Preview: Dumbarton vs Airdrieonians
March 15, 2019
Kieran MacDonald says Airdrie aren’t looking over their shoulders, and togetherness is key to moving up the table.
The Diamonds are on a disappointing run of form which has seen only one win in the last eight league games, culminating in a narrow 1-0 defeat at Raith Rovers last weekend.
Defender MacDonald thinks the lack of a cutting edge let Airdrie down on the day.
“I thought we did well in parts of the game, but for me we need to get more consistency and score more goals. We’re creating some chances, but we need to start putting them away.”
The previous week saw a 1-0 home win for Airdrie over Montrose, but it was the Diamonds’ only victory since early January.
MacDonald thinks some of the poor results have been unfortunate.
“It’s just been a bad run of results - we haven’t played too badly at times during that run, and most of the games we’ve lost have been by a single goal.
“I wouldn’t say it’s down to a lack of effort, sometimes things just don’t go your way and you need a bit of luck on your side.”
With some recent eye-opening scorelines elsewhere in League One, the Diamonds have been dragged into the bottom half of the table with standings tighter than ever.
However, MacDonald and his team-mates are continuing to look up the table.
“There’s no talk of relegation battles in the dressing room. A club like Airdrie shouldn’t be looking that way.
“We’re still quite close to fourth place, so the boys are focused on moving towards that. Nobody’s looking down the way.”
One side who have been in fine form recently are Dumbarton, who have made steady progress under Jim Duffy and leapfrogged the Diamonds into sixth place last weekend - an impressive feat given that the Sons were bottom of the pile at the beginning of last month.
Airdrie face a trip to the C&G Systems Stadium on Saturday, having already drawn three times with Dumbarton this season.
In September, Brad Spencer gave the Sons a first-half lead at Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie substitute Cammy Russell notching the Diamonds’ equaliser with 20 minutes remaining.
The roles were reversed at ‘The Rock’ in December, when Leighton McIntosh gave the visitors an early lead only for Spencer to level in the 90th minute.
And it was 2-2 when the sides met at the beginning of February, Darryl Duffy and McIntosh scoring for the Diamonds with Bobby Barr and Dom Thomas replying.
The one meeting which was settled on the day was November’s Scottish Cup third round tie. Duffy and a double from Kyle Wilkie gave the Diamonds a convincing 3-0 home win.
With the sides currently level on points and goal difference, Kieran thinks the outcome of Saturday’s match could be crucial.
“It’s a big game. Nobody likes to call these games ‘must-win’, but it’s getting to that point in the season.
Saturday March 16, 2019
C&G Systems Stadium, Dumbarton
Refereee: Lloyd Wilson
Assistants: Gary Hilland, Chris Gentles
Click to enlarge infographic
“The result will have a big bearing on the rest of the season, so we need everyone at the club to pull together and make sure we get a positive outcome.”
Manager Ian Murray is relishing another tough encounter with his former charges.
“Dumbarton are the form team in the league at the moment, but the three league draws between us suggest it will be another tight game.
“They’ve got players who can get goals out of nowhere, and we’ll need to keep a close eye on them, but we know we’re capable of going down there and getting the win.
“It’s a big game, and we’re all looking forward to it and hopefully we can get back on track.”
The Diamonds boss confirmed that Dale Carrick and Kyle Wilkie have returned to full training, with only goalkeeper Scott Gallacher and midfielder Grant Gallagher likely to miss out.
Lloyd Wilson referees the match, his first Airdrie game of the season.