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Saturday June 29, 2024

Pre-season Friendly





Dylan MacDonald 40
Lewis McGregor 51
Mason Hancock 64
Cammy Cooper 78

Albion Rovers


Airdrie sent out a different team in each half to take on Monklands neighbours Albion Rovers, amassing a 4-0 scoreline in an entertaining pre-season run-out.

Diamonds boss Rhys McCabe made his first appearance since March’s SPFL Trust Trophy final, with new boys Murray Johnson, Dylan MacDonald, Aidan Wilson, Cammy Bruce, Murray Aiken, and Terrell Agyemang also starting the match alongside two trialists.

The home side’s first half focus was on a possession game, with a broad range of passes ensuring the Diamonds kept control of the match for long spells.

Rovers’ keeper Ross Connelly grasped an early cross from Airdrie’s Trialist #23, before the Coatbridge men broke upfield and their Trialist #9 went close with a spectacular overhead effort.

Elliot Dunlop fired a low ball across goal on five minutes, but with Connelly beaten at his near post there was no-one in a red shirt available to take advantage.

There were chances at both end on 11 minutes, Agyemang spinning away from his man before feeding Dunlop, who saw his cross headed clear. As Rovers countered, a smart stop from Johnson kept the score level.

Nikolay Todorov almost opened the scoring in the 17th minute, beating Connelly after good play by Trialist #44, but watching as his shot rebounded off the post and the Rovers’ keeper recovered well to make a good save from #23.

Todorov went close twice again with headed efforts, the first of which went wide before Connelly gathered the second.

Airdrie did break the deadlock five minutes before half-time, #44 picking out MacDonald with a corner kick which the new signing powerfully headed home for the first goal of pre-season.

Fellow wing-back Cammy Bruce almost joined MacDonald on the scoresheet on the stroke of half-time, a strong run and angled shot looking destined for the net before the ball hit #44 on the line and flew over the bar.

#23 was one-on-one with Connelly in stoppage time, dinking the ball over the keeper and watching it bounce off the top of the bar and behind.

With 11 changes at the break, it was a new-look Diamonds side who took to the field for the second half, but it was familiar face who doubled his side’s lead, Lewis McGregor slamming home after Cammy Cooper had fed Lewis McGrattan to unselfishly play in his former Morton companion.

Aaron Reid saw a headed effort gathered by Connelly after meeting Cameron Rowley’s 53rd-minute cross, but Mason Hancock made no mistake as he towered above the defence 11 minutes later, heading home Adam Frizzell’s corner kick.

Reid flicked home a Hancock cross with 20 minutes remaining, but the far side linesman signalled an offside against the big striker.

Cooper showed good perseverance to fashion a chance for Rowley a minute later, and the defender stung Connelly’s palms with a vicious effort which was spectacularly turned over the bar.

McGrattan clipped the post with a curling effort on 72 minutes, but Airdrie’s fourth and final goal came six minutes later, Connelly misjudging a deep cross and leaving the goal gaping for Cooper, who did well to control and squeeze home.

Further chances fell to McGrattan and Cooper, but there were to be no more goals for the Diamonds who will feel the benefit of an energetic run-out ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Belfast to face Crusaders.

Stuart Mathie at The Albert Bartlett Stadium.

Photos © Redacted Media. Click to view full-size.

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