January 22, 2022
Scottish Cup round 4
Brian Graham 25
Airdrie came up short as Partick Thistle progressed in the Scottish Cup, but the Diamonds can be proud of a hard-working performance against the Championship side.
Ian Murray named the same line-up and bench that had beaten Falkirk a week earlier, while ex-Diamonds Ross Docherty lined up for the Jags with Kyle Turner among the substitutes.
Airdrie made a bright start to the match, Callum Smith’s low ball across goal hacked away after a good pass from Scott McGill in the fourth minute.
McGill and Craig Watson both had chances to get the ball in the box a minute later, but Thistle’s defence stood firm.
Ciaran McKenna made the first breakthrough for Ian McCall’s men after 12 minutes, but the full-back’s cross drifted harmlessly out of play, before a similar move two minutes later needed a well-timed Watson header to clear the danger.
Adam Frizzell shot straight at Jamie Sneddon after Jordan Allan had picked Stuart Bannigan’s pocket on 16 minutes, with Smith seeing a shot deflected over shortly after.
Max Currie had to be alert midway through the first half as an unfortunate slip allowed the home side to bear down on goal, but the keeper saved well with his feet before Scott Agnew completed the clearance.
On 25 minutes the hosts took the lead, Cammy Smith chasing what looked to be a lost cause on the right and squaring the ball for Brian Graham to tap into the empty net.
Airdrie retaliated immediately, but were unable to threaten Sneddon’s goal as a sturdy Thistle defense cleared their lines.
The impressive Scott Tiffoney almost added a spectacular second on the half-hour mark, but his run through the middle ended with a shot off the upright.
Currie saved well again three minutes before half-time, diving to palm away a Docherty volley.
At the other end, Lewis Mayo was alert to beat Watson to a Dylan Easton cross after fast feet from the Diamonds midfielder.
A last-ditch interception prevented an Allan through-ball reaching Smith a minute after the restart, but four minutes later the hosts were down to ten men.
The industrious Allan nicked the ball from the feet of Tunji Akinola, who manhandled the Airdrie striker to the ground. The defender was shown a somewhat harsh red card, and Thistle were forced to quickly reorganise.
Sneddon held McCabe’s strike from the resultant free-kick, and denied Smith three minutes later, fielding the striker’s glancing header.
The Thistle keeper was in action again on 58 minutes, this time holding an Easton effort.
Substitute Stephen Hendrie sent a powerful effort just over the bar on 72 minutes, with Airdrie quickly moving the ball up the park leaving a last-ditch tackle required to deny Smith.
Currie was out quickly to deny Graham a second with 15 minutes remaining, and McGill raced back to deny Tiffoney with an excellent sliding challenge two minutes later.
As the Diamonds threw men forward, it took some brave defending from the Jags to block three shots in quick succession as the game moved into the final ten minutes.
Airdrie’s best chance fell to Adam Frizzell on 85 minutes, but the midfielder’s shot could only find the side netting.
With a late Watson header safely gathered by Sneddon, the ten men managed to see out the match to book their place in the last 16.
Stuart Mathie at Firhill Stadium
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.