Airdrieonians vs Falkirk
August 30, 2019
Kurtis Roberts says Airdrie are ready to roll their sleeves up when Falkirk come to town this weekend.
The midfielder joined in the summer from Queen’s Park, where his long-distance strikes had started to become a trademark. His first Airdrie goal came two weeks ago against Clyde - from considerably closer range.
“It was great to get off the mark - and I think it might be the closest goal I’ve scored in senior football!
“It was a good one to get, especially to make it 1-1 when we then went on to win.”
That win was Airdrie’s third in a row following victories at Montrose and Hamilton, but the Diamonds’ run came crashing to an end at Bayview last weekend.
Goals from Ross Davidson, Liam Watt, Aaron Dunsmore and Scott Agnew saw East Fife race into a four-nil lead before Calum Gallagher pulled one back in stoppage time.
Roberts concedes it was a poor performance.
“I think we started off sluggish and we just didn’t look up to it - we looked as if we were in second gear all the way through the game. To lose stupid goals the way we did just deflates you.
“We’ve worked hard on that since Saturday, and we’ve had a good week in training so hopefully that will be the last performance we see like that.”
Despite the heavy loss, Airdrie remain in fourth place in the League One table, with some other surprising results also occurring around the grounds.
Roberts believes there are lessons to be learned even in defeat.
“I guess it grounds you. It’s a reminder that you need to take games week by week, and that’s what the gaffer is always telling us - take it a game at a time and don’t get ahead of yourself.
“It’s a horrible feeling losing in that manner, it ruins your whole week knowing you can’t make amends till you get back on the pitch.”
That opportunity comes in the shape of a home tie against newly-relegated Falkirk on Saturday.
Ray McKinnon’s men fell to a 1-0 defeat at Broadwood last weekend, but are still the bookies favourites for the title.
Kurtis says Airdrie will be up for the challenge.
“Falkirk will be a tough test, their starting eleven looks strong and they take good backing with them on the road.
“These are the games you want to play in though. You can’t hide and you’ve got to be up for it - and we will be.
“We’ll make it as hard as possible for them, you always want to knock the favourites down a few pegs. Fingers crossed I can get another goal - maybe from further out this time!”
Manager Ian Murray is demanding improvement from his squad.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, but we’ve shown already this season that we’re well capable of winning.
“The result will take care of itself, but I want to see a reaction from the boys - in the shape of 100% commitment, determination and workrate.”
The match sees the first meeting of the sides since March 2013, when a Lyle Taylor goal gave the Bairns a 1-0 win. Despite some memorable clashes in the past, Airdrie have not recorded a win in the fixture since their 2002 reformation.
David Dickinson referees the tie, having already taken charge of one Airdrie match this season - the 1-0 win at Montrose in which Seán Dillon was shown a red card.
Saturday August 31, 2019
The Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie
Referee: David Dickinson
Assistants: Daniel McFarlane, Ross Macleod
Issue 5 of matchday magazine Diamonds is available in the Club Shop and around the ground before Saturday’s match. Packed with the usual news, match reports and features, this issue also features a look at former Diamond Jim Black’s European exploits and a fan’s view of the current plight of Bury and Bolton. Don't forget to pick up your copy!