Airdrieonians 1-0 Kelty Hearts

CALUM GALLAGHER was Airdrieonians' goal hero as they condemned Kelty Hearts to a third loss in four games.

The striker's close-range finish with 20 minutes to go sealed victory against John Potter's side, who had enjoyed a better period of play after half-time.

Defeat keeps Kelty eighth in the table, eight points ahead of Clyde, whilst the Diamonds moved to within two of fourth-placed Montrose.

The visitors were looking to end a run of three games without a win, and Potter retained faith in the team that lost in the final minute against Montrose last weekend.

Defender, Tam O'Ware, also made a welcome return to the substitutes' bench as Kelty also sought to record a second win from two meetings with the Diamonds this term, having won the reverse by a single goal at New Central Park last month.

There was one change made by Airdrie player / boss, Rhys McCabe, to the side that drew at home to Peterhead last time out - and that was to take himself out, and drop to the bench, with Dean McMaster coming in.

Craig Watson had the game's first opportunity, heading over Justin Devenny's cross for the Diamonds, who enjoyed plenty of pressure in the opening period.

They forced plenty of corners, and caused danger with balls into the box, but Kelty emerged unscathed.

Gallagher had an attempt blocked before Devenny saw a shot deflected behind, whilst Callum Smith teed up Gallagher for another effort that was blocked, with Cammy Ballantyne shooting wide from the loose ball.

Smith then forced Darren Jamieson into a save, after cutting in from the left and shooting from the edge of the box, but the visitors did have some brief moments, too.

Joe Cardle, a former Airdrie player, had a shot blocked whilst going in search of his 100th senior career goal, and had a penalty claim turned down as he tried to react to a flick-on at the near post.

Reis Peggie, under pressure and from a tight angle, slashed wide after being played in by Jamie Barjonas, who had Kelty's only effort on target of the first 45, a shot that was comfortably dealt with by Airdrie keeper, Dean Lyness.

The visitors were, however, forced into a substitution on the stroke of the interval.

As he went to take a throw in, commotion suddenly surrounded Jason Thomson, with concern on both benches and the crowd, and he was taken off for Tam O'Ware.

Minutes earlier, the full back had been involved in a clash of heads with an opponent and, after initially being given the ok to carry on, he was substituted.

Although Airdrie's Lewis Jamieson had a shot saved by Kelty's goalkeeper of the same surname, the home crowd were becoming frustrated as the visitors grew into proceedings.

They had more play in their opponents' half and, after Barjonas had shot over, they carved out their best chance of the match until the point on the hour.

And it was nearly the landmark 100th goal for Cardle.

Kelty worked it well on the right and Agyeman teed the winger up brilliantly with a low ball.

Cardle connected with it perfectly around 12 yards out, but Lyness, to his credit, made an excellent block to keep the scoreline level.

That his last involvement, as he was substitued for former Diamonds loanee, Scott McGill, as the clock approached the final 20 minutes, with the game still up for grabs.

McGill was immediately involved, chasing a ball out of defence that Lyness came a long way from home to meet and clear - and that sparked the attack that led to the opener.

The home side's Jamieson got a shot away which, although Kelty stopper Jamieson saved, he couldn't hold on and Gallagher was there to pounce from close range.

It was a blow for the visitors, who had looked more threatening in the second half, and Smith tried to finish the game for the Diamonds, but was denied by two blocked shots in succession.

Agyeman, after controlling well with his back to goal, turned and fired wide from 18 yards, after which Potter took defender, Lewis Martin, off to put on another attacker in the shape of Kyle Doherty with 10 minutes to go.

The substitute soon had a half chance, after Agyeman nodded the ball down to him after patient play by the visitors, but he was crowded out after taking a good touch to control before his shot was blocked.

Jamieson was then denied, twice, by his namesake at the near post at the other end, as the Diamonds looked to seal it, but Kelty came agonisngly close soon inside the final two minutes.

McGill sent in a superb centre that was a goalkeeper and defender's nightmare, inswinging from the left, that just needed a touch - but Doherty was a matter of inches from connecting as it drifted wide.

Kelty continued to apply pressure, with Cammy Logan having a shot blocked, Kyle Doherty forcing Lyness into a save, and Barjonas being denied by a sea of white shirted bodies, but it wasn't enough as they slipped to a third defeat in four matches.

Airdrieonians: Lyness, Ballantyne, Fordyce, Gallagher, Smith, McMaster, Jamieson, Watson, Devenny, Deveney, Telfer.

Subs not used: Henderson, Taylor-Sinclair, McCabe, Fellows, Watt, Gunn, Kavanagh, Spalding.

Goal: Gallagher (70).

Booked: Fordyce (38), Ballantyne (77), Gallagher (87).

Kelty Hearts: Jamieson, Logan, Forster, Martin (Doherty 80), Peggie, Thomson (O'Ware 45), Barjonas, Lyon, Cardle (McGill 68), Higginbotham, Agyeman.

Subs not used: McNab, Cameron, Campbell.

Booked: Agyeman (21).

Referee: Colin Steven.

Peterhead 0-2 Pars

ATHLETIC have gone seven points clear at the top of League One after two first half goals saw off Peterhead.

Matty Todd's deflected effort after 10 minutes but James McPake's side ahead at Balmoor against a Blue Toon team playing their first game without Jim McInally, who left midweek after 11 years in charge.

Chris Mochrie soon doubled their advantage and, after letting a two-goal lead slip against the same opponents at East End last month, the Pars made sure they saw the game out to take advantage of Falkirk's draw with Clyde.

We'll have more on that match in this week's Press Sport.