Forfar Athletic vs Airdrieonians

March 13, 2020

VS

Saturday March 14, 2020

3:00pm

Station Park, Forfar

Referee: David Lowe

Assistants: Ralph Gordon, Harry Bruce

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Sean Crighton says every game is now massive as Airdrie prepare to face Forfar Athletic on Saturday.

Returning to the centre of defence as the final round of league fixtures kicked off last weekend, Crighton captained the side to a 1-0 home win over East Fife.

The 29-year-old says the importance of the victory can’t be underestimated.

“It was a crucial win. At this stage it’s about getting results, and we were resolute in our defending.

“That’s stood us in good stead this season, and it’s something we must continue going into the final stages.”

The match saw a return to the starting line-up for Crighton, who had missed recent victories over Clyde and Peterhead due to illness before making a second-half substitute appearance in the narrow defeat at Montrose.

“I was gutted to miss out but there was nothing I could do about it as I was unwell. It’s never happened to me before so it was very unexpected!

“It’s football - it happens, but the boys did well without me so I was delighted to get back in and help them get a huge win.”

With the result opening up a three-point gap over East Fife, Montrose took advantage to leapfrog the Fifers into fourth place with a midweek win over Stranraer.

With the Gable Endies visiting Methil on Saturday, the right results could see Airdrie further consolidate their position as the main challenger to the top two.

Crighton says the Diamonds will be concentrating on themselves as always.

“It’s so important that we build on last week’s win. There’s no point putting in all the effort and desire to get that win only to blow it on Saturday.

“We have to treat every game like a cup final now, because you just never know!”

A win at Station Park would make it a hat-trick of victories against Forfar Athletic, who are battling to get out of the relegation play-off place which they currently occupy.

The sides met on the opening day of the league season, when Andy Jackson and Callum Tapping gave the Loons a 2-0 victory at the Penny Cars Stadium.

Airdrie got their revenge in October when a superb second-half performance saw the Diamonds romp to a 4-1 victory with Dale Carrick, Calum Gallagher, Callum Smith and Ally Roy replying to Dale Hilson’s first-half opener.

There was a change of management for the visitors when Forfar returned to Airdrie in January, and although Stuart Malcolm saw his new side put in a dogged performance, substitute Nat Wedderburn grabbed the only goal of the game to give the Diamonds a narrow win.

Sean expects another battle on Saturday as the Loons scrap for survival.

“As I always say, every game is tough. It’s not going to be easy against a team who are down there fighting, and it’s always a very difficult place to go and get a result.

“We must treat every game as our biggest of the season, because at this stage there will still be twists and turns.

“I’m hoping we can cause the biggest twist between now and the end.”

Manager Ian Murray wants his side to make it a Station Park double.

“It’s another hard game, but we’ve won up there already so we’re looking to do so again.

“We go into it on good form and we’ll be doing our best to continue that.”

The Diamonds boss welcomes Andy Ryan back after the striker missed last weekend’s match with a foot injury. Callum Smith (hamstring) joins Adam Eckersley (calf) and Patrick Pyott (knee) on the sidelines, but Paul McKay has recovered from a slight hamstring strain. Ally Roy faces a late fitness test ahead of the trip to Angus.

Referee David Lowe is in line for his third Airdrie match this season. The whistler was in charge of the 2-2 away draw with East Fife in January and August’s 1-0 Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup win over Hamilton Academical.

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