February 26, 2022
cinch League 1
Gabby McGill 74
Lewis Jamieson 42
Airdrie had to settle for a draw as substitute Gabby McGill’s strike cancelled out a first-half stunner from Clyde loanee Lewis Jamieson.
The Diamonds will feel their second half pressure deserved more than a point, while a number of penalty claims were denied by the referee, but with Cove Rangers also drawing the gap at the top remains at just five points.
Scott McGill returned to the starting line-up with Rhys McCabe dropping back to defence and Josh Kerr making way. Ex-Diamond Neil Parry was missing for Clyde after picking up an injury last weekend, with youngster Joshua Bradley-Hurst taking his place between the sticks.
Last Saturday’s goalscorer Jon Afolabi was showing his strength with some good early hold-up play, but Calum Gallagher’s third minute header went over the bar after the striker had fed McGill to cross.
Two minutes later the visitors had a golden opportunity to open the scoring. Ally Love’s cross was headed off the underside bar leaving Aaron Splaine the chance to fire home, but Callum Fordyce reacted brilliantly to head off the line.
Following a scrappy spell in midfield, the game began to open up midway through the first half. Brody Paterson found Afolabi in the box after 22 minutes, and the striker controlled well but lost his footing as he tussled for possession with Jonathan Page.
The Irish striker was the focus of Airdrie’s first-half attacks, and hooked over the bar a minute later after his initial shot had been well blocked.
McGill had a 24th-minute shot charged down as the Diamonds looked to turn the screw, with Adam Frizzell’s curling drive then saved by Bradley-Hurst.
Clyde retaliated five minutes later, getting forward in numbers after an Airdrie attack had broken down, but Max Currie was well placed to gather Ross Cunningham’s effort.
The impressive Frizzell skipped into the box just before the half hour mark, going down under close attention from the Clyde defence, but the referee was unmoved by the Diamonds’ penalty shsouts.
Airdrie had a much clearer claim five minutes later as McGill sent Afolabi bearing down on goal. The striker touched the ball wide of Bradley-Hurst and was brought down by the goalkeeper, but referee Calum Scott chose to award a free-kick to the visitors and book the Airdrie man for simulation.
Just as it looked unlikely that the Diamonds were going to get the rub of the green in the first half, Clyde took the lead in some style three minutes from the break.
Possession on the right flank was worked across to Adam Livingstone who saw his shot blocked by Fordyce, but on-loan St Mirren forward reacted with a fantastic volley which gave Currie no chance.
Callum Smith replaced McGill at the break as Airdrie looked for ways to break down a stuffy Clyde defence who now had a lead to protect.
Two minutes into the second half the visitors’ early attempts to run down the clock were punished as a red card was flashed in the direction of the dugout after the coaching staff refused to return the ball to Afolabi.
Dylan Easton was being well marshalled by veteran midfielder Morgaro Gomis, but the Airdrie man did get a shot away on 50 minutes with Bradley-Hurst gathering well.
Frizzell had a shot blocked before Gallagher’s header was taken by the keeper as the Diamonds began to increase the pressure.
Afolabi was barged in the back as he brought Gallagher’s flick under control, but again the referee said no penalty.
Splaine and Barry Cuddihy were both cautioned as the half went on and Clyde tried everything to keep the Diamonds at bay.
Airdrie were again incensed with the referee as Bradley-Hurst came for a Rhys McCabe free-kick on the hour mark, missing the ball and wiping out Fordyce, but again Mr Scott refused to entertain any penalty claims.
Afolabi sent an angled effort over the bar on 68 minutes, but Clyde should have doubled their lead three minutes later. A break down the left drew a good save from Currie, but Jamieson somehow missed an open goal as the loose ball broke across the six-yard box.
Gabby McGill replaced Scott Agnew for the Diamonds, and his impact was immediate.
After firing just wide following a neat passing move, the striker took up a similar position on the right of the box as Airdrie were awarded a drop-ball decision in the middle of the park. McCabe spotted McGill’s movement and swung an inch-perfect ball over the top which the big Yorkshireman prodded beyond Bradley-Hurst.
McGill had a similar chance two minutes later as Afolabi’s dinked the ball across the box, but this time the effort went over the bar.
Ally Love was finding space on the left as Airdrie pushed forward, but Currie smothered his 77th-minute shot before Frizzell fired wide at the other end.
Frizzell was again given nothing as he was downed on the edge of the box with ten minutes remaining, and Gallagher had the fans on their feet a minute later but his touch on McCabe’s free kick just went the wrong side of the post.
A number of substitutions and niggly free-kicks broke up play, with a last-ditch block denying Easton at the death, but the match ended all-square despite Airdrie’s second-half dominance.
Stuart Mathie at Penny Cars Stadium.
Photos © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.