December 24, 2020
Clyde vs Airdrieonians
Dean Ritchie wants Airdrie to pick up more wins in the second round of League One fixtures, starting with three points at Clyde on Boxing Day.
The midfielder was a late addition to the line-up at The Falkirk Stadium last weekend, with Diamonds boss Ian Murray forced into a late reshuffle after an injury to Leon McCann before kick-off.
Ritchie stepped in to the centre of midfield and put in a solid, energetic performance to help the Diamonds to a win over the league leaders.
The 19-year-old was pleased with his first league start since joining from Hearts in July.
“To be honest it was a bit of a shock when the gaffer told me I was starting!
“It was something I’d been looking forward to, and most importantly we got the three points that we needed after a couple of bad results.”
Kyle Connell’s late goal was enough to win the match for Airdrie, whose discipline and organisation limited Falkirk to few clear chances.
Ritchie was delighted with an important win against the league’s form side.
“Falkirk are flying just now, they were unbeaten and I thought they even played well against Rangers in the cup, so we had to try to stifle them and not give too much away.
“We went head to head with them in the first 45, then got the goal late on and managed to see it out fairly comfortably.”
The match, a lunchtime kick-off on Sunday, closed the first round of fixtures of this shortened season, and Ritchie is aiming for constant improvement as the Diamonds chase a step up to the Championship.
“The goal is to get promoted, so if we want to stay in the top four we have to get a few more wins.
“There’s no reason we can’t do that. The team spirit is really high, so we’re fully confident that we can.”
As the League One sides gear up to face each other for a second time, Airdrie will be looking for a repeat of the earlier performance against Clyde when they travel to Broadwood on Saturday.
Doubles for Dale Carrick and Calum Gallagher, alongside Connell’s first Airdrie goal, gave the Diamonds an impressive 5-0 win at the Penny Cars Stadium in November.
In spite of that, Dean knows that he and his team-mates will still have to be at the top of their game to pick up another win against Danny Lennon’s resurgent Bully Wee.
“It’ll be a different game to the first meeting, they’ve had a few decent results recently.
“Anybody can beat anybody in this league, but if we go there and play to the best of our ability we can come away with another three points.”
Manager Ian Murray is looking forward to the festive fixture.
“Both sides go into this on the back of great away results, so both will be full of confidence.
“Clyde will be looking to make amends for the 5-0 game, and as I’ve said before a wounded animal is very dangerous.
“We know if we can go there and get a result it gives us a wee chance ahead of the next game, so we’ll take confidence from the Falkirk performance and look to keep things going.”
Ally Roy and Harlain Mbayo have resumed full training for the Diamonds, who will give late checks to Leon McCann and Calum Gallagher.
The match is available to purchase on Clyde’s live streaming platform using the link below.