September 14, 2021
cinch League 1
Calum Gallagher 12
Adam Frizzell 51
Conor Sammon 62
Airdrie rolled their sleeves up to produce their first home league win of the season, with goals from Calum Gallagher and Adam Frizzell firing the Diamonds to victory over Alloa Athletic.
For the rearranged fixture, manager Ian Murray named the same starting line-up which had drawn with Queen’s Park on Saturday.
Barry Ferguson’s Alloa had former Diamonds favourite David Hutton between the sticks as they looked to build on an impressive win over Falkirk at the weekend.
Frizzell, who has impressed in an attacking midfield role since injury delayed the start to his Airdrie career, showed his intent in the third minute with a powerful shot which fizzed past the post.
Having gone close from inside his own half in the goalless draw at Firhill, Rhys McCabe had a similar attempt on five minutes but Hutton saw the ball wide.
Alloa’s first meaningful attack came after 12 minutes, Stefan Scougall and Euan Henderson combining well to tee up a shot which Max Currie held.
Three minutes later the Diamonds took the lead, Dylan Easton picking out Craig Watson’s rampaging run down the right, with the defender swinging a perfect cross in for Gallagher. The striker’s initial header was blocked by Hutton, but Gallagher followed up to smash home and open his account for the season.
With Airdrie’s defence well marshalled by cousins McCabe and Callum Fordyce, the visitors were reduced to long-range efforts in the opening stages, one such strike from Henderson easily gathered by Currie on 17 minutes.
Scott McGill was keen to get forward on the left of midfield, and his whipped cross was just in front of the incoming Diamonds attack.
Frizzell’s runs through the middle continued to cause problems for Alloa, and Adam King saw yellow for a trip on the midfielder just after the half-hour mark.
McCabe curled the resultant free-kick toward the top corner, but it was inches wide of the target.
Mark Durnan saw an ambitious effort sail over the bar four minutes from the interval before Dylan Easton also sent a strike well over in the last attack of the half.
Five minutes after the restart, Airdrie doubled their lead with a classy finish from Frizzell. Gallagher held up play on the right before digging out a pass to Easton, who beat his man before squaring for Frizzell. Advancing toward goal, the former Kilmarnock man unleashed an unstoppable effort with the outside of his boot to make it 2-0.
Alloa hit back immediately with Durnan’s bullet header looking destined for the back of the net, but Rico Quitongo made a tremendous goal-line block before setting up a counter-attack which ended with Durnan booked for an unceremonious trip.
The Wasps made changes in an attempt to claw their way back into the match, and the introduction of Conor Sammon paid off just after the hour-mark as the Irishman played a clever one-two and curled a fine finish beyond Currie.
A spell of Alloa pressure followed, with Sammon heading straight at Currie on 68 minutes before Henderson miskicked in front of goal four minutes later.
Jon Robertson was next to threaten for the visitors, sending an angled shot narrowly wide.
Airdrie began to create chances on the break as Alloa pushed for an equaliser, Gabby McGill seeing his 75th-minute header deflected over the bar.
A couple of pleasing substitutions followed for the Diamonds as Rhys Caves made his senior debut and Salim Kouider-Aïssa.
With Airdrie managing possession well towards the end, Currie and Scott Agnew mopped up any late pressure to see the game out for an important three points.
Stuart Mathie at Penny Cars Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.