Clyde 0, Airdrie 5: Airdrie’s title bid is over despite thumping win over Clyde

Airdrie stretched their unbeaten run to 19 games with a resounding 5-0 win against Clyde at Broadwood, but Cove Rangers are League One champions after beating Dumbarton.

Rhys McCabe’s 37th-minute penalty was added to by strikes from Callum Smith, Calum Gallagher, Kyle MacDonald and Jon Afolabi in the second half as the Diamonds ran riot to ruin Clyde’s last game at Broadwood.

Rhys McCabe’s penalty opener after 37 minutes came slightly against the run of play, but the former Rangers kid would have doubled his side’s lead from a free kick before the interval but for a stunning save from Neil Parry, and Callum Smith had a looping effort cleared off the line.

Clyde had chances of their own, and forced a few saves from Max Currie, but nothing that you wouldn’t really expect him to stop.

But Callum Smith’s goal 10 minutes into the second half kept up Airdrie’s impressive unbeaten run, and Gallagher added to it with an absolute gift from the Bully Wee.

A similar gift was presented to Airdrie in 71 minutes when Parry failed to hold an Allan shot, allowing Gallagher to control and slip the ball into the empty net.

And sub Afolabi added polish with a thunderous finish into the top corner.

Clyde tried to get something from the game, but just couldn’t break down a stubborn Diamonds defense.

This was Clyde’s swan-song at Broadwood after 28 years, with North Lanarkshire Council refusing to extend their lease agreement in the aftermath of the controversial transfer of striker David Goodwillie to Raith Rovers and back again.

The Bully Wee will ground-share with Championship side Hamilton Accies next season as they bid to find their own stadium.

For Airdrie the stakes were higher, needing a win to maintain their hopes of a last-day title win, but which also rested on Cove Rangers losing at home to Dumbarton, being as they were, five points clear ahead of the second-last fixture .

Airdrie’s Rhys McCabe nets from the penalty spot

Clyde boss Danny Lennon made two changes to the side that won 2-1 here against Montrose last Saturday, Scott Rumsby and Samuel Monday came in for Matthew Elsdon and Aaron Splaine.

His Airdrie counterpart Ian Murray made three changes to his side that beat Dumbarton 3-2 last time out. Kyle MacDonald, Justin Devenny and Jordan Allan came in for Scott Walker, Scott McGill and Adam Frizzell who is suspended following his red card last week.

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Both sides started slowly, but Clyde carved the first real chance in six minutes when Samuel Monday had a go from just outside the box. However, a deflection took the sting out of his shot and it was an easy catch for Max Currie in the Airdrie goal.

At the other end, Justin Devenny let fly with a ferocious angled shot in eight minutes, but it flew past the right post.

Clyde should have taken the lead in 14 minutes when a neat one-two sent Lewis Jamieson through on goal, but Currie closed him down and blocked, preventing him from slipping the ball into the net.

Airdrie had a great chance in 18 minutes when Kyle MacDonald latched onto a slack pass and burst down the right, but his inswinging cross was just too far ahead of Callum Smith at the back post.

There was controversy when Airdrie’s Jordan Allan looked to have been held back in the box as they ran onto a long ball in 28 minutes, but referee Barry Cook wasn’t interested.

Airdrie players celebrate Rhys McCabe's penalty opener
Airdrie players celebrate Rhys McCabe’s penalty opener

Clyde had another go in 32 minutes when Ally Love’s corner from the left was headed out to Mark Docherty, who tried a shot from a distance that sailed over the bar.

But Airdrie took the lead in 37 minutes when Calum Gallagher was sent clear down the right and he picked out Dylan Easton, who was tripped inside the box, and referee Cook eventually pointed to the spot.

McCabe stepped up and smashed the ball into the bottom right corner as goalkeeper Neil Parry dived the other way.

Airdrie had another glorious chance in 42 minutes when Gallagher and Smith combined to set up Brody Paterson, who was tripped just outside the box.

That made it McCabe territory, and he saw his net-bound free kick superbly clawed out of the top left corner by Parry.

Broadwood was packed for Clyde's last match there
Broadwood was packed for Clyde’s last match there

The corner wasn’t cleared and Smith had a looping shot headed off the line.

Clyde had much more about them in the second half and had a few flurries forward, but again without testing Currie too seriously.

However, Airdrie effectively wrapped up the points in 55 minutes when Smith was sent through by Jordan Allan and curled a superb shot round Parry and into the bottom right corner.

That came moments after Morgaro Gomis had set up Aly Love for a shot that Currie did well to beat down.

Calum Gallagher makes it 3-0 to Airdrie
Calum Gallagher makes it 3-0 to Airdrie

But the Diamonds added a third in 62 minutes when Allan’s shot was parried up into the air, and controlled and tapped into the empty net by a grateful Calum Gallagher.

They bagged number four in 71 minutes when Easton looked to be tripped inside the box, but continued his run and picked out Kyle MacDonald just outside the box, who slammed a low shot into the right corner.

Sub Dean Ritchie had a chance to add a fifth in 85 minutes, but was denied by a timely block.

But sub Jon Afolabi added a fifth in 86 minutes as he latched onto Matthew McDonald’s square ball and ripped a shot into the top left corner.

CLYDE: Parry, Cuddihy (Andrew, 64), Rumsby (Mortimer, 57), McAllister, Docherty, Livingstone, Gomis, Nicoll (Elsdon, 57), Monday, Love (Tade, 59), Jamieson.

Subs (not used): Cassidy, Jones.

Booked: McAllister (45+1), Nicoll (49), Love (58), Monday (58)

AIRDRIE: Currie (Cantley, 79), McCabe (Ritchie, 79), Paterson, Kerr, MacDonald, Fordyce (Afolabi, 74), Devenny, Easton (McDonald, 79), Allan, Gallagher (Walker, 68), Smith.

Booked: McCabe (12), Walker (90+1)

Referee: Barry Cook.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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