A stoppage time goal from Morton Under 20s inflicted a cruel 2-1 defeat on our Under 20s at Ravenscraig in our third league game of the season.
For the game coach Hugo Faria named a strong starting team as it included starts for Joe Gorman, James Daly and on loan Hamilton Accies player Conor Scullion whilst Morton included a number of players from their league winning side last season including Jamie McGowan, Lewis Strapp and Thomas Orr.
After eight minutes of the game Airdrie had the first chance when a free kick was won about 20 yards from goal as from it Conor McLaughlin hit a curling shot but Morton goalkeeper Jamie McGowan made the save and three minutes later Morton had a chance when Thomas Orr hit a shot hit a shot from the top of the box but the ball went over the bar. Then on the 22nd minute Morton had another chance when Alex McWaters hit a shot from inside the box but it lacked power and our Under 20s apprentice goalkeeper Matthew Kerr made the save and a minute later our young Diamonds tough tackling midfielder Jordan Duncan picked up a yellow card for persistent fouling.
Morton continued to create chances and on the 26th minute Thomas Orr had the next one when he strongly held off his marker and hit a shot from inside the box but the ball went just wide and eight minutes later Thomas Orr had another one when he raced through on goal and with only Matthew Kerr to beat he hit a shot but the ball went just wide. Our Under 20s responded by punishing Morton for their missed opportunities as on the 36th minute Conor Scullion brilliantly flew by his marker and cut inside the box and from a difficult angle curled a shot by Jamie McGowan and high into the net to give him no chance and for his first goal for the club and to give us a 1-0 lead. There was to be no more chances in the half however just before half time our young Diamonds were forced to make a substitution as Robbie Leighton came off injured and this meant Scott Thomson came on and we would head into half time winning 1-0.
Before the half began Morton made their first substitution as they brought on Trialist former Rangers midfielder Robbie Crawford for Ben Eardley and they started the half at a fast pace as three minutes into it Alex McWaters hit a shot at the back post but Matthew Kerr brilliantly turned the ball behind and from the resulting corner the ball was crossed into the box and fell to unmarked Ruaridh Langan and he hit a shot but the ball went over the bar. Morton continued to have chances and on 51st minute Alex McWaters had the next one when he hit a curling shot but the ball went over the bar and four minutes later Jack Purdue had one when he latched onto a long ball and hit a shot but Matthew Kerr terrifically turned the ball over the bar and from the resulting corner no danger was caused and shortly after this Jack Purdue had another chance when he hit a shot on the volley from about 20 yards out but the ball went well wide.
On the 66th minute Morton made their final two substitutions as Blair Docherty and Ben Armour came on for Thomas Orr and an injured David Anderson and on the 74th minute their pressure paid off as Alex McWaters had an initial shot from inside the box saved by Matthew Kerr but from the rebound he turned it into the back of the net for an equaliser. Shortly after this Airdrie Craig Truesdale picked up a yellow card and from the resulting free kick Morton passed the ball to Jack Purdue at the edge of the box and he hit a shot but the ball went over the bar.
Our Young Diamonds responded by making their final substitution as Cameron Russell returned from injury and came on for James Daly who had picked up a knock and with only five minutes remaining Morton's Ruaridh Langan picked up a yellow card as we won a penalty for a foul on Ciaran Reilly and from the resulting spot kick Ciaran Reilly took it but the ball hit the post and bounced away to safety. Then during stoppage time our Under 20s were dealt a cruel blow as a Jack Purdue shot on a half volley flew across Matthew Kerr and into the net to win Morton the game 2-1 and inflict a third consecutive defeat on our young Diamonds.
1 Matthew Kerr, 2 Craig Truesdale, 3 Arran Ross, 4 Calvin Cowie, 5 Joe Gorman, 6 Jordan Duncan, 7 Robbie Leighton (Captain), 9 Ciaran Reilly, 10 James Daly, 11 Conor Scullion, 18 Conor McLaughlin
14 Cameron Russell for for 10 James Daly, 19 Scott Thomson for 7 Robbie Leighton
Substitutes Not Used:
12 Conor Bell, 17 Callum Kinvig
1 Jamie McGowan, 2 Darren Hynes, 3 Lewis Strapp, 4 John Tennant, 5 Ruaridh Langan (Captain), 6 David Anderson, 7 Alex McWaters, 9 Thomas Orr, 10 Jack Purdue, 11 Mitchell Duffy, 12 Ben Eardley
8 Trialist Robbie Crawford for 12 Ben Eardley, 14 Ben Armour for 6 David Anderson, 16 Blair Docherty for 9 Thomas Orr
Substitutes Not Used:
15 Scott Miller, 20 Greig Connor
Mr. Craig King