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Tuesday September 22, 2020

Pre-season friendly





Eoghan Stokes 20
Ally Roy 65, 68

Albion Rovers

Matthew Aitken 14
Finn Ecrepont 24


It was a tale of Roy and the Rovers as Airdrie came from behind to win an entertaining pre-season friendly at the Penny Cars Stadium.

Harlain Mbayo made his first appearance in the Diamond as Ian Murray's side welcomed their Monklands rivals, led by new boss Brian Reid.

The visitors impressed in the first half, although both sides showed signs of slick passing play despite the driving rain.

Airdrie's wing play looked set to produce results in the early stages, with Rovers keeper Chris Henry denying Euan O'Reilly and Thomas Robert in the first five minutes, but it was the Coatbridge men who took the lead after fourteen minutes, a strong run down the right ending with a cutback to Matthew Aitken, who finished well from the edge of the area.

Paul McKay was linking well with the forwards, and Dale Carrick went close after some neat passing between the two.

It was new midfield signing Eoghan Stokes who grabbed the equaliser, controlling Josh Kerr's through ball before turning his man and firing into the bottom corner.

The Diamonds' lead didn't last long, former Ayr United youth Finn Ecrepont putting his side back in front with a powerful header from a 24th-minute corner kick.

Leon McCann joined Stokes and O'Reilly in having goal attempts as the interval approached, but all three were wasteful, and it took a well-timed Harlain Mbayo challenge to deny Rovers another sight of goal on the stroke of half-time.

The usual slew of half-time substitutions were made, and Airdrie approached the second 45 with more urgency.

Craig Thomson's pace was causing problems down the right flank, and Robert was inches away from netting a spectacular volley from the winger's cross on 52 minutes.

Max Currie saved with his feet a minute later, before counterpart Henry denied Thomson.

Josh Kerr went close with a 25-yard free-kick just after the hour-mark, but it was substitute Ally Roy who grabbed a lovely equaliser shortly after, picking up a long pass and lobbing Henry from the edge of the box.

Roy wasted no time in getting his second and Airdrie's third as the striker picked up another searching pass from Kerr and lashed the winning goal beyond Henry.

Queen of the South are the Diamonds' weekend opponents before round two of the pre-season Monklands derby next Tuesday.

Stuart Mathie at Penny Cars Stadium.

Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.

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