Saturday December 26, 2020
SPFL League One
Barry Cuddihy 38
Ally Love 61
Thomas Robert 8
Dale Carrick 16, 54
Josh Kerr 20
Airdrie defied the conditions to grab another victory on the road after winning a Christmas cracker at Clyde.
Dean Ritchie kept his place in the centre of midfield after an impressive performance against Falkirk, with Craig Thomson replacing Griffin Sabatini while Dale Carrick returned to the starting line-up in place of the injured Calum Gallagher.
Clyde started the brighter of the two teams, but an inspired moment from Thomas Robert sparked the Diamonds to life as the French winger looped an eighth-minute corner beyond everyone and into the top corner of David Mitchell’s goal.
With an early lead and memories of November’s 5-0 win, the Diamonds proceeded to pin their hosts back as they laid siege to Mitchell’s goal in a first half blitz.
Two chances fell to Airdrie in quick succession as Craig Thomson teed up Kyle MacDonald for a well-struck drive which was deflected wide, with Sean Crighton’s header from the resultant corner missing by inches.
Callum Fordyce blocked well from Clyde frontman David Goodwillie in a rare first half attack for the home side, but the Diamonds had doubled their lead by the 16th minute.
Crighton threatened from a setpiece again, his bullet header beating Mitchell only to be blocked on the goal-line, but top scorer Dale Carrick was first to the loose ball and had a simple finish from two yards.
Three minutes later it was three, Josh Kerr notching his first Airdrie goal with a wicked curling strike from 25 yards out.
Kerr could have doubled his tally five minutes later, playing a one-two with Kyle Connell before getting a shot away, but a superb sliding block averted the danger.
Carrick took advantage of the conditions to dispossess Mitchell on 27 minutes, but the ball drifted out of play as the Diamonds forward tried to squeeze home.
Connell latched onto a short passback a minute later and tried to round Mitchell, but the keeper got a touch and managed to smother the ball.
Airdrie had a strong claim for a penalty and a red card on the half hour mark, Carrick bundled over as he chased a long ball down, but the referee saw no infringement.
It was one-way traffic now as Mitchell made a fine stop from Thomson’s angled drive.
Against the run of the play the hosts pulled one back, Goodwillie squaring to Cuddihy despite Airdrie protests that the ball had crossed the touchline, and the former St Mirren man launched an unstoppable effort into the back of Max Currie’s net.
The home side began to press forward after their goal, but the Airdrie defence were well organised and there were no further chances before the interval.
Three minutes into the second half Ally Love sent in a tempting free-kick, but it was beyond the attacking Clyde players and drifted harmlessly wide.
Carrick got his second of the game six minutes later, accepting a flick-on from a Connell throw, controlling well and firing home a powerful effort to make it 4-1.
With the driving wind and rain often forcing route one football, Clyde grabbed their second on 61 minutes, Love making no mistake from close range as the Diamonds defence failed to block a low cross.
Again Clyde appeared to be fired up by their goal, and a scrambled effort had to be headed off the line following a 65th minute corner.
As the inevitable substitutions broke up play, it began to look increasingly like there would be no further scoring, though Paul McKay had to be alert to break up a swift counter-attack with 11 minutes remaining.
McKay then saw an attacking header deflected over the bar in the final clear chance of the match.
As the clock ticked down there was a welcome sight for Diamonds fans as Ally Roy replaced Kyle Connell to make his long-awaited comeback from injury.
With the Diamonds on their travels again next weekend, the final whistle signalled a pleasing performance and an excellent win after an exciting 90 minutes.
Stuart Mathie at Broadwood Stadium
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.