Saturday October 3, 2020
Ally Roy 68
Airdrie rounded off their pre-season with a narrow victory over Queen's Park at the rain-lashed Penny Cars Stadium.
Ray McKinnon's side are strongly fancied for the League Two title after a summer of eye-catching transfer activity, and they certainly gave as good as they got for large spells of this final friendly match ahead of the Betfred Cup kick-off in midweek.
Former Diamonds Willie Muir and Bob McHugh were named in the Spiders starting XI, with pre-season top scorer Ally Roy leading the line for the home side.
Airdrie had most of the early running, Josh Kerr pulling the strings in the centre of the park while Dale Carrick and Roy linked well down the left hand side.
Muir denied both forwards in the opening ten minutes, getting down to smother a Carrick effort before racing from his line to beat Roy to a penetrative pass.
Eoghan Stokes was next to have a go for Airdrie, but the covering defender did well to block the shot behind.
Carrick fired wide again before Louis Longridge had a sight of goal for the visitors, but his shot was wayward.
The energetic Grant Gillespie was finding good positions, although his 34th minute volley left a lot to be desired as it drifted out for a throw.
Roy saw another effort deflected over before Kerr had an attempt charged down on the edge of the box.
Max Currie was called into action on the stroke of half-time, and got down well to save from Brody Paterson.
The second half was more open, with play flowing from end to end but little in the way of clear cut chances, Gillespie missing the target again before Muir got behind Roy's powerful effort.
The usual flurry of substitutions began on the hour mark, but shortly afterwards the Diamonds took the lead.
As the visitors attempted to work a throw-in back to Muir, Roy was alert to a misjudged backpass, and nipped in to steer the ball between the keeper and defender and into the net.
A note of concern for Diamonds fans came on the 79th minute, when Griffin Sabatini limped off the park.
A minute later Queens had their best chance to equalise when a looping header clipped the Airdrie bar, with the loose ball cleared to safety.
Sean Crighton was in determined mood as the visitors threw everything at a last-gasp goal, getting in front of a late goalbound header and marshalling his defence toward the final whistle.
The win meant that the Diamonds ended their pre-season schedule unbeaten, with plenty of positives from new players and old alike.
Stuart Mathie at Penny Cars Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.