Preview: Raith Rovers vs Airdrieonians

March 8, 2019​

Jordan Houston is enjoying the step up to first-team football, and aims to help the Diamonds to back-to-back wins with victory at Raith Rovers this weekend.

 

The wing-back has started both matches since joining Airdrie on loan from Rangers last month, and is pleased with how he’s settling in at the club.

 

“I’m really enjoying it, it’s been a different challenge for me but I was just looking forward to getting started and I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

 

Houston made his competitive debut for the Ibrox club in a Scottish Cup tie against Cowdenbeath at the end of January, and was keen to go out on loan for more regular first-team football.

 

The 19-year-old has starred at youth and reserve levels, but is already seeing the advantages of top team action.

 

“It’s a lot different, but that’s why I’m here - to learn about different aspects of the game and about real football.

 

“I haven’t been in this environment too often, it’s a bigger ask physically - but there’s also the mental side where you have to be focussed and concentrate all the time.”

 

With two Diamonds appearances already under his belt, Houston has seen different sides of the competitive game with an unlucky defeat at Arbroath before last week’s close-fought victory against Montrose.

 

“That’s football, it’s a funny game. We played quite well against Arbroath and were very unfortunate with the way things went. Against Montrose we didn’t play as well, but we managed to get the three points - and that’s all that matters.

 

“The win is a big boost, and hopefully we can keep it going and go on a winning run.”

 

The first challenge on that road is a trip to Stark’s Park to face third-placed Raith Rovers on Saturday.

 

Jordan is relishing the prospect of facing the division’s only full-time side.

 

“I’m sure it’ll be a tough game and there’s going to be big expectations on both teams.

 

“It’ll be a good test for us and we’re looking forward it. We’re going there in confident mood.”

 

Manager Ian Murray anticipates another tight encounter.

 

“We’ve already seen three really close games between the sides this season, so we’re expecting another one.

 

“Both teams will be looking for the win - Raith have the chance to cement their play-off position and we can move closer to the teams ahead of us.”

 

The Diamonds boss confirmed that Dale Carrick is doubtful after picking up a knock against Montrose. Josh Campbell is also struggling, and faces a late fitness check ahead of the trip to Kirkcaldy.

 

Referee David Dickinson takes charge of his first Airdrie match this season.

Saturday March 9, 2019

3:00pm

Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy

Refereee: David Dickinson

Assistants: Gordon Crawford, David McKniff

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