In a game of two halves our Under 20s produced an excellent second half performance to win 3-1 away to Stranraer Under 20s at Stair Park in the 11th league game of the season.
For the game coach Donald Jennow included first team striker Kevin Schmidt in the starting eleven whilst Stranraer fielded a young line up.
Our young diamonds started the game brightly and after only two minutes Cameron Russell had a chance when he hit a shot from inside the box but the ball went over the bar and eleven minutes later we had another chance when Robbie Leighton got onto the end of a Cameron Russell cross into the box with a shot but Stranraer goalkeeper Daryl Smith made the save. Shortly after this Stranraer had their first chance of the game when left back Jack Sherrie sent a terrific cross into the box and Dean Fulton got away from his marker to get onto it and head the ball by Airdrie goalkeeper Matthew Kerr and into the back of the net to give them a 1-0 lead.
Stranraer went in search of a second goal and had chances on the 27th and 34th minutes through Callum Scott and Evan Maley but the first shot was saved and the second a header saw the ball go well wide. There was still time left in the half for one more chance and it came for our Under 20s on the 37th minute when they won a free kick as from it Robbie Leighton crossed the ball into the box and Arran Ross got onto the end of it with a header goal wards but the ball went wide and we would head into half time losing 1-0.
Our young diamonds started the half brightly and six minutes after the restart had a great chance through Kevin Schmidt but his shot was saved by Daryl Smith however he was not to be denied one minute later as this time Kevin Schmidt was played through on goal and with only Daryl Smith to beat he rounded him and tapped the ball into an empty net for the equaliser. Airdrie were starting to control the game at this stage and on the 56th minute came close to scoring again as Conor McLaughlin got onto the end of a cross to the back post with a header but the ball went just over the bar and one minute later Kevin Schmidt had a great chance when he nipped in on goal and hit a shot but Daryl Smith made a save to keep Stranraer in the game.
Stranraer responded by making their first substitution on the 59th minute as Christopher Dooley came on for Zack Simpson but this didn't help change the game as Airdrie continued controlling the game and shortly after this Robbie Leighton had a chance when he hit a shot from inside the box but Daryl Smith made the save. Before the next chance our Under 20s midfielder Ewan McGuinness picked up a yellow card for dissent and we made all our substitutions as Jordan Duncan and Ciaran Reilly came on for Ewan McGuinness and Kevin Schmidt and Stranraer brought Mitchell Ewing on for David Richardson.
On the 77th minute Ciaran Reilly who had came on two minutes earlier for Airdrie made an instant impact as he got onto the end of a Robbie Leighton cross inside the box and fired a shot by Daryl Smith and into the back of the net to give us a deserved 2-1 lead. Stranraer responded by making their final substitution on the 82nd minute as Adam Kirkwood came on for Callum Scott and two minutes later Jack Sherrie picked up a yellow card for a reckless challenge however there was only time left for one more chance and it came for our young diamonds when Conor McLaughlin was played through on goal and from inside the box he drilled a shot by Daryl Scott and into the back of the net to win us the game 3-1.
Airdrieonians Under 20s Team: 1 Matthew Kerr, 2 Craig Truesdale, 3 Arran Ross, 4 Dean Cairns (Captain), 5 Conor Bell, 6 Calvin Cowie, 7 Robbie Leighton, 9 Kevin Schmidt, 10 Conor McLaughlin, 11 Cameron Russell, 19 Ewan McGuinness
Substitutes All Used:
12 Ciaran Reilly for 9 Kevin Schmidt, 14 Jordan Duncan for 19 Ewan McGuinness
Stranraer Under 20s Team: 1 Daryl Smith, 2 David Anderson (Captain), 3 Jack Sherrie, 4 Christopher McGowan, 5 Zack Simpson, 6 Callum Scott, 7 David Richardson, 8 Aaron Splaine, 9 Dean Fulton, 10 Evan Maley, 11 Kieran McLaughlin
19 Adam Kirkwood for 6 Callum Scott, 21 Mitchell Ewing for 7 David Richardson, 22 Christopher Dooley for 5 Zack Simpson
Substitutes Not Used:
20 Adam Lawrie, 23 Euan Brown
Mr. Calum Haswell