In a clash of the development league west winners from the past two seasons Morton Under 20s came out on top with a 3-0 win at Parklea against our young diamonds in the tenth league game of the season.
For the game coach Donald Jennow included John Higgins and Murray Loudon who are currently out on loan to junior side Cumbernauld United in the starting eleven whilst Morton Under 20s fielded a strong line up which included the experienced Conor Pepper who was returning from injury and former Airdrie players goalkeeper Andrew McNeil and winger Caolan McAleer in their starting eleven.
Our Under 20s started the game brightly and had the opening chance two minutes into it when Murray Loudon hit a shot from about 20 yards out but the ball went just wide and seven minutes later Morton had their first chance when hot prospect Lewis Strapp hit a shot from the top of the box but the ball went high and wide. Then on the 11th minute our young diamonds had the games next chance when Ciaran Reilly got onto the end of a Murray Loudon cross into the box with a header goal wards but Andrew McNeil managed to tip the ball over the bar and from the resulting corner the ball was crossed into the box and Dean Cairns got onto it with a header downwards and the ball hit Conor Bell on route to goal but bounced into the arms of Andrew McNeil to keep the scores level.
Morton went in search of the opening goal and on the 15th minute Caolan McAleer had a chance when he hit a shot from the top of the box but Airdrie goalkeeper Callum Kinvig managed to tip the ball over the bar and from the resulting corner no danger was caused and a minute later Caolan McAleer had another chance when he hit a shot from the top of the box but Callum Kinvig got down low and made the save. Then on the 28th minute Morton's Alex McWaters picked up a yellow card for a reckless tackle and with only four minutes of the half remaining Morton had the final chance of the half when they won a penalty for a foul on Ben Armour and from the penalty Alex McWaters took it and sent Callum Kinvig the wrong way and the ball into the back of the net to give Morton a 1-0 lead heading into half time.
Before the half began Morton made their first substitution as Darren Hynes came on for Conor Pepper and two minutes after the restart Morton had the first chance of the half when Ben Armour got onto the end of a cross with a shot but the ball rattled the post however this was only to be a warning to our Under 20s as a few minutes later Caolan McAleer cut inside and drilled a shot high by Callum Kinvig and into the back of the net to double Morton's lead. Our young diamonds responded with the games next chance on the 52nd minute when Murray Loudon hit a shot from inside the box but the ball went wide and five minutes later Morton had another chance when the dangerous Caolan McAleer hit a shot from inside the box but Callum Kinvig made the save.
On the 59th minute Airdrie made their first substitution as Cameron Russell came on for Scott Thomson however five minutes later Morton had a chance when Caolan McAleer beat three men and hit a shot from inside the box but Callum Kinvig made the save. Before the next chance our Under 20s defender Conor Bell picked up a yellow card and both teams made a substitution as Airdrie brought Jordan Duncan on for Ciaran Reilly and Morton brought Blair Docherty on for Caolan McAleer and on the 73rd minute Morton had a chance when Alex McWaters hit a shot from inside the box but the ball went harmlessly over the bar.
With only fourteen minutes of the game remaining our young diamonds made their final substitution as Ewan McGuinness came on for Conor Bell and four minutes later we had a chance when Cameron Russell hit a shot from inside the box but Andrew McNeil turned the ball behind the post and from the resulting corner no danger was caused. Then on the 80th minute Morton made their final substitution as Scott Miller came on for Ben Armour and two minutes later they had a chance when Ruaridh Langan hit a shot from the top of the box but the ball went over the bar however Morton were not to be denied a third goal as with only four minutes of the game remaining Scott Miller raced onto a Jack Purdue and slotted the ball by Callum Kinvig and into the back of the net to win them the game 3-0.
Airdrieonians Under 20s: 1 Callum Kinvig, 2 John Higgins, 3 Arran Ross, 4 Dean Cairns (Captain), 5 Conor Bell, 6 Calvin Cowie, 7 Murray Loudon, 9 Ciaran Reilly, 10 Conor McLaughlin, 11 Scott Thomson, 19 Robbie Leighton
Substitutes All Used:
12 Cameron Russell for 11 Scott Thomson, 14 Jordan Duncan for 9 Ciaran Reilly, 15 Ewan McGuinness for 5 Conor Bell
Morton Under 20s: 1 Andrew McNeil, 2 Conor Pepper, 3 Lewis Strapp, 4 John Tennent, 5 David Anderson,
6 John Mitchell, 7 Caolan McAleer, 8 Ruaridh Langan (Captain), 9 Jack Purdue,
11 Alex McWaters, 12 Ben Armour
14 Blair Docherty for 7 Caolan McAleer, 17 Darren Hynes for 2 Conor Pepper, 19 Scott Miller for 12 Ben Armour
Substitutes Not Used:
15 Mitchell Duffy, 16 Ben Eardley, 20 Jamie McGowan
Mr. Duncan Williams