Saturday March 20, 2021

SPFL League One

Peterhead

1-0

Jordon Brown 66

Airdrieonians

Airdrie’s season restarted with a frustrating defeat as the Diamonds lost to Peterhead after playing with ten men for 85 minutes.

Manager Ian Murray brought in both of his outfield mid-season acquisitions, with Jack McKay starting on the right side of defence while Kyle Turner took up an attacking midfield role.

Peterhead also had new signings on show, and English forward Niah Payne looked lively in the opening minutes, controlling well in the box before being ushered away from goal by McKay then heading the resulting corner wide of the target.

With only four minutes on the clock the Diamonds were reduced to ten men following a high Turner challenge on former Airdrie man Ryan Conroy. The challenge on the touchline sparked a melee which was quickly diffused, but referee Steven Kirkland showed no hesitation in reaching for his red card.

Although the gameplan was clearly out the window, Airdrie managed the remainder of the first half well and looked dangerous on the break.

Thomas Robert showed good determination to chase down Payne as Peterhead looked to punish their visitors on nine minutes, and five minutes later Dale Carrick combined well with Kyle Connell, the former seeing his shot blocked by a packed home defence.

The Diamonds were also rallying at the back when required, and a similar block was made to deny Andy McCarthy midway through the half.

Striker Isaac Layne looked to latch on to a fine ball over the top just before the half-hour mark, but Airdrie keeper Max Currie reacted quickly to race out of his area and clear the ball to safety.

Minutes later the Diamonds were denied by the woodwork as Calum Gallagher showed great skill to control and turn in the box before lashing a powerful strike off Josh Rae’s crossbar.

McCarthy had a golden opportunity to put the Blue Toon in front five minutes before the break, but the midfielder fired wide from ten yards.

The hosts threatened again before the break, but Airdrie’s defence stood firm with Callum Fordyce rising to clear a Conroy cross before Connell and Currie combined to mop up a dangerous attack.

Currie showed great reactions again three minutes after the break, diving to his left to tip Layne’s angled effort behind.

An incident on the far touchline left Robert writhing in agony after 51 minutes, and as play raged on it became clear that the Frenchman could not continue. After lengthy treatment Robert was withdrawn on a stretcher, with Euan O’Reilly his replacement.

The Diamonds substitute looked lively on the right, feeding Connell on 57 minutes with the loan striker sending his hooked effort wide.

The hosts took the lead on 66 minutes as the pressure in the box paid off. A miscued clearance landed at the feet of Jordon Brown, who swept the ball into the net.

With 25 minutes remaining, a number of substitutions broke up play, with Peterhead defending their lead well when called upon.

O’Reilly’s 69th-minute strike was blocked by the head of a home defender, with McKay joining the attack but firing wide of goal six minutes later.

The Balmoor men received a number of yellow cards as they saw the game out, but the damage had been done by the earlier red for Airdrie’s new signing.

Stuart Mathie.

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