Airdrieonians vs Alloa Athletic
9th May 2017
Iain Russell says the Diamonds have nothing to fear when they take on Alloa Athletic in the SPFL Championship play-off at New Broomfield tomorrow.
Back-to-back wins ensured Airdrie finished in third place in League One, facing the Wasps over two legs in the play-off semi-final.
A tie against the winners of Raith Rovers vs Brechin City is the reward, with the winner of the final playing Championship football next season.
Russell grabbed the winning goal in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Queen's Park to secure third place, and the striker was pleased with the result.
"It was a typical game to sum up our season - to get the win and get third place was what we wanted to achieve, but we made it hard work!
"Winning the last two gives us a bit of momentum going in to the Alloa games."
The win sets up an intriguing tie against Jim Goodwin's Wasps, who have shared the spoils with Airdrie when the sides have met this season.
Andy Ryan and Ryan Conroy gave the Diamonds a 2-1 win at the Inodrill back in October, with Greig Spence pulling one back for the hosts.
Ryan was on the scoresheet again at New Broomfield a month later, with Wasps player-manager Goodwin also scoring an own goal. Scott Taggart's strike made the final score 2-1 in favour of Airdrie again.
It was also 2-1 back in Alloa in February, an Andy Graham double giving Alloa the lead before Russell netted for the Diamonds.
And just three weeks ago, the Wasps were victorious at the Excelsior with Jordan Kirkpatrick scoring the only goal of the game.
Russell believes that Airdrie are more than capable of overcoming their Clackmannanshire opponents.
"Airdrie have obviously been inconsistent this season, so it's a hard one to call - our games against Alloa have been tight and the teams are fairly evenly matched.
"We definitely have nothing to fear. We've both won two of the four meetings, and although the table shows that they've been better over the season, we're confident that we can beat anyone."
With Airdrie travelling to the Indodrill for the return leg on Saturday, Russell wants the Diamonds to take a positive result with them.
"Alloa are very good at the back, they've got a great goalie and a strong defence, so we don't want to be going there chasing something.
"With home advantage tomorrow, and the confidence from winning the last two, it's important to go out and try to win the game."
Diamonds fans will be hoping Iain continues his winning streak - as well as scoring the winner on Saturday, he also picked up the Goal of the Season trophy at the club's awards night.
"I'm delighted with it. It was good for my wee boy, because I promised him at the start of the season I would get him a medal!
"I was proud to win it, everyone knows how close Airdrie is to my heart so it was brilliant to win something like that - especially for Alfie, he got to take it into school and he was absolutely buzzing!"
Tomorrow night's play-off semi-final first leg kicks off at 7:45pm. Stephen Finnie is the referee.