Saturday October 17, 2020
SPFL League One
Dale Carrick 43 pen
Callum Fordyce 71
Airdrie got the league campaign off to a perfect start with a 2-0 opening day victory over Peterhead.
There were no fans inside the Penny Cars Stadium for the first fixture of the 2020/21 League One season, but the Diamonds put on an impressive team performance for supporters watching the live stream at home.
Craig Thomson and Dale Carrick came into the team which had beaten Stenhousemuir in midweek, with Euan O’Reilly and Thomas Robert taking their places on the bench alongside new loan signing Kyle Connell.
Jim McInally’s Peterhead side had fielded a number of former Diamonds last season, but only one remained in the shape of Ryan Conroy, now operating in the left full-back berth.
Airdrie’s first chance fell to defender Callum Fordyce, who was unlucky to see his shot cannon off his own team-mate in the eighth minute.
Blue Toon keeper Joshua Rae cut out Kyle MacDonald’s cross at the end of a nice passing move from Ian Murray’s side, the first of several flowing attacks.
The visitors were playing to the strengths of lone striker Isaac Layne, and the big forward was proving a handful for Diamonds centre-back pairing Sean Crighton and Fordyce, but the former Dumbarton man was well marshalled throughout.
Jason Brown did well to win a header at the far post after 14 minutes, but Max Currie watched it sail over the bar.
Josh Kerr continued to show his willingness to strike at goal as he thrives in a midfield role, but Rae got down well to save his 16th-minute strike.
Carrick was beginning to shine upfront, and got to the bye-line just before the half-hour mark only to see his cutback cleared away.
Scott Brown shot wide a moment later, before another former Airdrie man Alan Cook came on in place of the injured Simon Ferry.
Carrick pulled another good ball back from the bye-line but there were no takers. The striker was then on the receiving end of some rough treatment from Kyle Bailey, who was warned over his conduct.
Shortly before half-time Carrick burst into the box again, with Bailey bringing the striker down as he turned toward goal. Referee Barry Cook pointed to the spot and booked the Peterhead defender before Carrick stepped up to slot the penalty home.
The second-half began as the first had ended, with the Diamonds on the front foot. Two separate injuries forced Peterhead into further changes, with their already depleted bench now used up.
Substitute Lyall Cameron looked lively down the right flank, and it took a timely interception from Fordyce to prevent a shot on goal on the hour-mark.
Paul McKay was getting forward well for the home side, and Rae had to race out of his box to prevent the midfielder getting through on goal as Airdrie began to turn up the pressure.
A series of set-pieces around the box culminated in a Kyle MacDonald corner from the left finding Fordyce, who glanced a superb header past Rae to double the Diamonds’ lead on 72 minutes.
Carrick was denied a second by Rae’s save before Kyle Connell made his Airdrie debut, replacing the impressive Calum Gallagher.
As the clock ticked down, there was some defending for the home side to do, but Fordyce prevented veteran Derek Lyle from getting a close-range shot away.
Leon McCann and substitute Euan O’Reilly both had shots on goal before the final whistle, but the Diamonds had to settle for a final score of 2-0, with plenty of positives for the fans to enjoy before next weekend’s match against relegated Partick Thistle.
Stuart Mathie at Penny Cars Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.