Queen's Park held by Airdrie - 'we are not going to be happy drawing games'
As Queen’s Park and Airdrie battled out a scoreless stalemate at Firhill, which left the teams as they had begun at either end of the table, an innocuous foul awarded against Louis Longridge gave Airdrie possession inside their own half and 15 yards from the halfway line.
The game needed a turning point to change course after meandering beyond an hour with defences, and particularly goalkeepers Max Currie and Willie Muir, on top.
McCabe swung a looping ball forward, not the first of the afternoon by any means, but one aimed at goal from a ludicrously long range. It could have crept in. It could have changed the game. It was enough to have Muir scrambling back.
It didn’t, the keeper saw it wide, but he tried. Both teams did in a hard-working draw that re-enforces their current league positions.
Airdrie, so close to promotion via the play-off last season have laboured this term, in contrast to the newly promoted Queen’s Park and their early lead in the league table. Holding the league leaders can be a source of confidence, but Laurie Ellis’ side look as though they can improve further too. A set plan, held together by Grant Gillespie in the middle of the park is supplemented by the energy of Longridge, Lewis Moore and Liam Brown.
Simon Murray’s early-season goals have carried the team to the top and though he wasn’t on the scoresheet at Firhill, Max Currie denied the striker finding the top corner twice in a first half.
A curling free-kick, similar to his winner against Falkirk, was beaten out three minutes in, and the goalkeeper pawed another effort over ten minutes from the interval. Both Murray and Louis Longridge have top level experience and they showed it, but lacked a goal before the break.
Despite Murray’s aim and Currie’s intervention, Airdrie came closest just before half-time when Adam Frizzell side-footed Gabriel McGill’s cut-back narrowly wide.
McGill’s namesake Scott, on loan from Hearts, was watched Robbie Neilson, but, hours before an Edinburgh derby it was former Hibs man Murray threatening at the home side’s temporary address in the north of Glasgow. He blasted a later free kick into the stand too.
Spiders’ goalkeeper Muir saw a point-blank header from Calum Gallagher slip over the bar before his substitution and McCabe’s audacious effort midway through the second half. Murray’s free-kick followed a similar trajectory, but much closer in, finished high in the stand.
The draw meant Queen’s maintained their lead in League One, but the teams are queuing up behind them. Airdrie, on the other hand remain one off the bottom.
“We’re not going to be happy drawing games,” Laurie Ellis said. “It was important to keep us top of the league but we want to push to win.
"Clean sheets give you a platform, but the point is then to score a goal to win the game, so we’re disappointed.”
Ian Murray added: “For the first time this season, under a little bit of pressure we stood up to it. We dug in really strongly and to come away with a clean sheet, the first of the season in the league, is just rewards.”
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