October 30, 2021
cinch League 1
Euan Henderson 33, 50
Callum Fordyce 85
Airdrie’s winning run came to an end with a below-par performance at Alloa, who led through Euan Henderson’s double before a late Callum Fordyce strike gave the Diamonds a glimmer of hope which ultimately came to nothing.
A knock to Josh Kerr led to a reshuffle in Ian Murray’s ranks, with striker Gabby McGill coming in for his first start since returning from injury.
Airdrie started the stronger of the two sides, winning a corner kick straight from kick-off before Dylan Easton’s standard dazzling footwork led to a sixth-minute shot from the midfielder, but it flew over David Hutton’s bar.
Fordyce got his head to Easton’s corner five minutes later, but the ball somehow failed to cross the line with Kerr McInroy picking up the clearance and lashing an effort wide of the target.
Alloa’s first chance came on 18 minutes when a free-kick from the left deceived everyone but trickled past the far post.
Calum Gallagher was next to have a go for the Diamonds, but while his 21st-minute shot had plenty of power, it cleared the crossbar.
On 33 minutes Alloa took the lead, Henderson accepting a pass with his back to goal and spinning away from his man to bear down on goal and stroke the ball beyond Max Currie.
Airdrie responded immediately, but Easton’s lofted pass was beyond Gabby McGill’s reach and Hutton raced out to gather.
A number of free-kicks and cautions disrupted play and the rest of the half fizzled out, although Currie had to produce a fine diving save to palm a 45th-minute free-kick away from goal.
Airdrie made a change at half-time with Scott Agnew replacing Gabby McGill, who had taken a head knock early in the match.
Although the Diamonds started the half with greater urgency, it was the hosts who doubled their lead five minutes after the restart, Henderson once again bearing down on goal and slotting past Currie, although the travelling support were aggrieved that a handball by Fernandy Mendy had gone unpunished at the start of the break.
It was becoming clear that it wasn’t going to be Airdrie’s day as an Adam Frizzell volley struck Mendy and Hutton gathered easily.
With Airdrie pushing for a way back into the match, Alloa looked threatening on the counter, Steven Boyd curling wide after a break down the right.
Just after the hour mark a goalbound Fordyce header was blocked on the line and scrambled behind.
From the resultant corner, Craig Watson had the Diamonds fans on their feet as he sent a bullet header which looked destined for the back of the net only for Hutton to pull off a tremendous acrobatic save to deny the defender.
Currie did well to hold an angled drive at the other end a minute later before Stefan Scougall saw his shot deflected behind on 68 minutes.
Three minutes later Easton cut in from the left and had his feet taken from him as he burst into the box, but referee Barry Cook awarded the free-kick to Alloa and booked the Airdrie man for simulation.
A 79th-minute Callum Smith cross was deflected back to Hutton before Mark Durnan headed wide from an inswinging corner.
Substitute Jordan Allan did well to fight his way into the box with six minutes remaining, but his square ball was hacked away before a team-mate could get the vital touch.
A minute later Airdrie had one back, skipper Fordyce joining the attack and firing a low effort toward goal. A touch from an Alloa defender changed the direction of the strike, leaving Hutton helpless as the ball crept in at his near post.
Salim Kouider-Aïssa came off the bench as the Diamonds chased an equaliser, but his stoppage time header was straight at Hutton and the referee blew for full-time.
The result sees Airdrie move down one place, but with only a point separating the top four the Diamonds will be eager to get back to winning ways next weekend as they welcome Peterhead to the Penny Cars Stadium.
Stuart Mathie at The Indodrill Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.