Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup Report: Airdrieonians 3 - 2 Bohemians

Sat, Sep 07 2019
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None Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

Ian Templeman reports from Penny Cars Stadium

A late winner from Airdrieonians substitute Callum Smith ended Bohemians’ interest in the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup for this season.

In an entertaining end-to-end game at the Penny Cars Stadium, Bohemians twice came from behind to level the tie, but were undone by a mistake from central defender Aaron Barry that proved to be decisive.

Callum Gallagher gave Airdrie an 18th minute lead, but Bohs went in level at the break thanks to an equaliser from Scott Allardice on the stroke of half time.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, Gallagher then scored his and his side’s second of the afternoon to restore Airdrie’s lead but it lasted only four minutes before Luke Wade-Slater levelled for Bohs.

But 13 minutes from time, Airdrie substitute Callum Smith pounced on a loose pass back from Aaron Barry to bag the winner for the Diamonds.

On the weekend that the club celebrated its 129th birthday, Bohemians manager Keith Long rang the changes in his squad, with none of the players who lined up at Tallaght Stadium to start the game against Shamrock Rovers a week ago making the starting eleven. 

However, all seven substitutes from the Rovers game started, and Andre Wright and Ross Tierney were dropped to the bench. 

There was also one familiar name in the Airdrie starting line-up, with former Sligo Rovers man Ally Roy lining up for the Diamonds.

On a sunny afternoon in Lanarkshire, the game began in lively fashion with Airdrie’s Craig Thomson firing a shot just past the post from the edge of the box in the opening minute.

Bohs created the next two chances of note in the space of a minute, with first Keith Ward curling a effort just wide of the far post from a Ryan Graydon through ball, and moments later from a corner kick, Aaron Barry scuffed a shot wide from eight yards.

However, it was the home side who broke the deadlock on 18 minutes, with former Sligo Rovers man Ally Roy instrumental in the creation of the opener.

Roy took advantage of gaping space down the right flank to advance forward, and he hit the bye line and cut the ball back into the path of Calum Gallagher who tucked it past Kelly from eight yards.

Just before the half hour, Airdrie again exploited space on the right, with Dale Carrick just failing to connect with a cross from Kyle McDonald.

But as the half wore on, Bohs, with Keith Ward pulling the strings in midfield, began to enjoy the better of the possession and chances.

On 33 minutes Paddy Kirk’s surging run into the box was denied by a last-ditch tackle, and then Ryan Graydon was unlucky to see his volley blocked on the line, amidst appeals for handball from the Bohs players that were waved away by Welsh referee Huw Jones.

On the stroke of half time, Bohs got the equaliser their pressure deserved, when Scott Allardice picked up Keith Ward’s neat pass from Ryan Graydon’s short corner, and blasted in a shot that took a deflection on its way past Gallacher and into the Airdrie net.

Michael Kelly in the Bohs goal was rarely tested in the first half, but he was certainly busier after the break as Airdrie began well.

Five minutes after the restart, Kelly reacted well when he had to push away a well struck effort from Airdrie’s Craig Thomson, and just on the hour he denied the same player with a good block from point blank range.

At the midway point of the half Kelly was in action once more, pushing away a low shot from Kyle McDonald at full stretch.

Eventually, Airdrie got the goal their pressure deserved on 71 minutes, when Gallagher picked up the ball on the edge of the box, cut inside and beat Kelly with a low shot for his second goal of the afternoon.

But Bohs responded within four minutes, with Keith Ward jinking past a challenge in the box to set up Luke Wade-Slater for a close-range finish.

However, the game took another dramatic and decisive swing in favour of the home side, on a moment that Bohemians’ Aaron Barry will want to forget.

The Bohs defender went to glance a simple header from a long ball back to his goalkeeper Kelly, but his intended pass was intercepted by Airdrie substitute Callum Smith, who nipped in and coolly lobbed the ball over the stranded keeper into the net.

Bohemians threw on Andre Wright and Dawson Devoy, and pushed forward to pile on some late pressure, but Airdrie held out to book their place in the next round.

 

Airdrieonians: Scott Gallacher, Callum Fordyce, Kyle McDonald, Paul McKay, Sean Crighton, Josh Kerr, Craig Thomson (Dean Hawkshaw 82), Ally Roy (Callum Smith 67), Dale Carrick (Adam Eckersley 78), Calum Gallagher, Kieran Millar.

Unused Subs: David Hutton, Patrick Pyott, Joseph Moore, Kurtis Roberts

Bohemians: Michael Kelly, Andy Lyons, Michael Barker, Aaron Barry, Paddy Kirk: Scott Allardice, Robbie McCourt (Ross Tierney 71): Luke Wade-Slater (Dawson Devoy 85), Keith Ward, Ryan Graydon: Ryan Swan (Andre Wright 77).

Unused Subs: Brandon Bermingham, Mitchell Byrne, Alex Kelly, Sean Bohan

Referee: Huw Jones.

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