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November 27, 2021

Scottish Cup round 3






Adam Frizzell 37
Callum Smith 55


Goals either side of the break secured a 2-0 victory at Stenhousemuir as Airdrie progressed to the Scottish Cup fourth round.

On a bright but cold day at Ochilview, Diamonds boss Ian Murray rang the changes as Luke Lyons, Gabby McGill and Scott McGill were handed starting slots. Scott Agnew, Kerr McInroy and Calum Gallagher were the players who dropped out of the side which had lost to Cove Rangers a week previously.

The Stenhousemuir line-up had plenty of familiar faces, with ex-Diamonds Sean Crighton, Adam Brown, Ryan Tierney and Euan O’Reilly lining up against their old club.

The hosts started brightly, but the first real chance of the match fell to Scott McGill, who sent a fifth-minute effort over the bar following Callum Smith’s lay-off.

O’Reilly looked lively in attack for the Warriors, breaking into the box on eight minutes, but defender Luke Lyons reacted quickly to avert the danger on his first start after a lengthy injury lay-off.

Scott McGill was showing some impressive control and drive, his 13th-minute cross well cleared after a probing run to the bye-line.

Two minutes later the home side were appealing for a penalty as Tierney went down under Rico Quitongo’s challenge, but referee Steven Kirkland was unimpressed and awarded a corner kick.

Former Airdrie skipper Crighton blocked well from Callum Smith after a neat one-two with Adam Frizzell on 17 minutes, before Dylan Easton sent an angled strike fizzing over the bar.

Adam Brown shot wide on 32 minutes, but it was the Diamonds who took the lead five minutes later.

Easton picked up a headed clearance and fed Callum Smith, with the striker’s cutback finding Craig Watson who saw his shot blocked by Ross Lyon. Stepping onto the loose ball, Frizzell calmly steered a curling shot around the gathered defenders and beyond keeper David Wilson.

Wilson made a fine stop from Gabby McGill on the stroke of half-time, rushing to the edge of the box to save after the striker had dispossessed Nicky Jamieson.

Frizzell and Smith combined to tee up Scott McGill in first-half stoppage time, but the midfielder’s effort was blocked.

Wilson denied Gabby McGill again four minutes after the restart, diving to his left to tip the Englishman’s 20-yard effort behind.

With Stenhousemuir battling to find a way back into the tie, the Diamonds doubled their lead on 53 minutes.

Once again Easton started the move, threading a pass to Scott McGill on the right wing. The midfield man showed great skill to nutmeg his marker and square the ball to Smith, who flicked a pass to Gabby McGill. Sensing he may be in an offside position, the striker pulled back and although Wilson appeared to claw the ball out before it crossed the line, the goal was awarded.

The Warriors first effort on target came just after an hour of play, defender Jamieson joining the attack to head for goal, but Currie gathered with ease.

Wilson was soon called into action again at the other end, palming out a Rhys McCabe free-kick which took the slightest touch off a defender’s head.

Currie did well to turn a Ross Forbes setpiece behind with substitute Cammy Graham bearing down on the keeper, and with seven minutes remaining Wilson showed good hands to gather Callum Fordyce’s headed effort.

Frizzell came close to adding to his tally with an 85th-minute volley which dipped just wide of the post before Currie earned his clean sheet with a stunning save from a close-range Tierney header.

Forbes’ off-target free-kick was the last action of the match, with the 2-0 scoreline seeing the Diamonds safely through to Monday’s fourth round draw.

Stuart Mathie.

Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.

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