Saturday November 7, 2020
SPFL League One
Calum Gallagher 24, 44
Dale Carrick 30, 52 pen
Kyle Connell 81
Airdrie produced an outstanding display to trump Clyde with a first Diamonds goal for Kyle Connell and doubles for Calum Gallagher and Dale Carrick.
There were two changes in Ian Murray’s starting line-up, with Griffin Sabatini and Thomas Robert replacing Kyle MacDonald and Craig Thomson. Ex-Airdrie stalwart Jamie Bain lined up for Clyde, managed by former Diamonds boss Danny Lennon.
The match got off to an explosive start with Sean Crighton booked inside a minute for a scything challenge on David Goodwillie.
Airdrie had two penalty shouts denied, both for handball, as they showed early signs of the pressure they were to heap on the visitors’ defence.
Tom Lang then got in front of a Gallagher strike before Kerr headed a corner kick wide of the target, but it was Gallagher who opened the scoring midway through the first half. Kyle Connell and Leon McCann carved the Clyde defence open with a slick one-two down the left, with Gallagher darting to the near post to angle a header beyond David Mitchell.
Clyde had two decent chances to equalise within five minutes, Syvertsen shooting straight at David Hutton before Goodwillie headed a Bain cross over the bar.
With the attempts for an early leveller weathered, Airdrie added a fine second through Dale Carrick on the half-hour mark.
The impressive Robert showed his determination in winning the ball and bearing down on the penalty area, sending a wonderful curved pass into the path of Carrick who slammed past Mitchell to double the Diamonds lead.
Callum Fordyce was showing his worth at either end of the park, calmly playing out of defence as Clyde threatened again before sending a header just wide as he joined the attack.
Much of Airdrie’s creative spark was coming from Robert, who benefitted from some nice play by Kerr and Carrick to work a 38th-minute chance, but the Frenchman’s strike was over the bar.
Airdrie’s third came with a minute of the first half remaining, and Gallagher again showed his striker’s instinct by slotting home as the ball ricocheted around a packed penalty area following a corner from the right.
It was no less than the Diamonds deserved after a first half in which they pressed high and showed good movement and sharp passing when in possession.
The hunger for more goals was evident after the break, with Gallagher’s header clipping the bar on 49 minutes as the striker chased his hat-trick.
The Diamonds didn’t have to wait long for the perfect opportunity to grab a fourth as a fine attacking move involving Sabatini and Gallagher led to the latter threading a pass through to Dale Carrick, who was pulled down as he moved toward the ball.
Carrick dusted himself down to take the penalty, which he hammered home low to Mitchell’s right.
Connell was showing flashes of skill as the half wore on, making a strong run on the hour mark but pulling his cross just beyond the reach of Robert.
Seven minutes later the Kilmarnock loanee made an outrageous attempt at goal from ten yards inside his own half after spotting Mitchell off his line. Unfortunately the ball dipped early enough for the Clyde keeper to deal with it comfortably.
Clyde rallied somewhat as both sides made changes, Cuddihy and Jack both firing in shots that failed to hit the target.
Fordyce went close with another header as Airdrie took control again, and Carrick was denied a hat-trick by Mitchell who got down to make an excellent save from the forward’s venomous drive.
On a day where Hutton had little to do in the Airdrie goal, he kept his concentration to deal with an 80th-minute Henderson strike, and two minutes later Connell put the icing on the cake for the rampant Diamonds.
Substitutes Dean Ritchie and Craig Thomson combined, with the winger firing the ball across goal for Connell to turn beyond the despairing dive of Mitchell.
Airdrie’s impressive determination to keep a clean sheet was personified by Eoghan Stokes with six minutes remaining, throwing himself in front of Goodwillie’s powerful drive to produce an excellent block.
The former Leeds man looked set to grab a sixth for Airdrie with a minute to go, but Mitchell was alert to block after a fine through ball from O’Reilly.
Mitchell denied Crighton in the final action of the match, keeping out the Diamonds skipper’s downward header with his right foot, but it didn’t take any of the shine off an excellent win for the home side.
Stuart Mathie at Penny Cars Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.