Preview: Brechin City vs Airdrieonians
December 21, 2018
Scott Stewart is pleased to be back in the Diamonds line-up, and the midfield man has a Christmas victory at Brechin in his sights.
Last season’s Player of the Year has watched patiently from the bench in recent weeks, but has returned to the starting XI for Airdrie’s last two matches, and is pleased to get a chance to impress.
“I’m delighted to be back playing. Obviously everybody wants to be in the team and it’s frustrating when you’re not, so I’m glad to be back in the starting line-up.
“It’s hard to impress a new manager from the bench, but I’ve worked hard in training and in reserve matches and hopefully I’ve done enough to keep my place in the team.”
Those recent starts came in the 1-0 home defeat to Arbroath last week, and the previous weekend’s 1-1 draw at Dumbarton - in which Stewart set up a goal within the first three minutes.
Despite the results, the 22-year-old is content with his own performances.
“I’m fairly happy with how I’ve played, I think I’ve done alright.
"Having just come back in, I think I’ve still got a way to go before I reach my top performances, but hopefully that’ll come in the next couple of games.”
Manager Ian Murray last week declared himself pleased with the points gained over a tricky run of fixtures as the Diamonds faced the teams showing good recent form.
Stewart doesn’t think that means the upcoming matches will be any easier.
“I don’t know if you can ever say that in this league. Anyone can beat anyone, we’ve seen some crazy results already this season.
“If we perform like we did last week and take our chances, we’re capable of doing well and getting more wins and then we can start to move up the league.”
The narrow defeat to Arbroath saw the Diamonds dominant in possession - but as is often the case, the team at the top of league got the rub of the green.
The Red Lichties scored with their only real shot on target, while Airdrie were denied by the woodwork and some impressive goalkeeping.
Stewart was encouraged by the performance.
“We did play well, especially in the second half.
“We had good chances in both halves and weren’t able to take them - when you’re playing a team undefeated at the top of the league, you need to take those chances.”
Now the Diamonds face another Angus side as they travel to Glebe Park to take on Brechin City.
Both sides have seen a change in management since their last meeting - Stevie Findlay and Darren Dods were in the dugouts as Brechin won 3-1 at the Penny Cars Stadium in October.
Ian Murray and Barry Smith have now taken over the respective posts, and Scott believes Airdrie are in a better position to bring some festive cheer to the travelling support.
Saturday December 22, 2018
Glebe Park, Brechin
Refereee: Alan Newlands
Assistants: Mark McLean, Craig King
Click to enlarge infographic
“A lot has changed since the last meeting - when a new manager comes in they have their own ideas. If we play like we did at the weekend we’re definitely capable of a good result.
“It would be nice to send the fans home happy, especially as it’s Christmas!”
Manager Ian Murray added: “Brechin aren’t on a great run of form, but as we’ve seen in this league before, that doesn’t really count for much.
“Both teams will be looking for the win right before Christmas, so we go there looking forward to a good game.”
Goalkeepers Scott Gallacher (cruciate) and David Hutton (ankle) continue to miss out for the Diamonds, along with Ryan Conroy who is sidelined with a hamstring injury. Scott Robertson (knee) may return.
Referee Alan Newlands has already taken charge of two high-scoring matches featuring the Diamonds this season; the 4-3 defeat to Raith Rovers in August and last month's 4-2 victory over East Fife.