May 20, 2021
Morton vs Airdrieonians
It’s do-or-die for Airdrie at Morton in Friday’s play-off final, and Craig Thomson believes the Diamonds have what it takes to win promotion.
The Greenock side lead by a goal to nil going into the match, with Robbie Muirhead’s stoppage time header handing Gus MacPherson’s men a slender advantage after Tuesday’s first leg, and winger Thomson knows the tie is as finely balanced as the scoreline suggests.
“I felt Tuesday was quite an even game with not a lot of clear cut chances for either side.
“Obviously losing the late goal was a bit of a blow, but we have 90 minutes to turn the tie around and we have to go there with confidence that we can win the game.”
Despite the disappointment of going behind so late in the game, the Diamonds took the time to applaud the 500 fans who had sampled their first live match in over a year.
Thomson was delighted to have the Airdrie faithful back in the stands.
“It was great to see the fans back in - it was quite a strange feeling hearing them singing and cheering us on after playing in empty stadiums all season!
“It was a bit disappointing we couldn’t give them something to cheer about during the game, but hopefully the Diamonds will all be celebrating come Friday night.”
An incredible run of form has put Airdrie within 90 minutes of promotion glory, and former St Johnstone man Thomson has been instrumental, coming off the bench to contribute to late goals on a number of occasions.
The 26-year-old hopes to exert his influence again as Airdrie look to overturn their first leg deficit at Cappielow.
“I’ve been pretty pleased with the impact I’ve made from the bench in the past few weeks, especially the Falkirk game and obviously setting up Gal’s winner in the Cove game.
“I know my pace can cause teams problems, so whether it’s from the start or towards the end of the game, hopefully I can emulate that on Friday.”
Airdrie fans will be hoping to see plenty of goalmouth action as they tune in to watch the match, which is live on BBC Alba from 7:35pm.
With only one goal in it, Craig believes the Diamonds can triumph if they improve their cutting edge on Friday.
“I think we need to stay relaxed and keep doing what we’ve been doing on the run we’ve been on the past few months.
“We’ve got a great team spirit and we have to keep that up going into Friday’s game. I think if we do that and show some more quality in the final third, we are more than capable of turning this tie around!”
Manager Ian Murray agrees that the tie hangs in the balance.
Speaking to DiamondsTV after Tuesday’s match, he said: “We go down there and try to turn it around and win the game, and if there’s any team that can do it in this league it’ll be us.
“We’re playing against a really good, strong, physical Championship side on their patch, but we’re still in it and that’s the main thing.”
The Diamonds boss has injury concerns ahead of the game, having lost six players in the last two matches. While Kyle Connell and Paul McKay will definitely miss out, the others will be given every chance to recover ahead of kick-off.
Alan Muir is the referee at Cappielow for what will be his first Airdrie match this season.
Friday May 21, 2021
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Daniel McFarlane, Gordon Crawford