East Stirlingshire v Airdrie preview
13th August 2012
Stenhousemuir's Ochilview Park will provide a familiar setting for Airdrie as they make the short trip to Larbert to face East Stirlingshire in this Ramsdens Cup second round tie.
A brilliant 4-1 league result over Dumbarton on Saturday will have the Diamonds brimming with confidence, but they need only look back one more week for a reminder of the dangers that a lower league side can pose.
Queens Park were the opposition then, in a Scottish Communities League Cup first round encounter, and although Airdrie took the lead twice, the Spiders dug deep to win the game 3-2 in extra time.
Manager Jimmy Boyle left his players in no doubt as to how unhappy he was with that result, saying: "I dont think the players understood how massive the game was for the club."
Those words certainly seemed to have an effect on Saturday, as the Diamonds put in a hard-working shift to storm to a 3-0 half time lead, inspired by John Boyle's hat-trick. Although Dumbarton came back into the match in the second half, the lead was restored with a late Paul Di Giacomo goal.
John Coughlin's East Stirlingshire have also had mixed results early in the season, recording an impressive 3-1 victory over Ayr in the opening round of the Ramsdens Cup. Following a heavy 5-1 defeat to Morton in the Scottish Communities League Cup, the Shire hosted Airdrie's cup conquerers Queens Park at the weekend, a match which they lost 2-0.
One player in the East Stirlingshire ranks who will be eager to prove a point is midfielder Rhys Devlin, who signed for the Shire from Airdrie following a successful loan spell at the tail end of last season.
Although confidence will be high in the Diamonds camp, the players will be aware that form often goes out the window in Cup competitions, and East Stirlingshire's victory over Ayr will be adequate warning that the team are capable of providing an upset.
Referee David Somers will take charge of tomorrow's encounter.