April 16, 2022
cinch League 1
Dylan Easton 24
Calum Gallagher 27
Jordan Allan 88
George Stanger 39
Rhys McCabe 70 OG
Airdrie served up another 3-2 home win over Dumbarton, with talking points galore and late drama yet again.
While not quite as chaotic as October’s meeting, it took an 88th-minute Jordan Allan goal to secure the points for the Diamonds who had played over half of the match with ten men following Adam Frizzell’s hotly-debated red card.
Injuries forced manager Ian Murray into a couple of changes to the side which had drawn at Montrose last weekend, Scott Agnew and Gabby McGill dropping out with Scott Walker and Josh Kerr coming into the starting line-up.
There were a number of familiar faces in the Dumbarton side, with Paddy Boyle, Gregor Buchanan and Paul Paton all having featured for the Diamonds previously.
The hosts started on the front foot with a half-hearted early penalty claim denied before Scott McGill fired just over after three minutes.
Dumbarton hit back with a quick free-kick six minutes later, Ross MacLean getting in behind the defence but seeing his shot saved by Max Currie.
Airdrie were moving the ball well, and Frizzell’s 11th-minute cross was inches away from finding Calum Gallagher in the middle.
Currie fielded a Paton free-kick a minute later before Kerr marshalled MacLean well on the left after 17 minutes.
Kieran Wright then took the spotlight, palming Callum Smith’s effort over the bar before saving at the feet of Gallagher from the resultant corner. When the ball dropped to Dylan Easton, the Diamonds midfielder shook the crossbar with a spectacular strike.
Dumbarton had their own handball claim turned down on 20 minutes before Brody Paterson stung Wright’s palms with a shot after flying down the left flank.
Smith curled wide from outside the box as the Diamonds began to turn the screw.
Two minutes later the home side took the lead, Easton turning onto Scott McGill’s pass and showing good feet to go past two defenders before sending a low strike into the corner of the net.
Before Dumbarton had a chance to regroup, Airdrie were two up. Frizzell pressured Paton into a passback which Smith intercepted, picking out Gallagher who stroked home from 15 yards.
Airdrie had the ball in the net a third time on 35 minutes, Paterson squaring for Gallagher to tap home at the back post, but the linesman ruled the Celtic loanee offside.
Dumbarton showed they were in no mood to go down without a fight two minutes later when McLean cut in from the left and fired a fine effort across goal, Currie diving to push the ball over the bar.
The Sons did get on the scoresheet after 39 minutes, Paton’s free-kick finding George Stanger, who planted a powerful header beyond Currie.
Two minutes later the Diamonds were down to ten men in controversial circumstances as Frizzell and Stuart Carswell both stretched for a 50-50 challenge, with the Dumbarton man getting a touch on the ball before being caught by the Airdrie midfielder. An innocuous challenge, but one which referee Greg Aitken felt merited a red card.
Carlo Pignatiello was unlucky not to draw the scores level on the stroke of half-time, firing just wide on the break.
The visitors pushed hard for an equaliser after the interval, and Carswell’s long range effort on 52 minutes beat Currie but rebounded off the foot of the post to safety.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Airdrie were still creating chances too, and Smith saw a 55th-minute header land on the roof of the net before Currie saved well from Sons sub Callum Wilson.
Josh Oyinsan spurned two good chances around the hour-mark, heading wide on both occasions, but the visitors got their equaliser on 70 minutes.
Conner Duthie did well to create space for a cross from the right, and with Currie rushing out to punch clear, Rhys McCabe headed the ball beyond his own keeper and into the net.
Stevie Farrell made some attacking changes as his side chased the win they needed as they attempted to get out of the relegation play-off spot, and Kris Syvertsen was desperately unlucky with his first involvement, a touch and shot which whistled past the post.
Easton saw a 79th-minute effort blocked before Smith slipped at the decisive moment as he raced onto a through ball from sub Justin Devenny.
With eight minutes remaining, Jordan Allan replaced Walker, and six minutes later he had put his side back in front. Paterson and Devenny combined well to break up a Dumbarton attack, and McCabe played a fine pass forward for Allan to chase. Buchanan’s touch prevented the striker from shooting, but Smith picked up the loose ball and danced into the box, squaring for Allan to slide in front of Buchanan and poke home.
A late Currie save from Duthie and an off-target effort from Wilson were all the visitors could offer, and the match ended in a dramatic home win.
The victory ensures that Airdrie can finish no lower than second, while results elsewhere consign the Sons to the relegation play-off.
Stuart Mathie at Excelsior Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.