Airdrie v Falkirk preview

29th March 2013

Airdrie have been cut adrift at the bottom of the Irn-Bru First Division ahead of this weekend's visit of Falkirk.

The Diamonds are ten points adrift of Cowdenbeath who occupy the relegation play-off position and 11 behind eighth-placed Dumbarton in the table.

Jimmy Boyle's men have gone almost eight long months without a win at New Broomfield and are staring automatic relegation in the face.

By contrast, Falkirk enjoyed a 2-0 win over Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park on Wednesday night and are looking forward to playing Hibernian in the semi-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

It has been a difficult campaign for all concerned at Airdrie with chairman Jim Ballantyne admitting it's a case of simply getting to the end of it and then rebuilding.

He has asked supporters to stick by the club and pleaded with fans to come along to the final three home matches against the Bairns, Partick Thistle and Livingston.

A crowd of just 554 - the lowest Saturday afternoon attendance since the formation of United nearly 11 years ago - witnessed the 2-1 defeat to Raith Rovers last weekend.

And the chairman says that sort of figure on a regular basis is simply unsustainable in terms of the running of the club.

He said: "It's hard. We have had the season from hell through none of our own making.

"It's now just about getting to the end of the season, regrouping and looking to build again.

"Being thrown into the First Division at the last minute has been absolutely horrendous.

"I appreciate that there are things the fans are not happy about but my message would be to stick with us for these final three [home] games of the season.

"The crowd on Saturday was one of our lowest and the club is not viable on crowds of between 500 and 600."

On the personnel front, Boyle hopes to have Chris O'Neil and Nathan Blockley available for selection but injury may again sideline Gavin Griffin, Grant Evans and Paul Di Giacomo. 

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