Fixture: Airdrieonians FC v Greenock Morton FC U20's
Competition: SPFL Development League West
Venue: Airdrie Excelsior Stadium
A competitive match in the SPFL Development League West at the Excelsior Stadium ended in victory for the visitors, after Aidrieonians squandered an early lead to Greenock Morton, who triumphed 3-1.
Airdrieonians deservedly took the lead after an encouraging start when Coalan McAleer’s thunderbolt hit the bar and went in, leaving Jamie McGowan in the Morton net with no chance.
Their quick passing game earned them another chance, when McGowan might have given away a penalty for grappling with the opposition striker. On another night with another referee maybe Airdrieonians would have had a spot kick.
The first of a few costly mistakes by Aidrieonians, and perhaps against the run of play, saw Scullion capitalise on a defensive mishap and he selflessly played in Orr who wasn’t going to miss one-on-one with goalkeeper Matthew Kerr. Orr’s calm and composed finish levelled the game for Morton.
26 minutes in and two of the standout performers for Airdrieonians combined as Jordan Morton skilfully beat his man and crossed only for McAleer to hit the bar with the goalkeeper helpless.
The game evened out with both sides playing some expansive football which was good to watch on a cold and wet autumnal Tuesday evening at the Excelsior Stadium.
Error number two of the night for Airdrieonians came after a tame shot was spilled by Kerr straight into the path of Orr, who finished for his 2nd of the night, much to the annoyance of Kerr's defence who had kept Scullion and Co at bay thus far. Kerr can put it down to the slippery conditions on the night.
On 35 minutes defender Strapp suffered an injury after a rather robust Airdrieonians challenge which received a yellow card. This was much to the annoyance of the Morton bench who thought the punishment was too lenient. Strapp was carried off on the coach’s back. Duffy came on to replace him at left back.
Two more chances came before the half-time oranges. First, the ever impressive Scullion whipped in a beautiful cross which Irvine could really have done better with, heading over the bar from eight years out. Straight down the other end the lively McAleer went on a mazy run, beating three players before his long ranged effort rattled the crossbar.
Half Time: Airdrieonians FC 1-2 Greenock Morton FC
The second half didn’t quite live up the excitement of the first. The patient 50 or so spectators were made to wait until the 60th minute before the first chance since the restart. Some neat passing by Airdrieonians gave Ramsey the opportunity from the edge of the box to have a crack, but his curling effort sailed inches wide of the post.
The home side were still very much limited to longer ranged efforts as the second period progressed. This time Airdrieonians’ Cadden saw his effort miss the target by a whisker.
An equaliser seemed to be on the cards and the white and reds pushed on, creating half chances. It was a third error though that was to be the defining moment of the second half. As a mix up in the middle of the Airdrieonians midfield saw two players collide and with Morton three-on-two on the counter an attacker put an inviting cross into the box which was converted into his own net by Airdrieonians’ Dean Cairns, who had earlier berated Kerr for his error.
The game ended 3-1 to Morton and Airdrieonians will feel unlucky, having created perhaps the better chances. There were a number of standout performances and I hope those players are given a chance in the first team in weeks to come. Best wishes also to Greenock Morton’s Strapp; let’s hope the injury is nothing serious.
Full Time: Airdrieonians FC 1-3 Greenock Morton FC