the scoring on eight minutes after Leon Murphy’s corner was headed into the net by Jordan Allan off the underside of the crossbar, with young Reece Willison blocked off by a heavy number of Stranraer players on the goal line.
Adam Eckersley ‘s 14th minute free-kick from 20 yards out was well blocked by the visitor’s wall who then cleared any danger.
Charlie Reilly blasted a headed clearance well wide of the Stranraer goal in 19 minutes.
Play from both sides was very fragmented and labouring as the half wore on. On 31 minutes though, Stranraer worked the ball well on the left wing without a challenge, and Andy Stirling’s pass in front of James Hilton well placed for him to send the ball into the far corner of the net to double the advantage.
Two minutes later the Diamonds had their only real effort of the first 45 minutes when Calum Gallagher’s volley inside the box was well saved by keeper Max Currie, who pushed the netbound effort over the crossbar.
Four minutes into the second half Callum Smith worked some space for himself on the right and made headway into the box, but Currie saved his powerful shot with the visiting defence clearing up.
Just when Craig Thomson was getting some joy on the left, he fell awkwardly in the box and had to be replaced as a result of his injury.
As Airdrie looked to reduce the deficit Gallagher’s drilled ball across the face of goal from the right on 56 minutes found no takers.
Three minutes later Wedderburn got on the end of Eckersley’s free kick but headed the ball wide of Currie’s goal.
More home pressure saw Ally Roy’s 20-yard shot on the hour saved by Currie, who turned the forward’s effort away for a corner.
The Blues keeper clutched a headed attempt from Sean Crighton a minute later, then turned a dipping shot from substitute Kurtis Roberts away for a corner.
The pressure eventually saw Airdrie deservedly scoring in 66 minutes. Nat Wedderburn’s header back across goal was finished off by Smith, who sent the ball into the net from close range.
Stranraer’s Adam Cummins sent a shot from outside the box wide of Willison’s goal on 69 minutes.
In 76 minutes, after coming on as a substitute Stranraer’s David Dangana was red-carded after attempting an overhead kick and catching Paul McKay with his boot.
With seven minutes remaining Ryan Thomson’s 20-yard shot was easily gathered by Willison.
On the 90th minute McKay raced into the penalty box to get on the end of an Eckersley cross, but sent his header wide of goal.
In the second minute of time added on McKay was in the box once again and after Gallagher had headed a cross to the far post back across the goal, the defender rose to head home the equaliser.
Having bagged a point the Diamonds almost had all three in the remaining stoppage time when Roberts had a 25-yard netbound shot well saved by Currie, who sent the ball out for a corner from which Crighton had a headed effort hit the post, then Roberts following up sent his shot wide.
The momentum was firmly with Airdrie in the second half but a poor first half showing meant a point apiece, with a trip north to face Peterhead next up for the Diamonds.
John O'Brien at the Penny Cars Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.