Saturday October 24, 2020
SPFL League One
Brian Graham 40
Blair Spittal 60
Dale Carrick 36
Airdrie were stung by a controversial winner as Partick Thistle came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory.
Ian Murray named the same starting XI and bench that had opened the League One calendar with a home win against Peterhead last weekend, while Jags boss Ian McCall included fellow ex-Diamond Ross Docherty in a side looking to recover from opening-day defeat at Clyde.
Both teams showed their support for the Show Racism the Red Card campaign prior to kick-off.
The opening half hour was a stuffy affair, with both sides enjoying spells of possession but having few clear-cut opportunities.
Craig Thomson showed early promise with an incisive run down the right, but his cutback was gathered low at the front post by Thistle keeper Kieran Wright.
Kyle MacDonald was a calm head at the back as the hosts hit back, clearing well inside the box before Thomson had another chance, this time opting to shoot and firing wide of the post.
Max Currie’s first involvement came after 17 minutes when the Airdrie keeper took Brian Graham’s header cleanly.
Defender James Penrice attempted a 19th-minute screamer, but although his shot had plenty of power behind it, it lacked direction.
Calum Gallagher fired over from a tight angle following a good run and pass from Paul McKay, but it was Currie who produced the heroics at the other end with a spectacular save, tipping a powerful shot from the edge of the box over the bar.
Airdrie began to apply more pressure in the final third, and the hosts were lucky to get the break of the ball after more good work from Thomson.
On 35 minutes, the Diamonds took the lead. Leon McCann’s cross was cleared only as far as Sean Crighton, who quickly returned the ball and found the head of Dale Carrick, who nodded home from close range.
It took the home side only five minutes to equalise. With Airdrie appealing for offside as a through ball found Shea Gordon, the midfielder squared the ball to Graham who tapped the ball past Currie to square the match.
The veteran striker could have had a second on the stroke of half-time, but Currie adjusted his position to beat away a well-struck shot.
The hosts came out with their tails up after the break, and Gordon had two early chances, heading over from close range before screwing a shot across the face of goal.
Carrick got a shot away in a crowded box on 50 minutes, but pulled his effort just wide of Wright’s post.
Docherty was next to threaten for the Jags, but Currie got his fingertips to the former Diamond’s effort to push it round the post.
Blair Spittal was unlucky to see a thunderous effort come back off the post on 57 minutes, but the midfielder made no mistake two minutes later, albeit in more controversial circumstances.
With the Diamonds pressing, Gallagher went down under a challenge just as he was about to pull the trigger. Referee Graham Beaton emphatically waved play on and Thistle broke up the park, Spittal applying the final touch with a measured strike which curled beyond Currie’s grasp.
Airdrie continued to press, and Callum Fordyce was unable to repeat his goalscoring feat of the opening day, with the defender leaning back and unable to keep his shot from rising over the crossbar.
The same player got a good headed contact on McCann’s 72nd-minute cross, but again the ball flew over the bar.
Wright denied Thomson five minutes later as the Diamonds searched for an equaliser, Sean Crighton also going close with a spectacular overhead kick ten minutes from time.
There were to be no more chances at either end, and it was the Maryhill side who took the points from this meeting, but the Airdrie management will feel slightly aggrieved about the manner of their defeat.
Stuart Mathie at Firhill Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.