Tuesday September 29, 2020
Calum Gallagher 30
Matthew Aitken 42 pen
The second Monklands derby of pre-season was a stuffy affair as the spoils were shared at the Penny Cars Stadium.
Both sides made changes from the first meeting, which Airdrie had won 3-2 a week previously, the most notable of which was Diamonds defender Joshua Burke switching sides as he made his Albion Rovers debut having joined on a three-month loan deal earlier in the day.
The defences came out on top early in the match with little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening half hour.
Euan O'Reilly and Thomas Robert were finding good positions only to see their final balls well blocked by the Rovers rearguard, while David Hutton easily held a speculative Aron Lynas shot after 21 minutes.
The home side took the lead on the half-hour mark, and it took a spark of creativity from Robert to carve open the Albion defence. Picking up a Dean Ritchie pass, the Frenchman's quick feet took him clear of Burke and a square pass found Calum Gallagher well placed to apply a poacher's finish.
Lewis Baker tried his luck with a long-range free-kick six minutes later, but it drifted wide of Hutton's goal.
Four minutes from the break Rovers were awarded a penalty as a ball in the box struck Harlain Mbayo's hand. There was little time for the defender to adjust his position, but referee Alan Newlands was in no doubt as he pointed to the spot.
Matthew Aitken, who had scored a week earlier, stepped up to send Hutton the wrong way with a well-taken spot-kick.
Gallagher and Robert combined again on the stroke of half-time, but the Diamonds goalscorer was again denied by a solid defensive block.
Half-time saw no fewer than six Airdrie substitutions, and it was the comparatively unchanged Rovers who made the early running after the break.
Gregor Fotheringham was unlucky with a superb dipping shot which rebounded to safety off the underside of Max Currie's crossbar before Airdrie sub Craig Thomson was unlucky not to get the ball across following a sweeping Diamonds attack.
Ally Roy was in the mood for more goals, but was off-target with a 68th-minute effort.
The visitors finished strongly, but Harlain Mbayo stood strong to break up a couple of promising attacks before Finn Ecrepont and Jamie Leslie saw efforts fly over the bar.
Albion's sub goalkeeper Chris Henry denied Carrick with a decent save in the last real action of the 90 minutes, and the final whistle signalled a 1-1 draw.
Stuart Mathie at Penny Cars Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.