September 10, 2021
Queen’s Park vs Airdrieonians
Dylan Easton insists Airdrie can face Queen’s Park with confidence after two cup draws with the league leaders.
The Diamonds travel to Firhill for a third meeting with the Spiders on Saturday, this time on cinch League 1 duty.
The Glasgow side came out on top when the sides met in the SPFL Trust Trophy last Friday night, bagging a late equaliser from the spot before going on to win the penalty shoot-out.
It was a bittersweet evening for midfielder Easton, who saw a potentially match-winning kick saved after he had picked up the Man of the Match award for an impressive attacking performance.
Fast becoming a fans favourite, Easton says the Diamonds faithful have yet to see the best of him.
“I think there’s a lot more to come to be honest. I always say that the start of the season is the most difficult part. Once I start scoring and providing more assists, I look forward to the next game. It’s something that I’ll always add.
“We’re a new squad and we’re still getting used to each other, but I think the performances are starting to show now and I think the results will start to come as well.”
Queen’s Park shootout win at the Penny Cars Stadium mirrored the result when the sides met at Firhill in the Premier Sports Cup earlier in the season, with Airdrie taking the penalty spoils on that occasion.
Easton says the Diamonds, still regrouping from their earlier Covid outbreak, were unlucky last weekend.
“I don’t think there was much in the game, we limited them to less chances. They’re a good footballing team, but I felt that we had enough chances to nick a couple more goals. It was a bit unfortunate losing a goal so late on, and obviously the penalty shoot-out is a lottery.
“I was just disappointed that I changed my mind. I saw him stepping to the left and thought he was going that way, so I opened my foot at the last minute.
“As a young boy you always get taught to pick your corner, get the head down and put it away, so I was a bit gutted that I changed my mind.”
The Spiders have quickly risen to the top of the table after winning promotion from League 2 in a historic season which saw them move out of Hampden Park and convert to senior status.
Manager Laurie Ellis has built a squad to match the club’s ambitions, but according to Dylan the Diamonds are more than capable of a result.
“Queen’s Park are a great side, I think everyone can see that - they’re sitting at the top of the league for a reason.
“But we’ve got a great squad as well, we’ve played them a couple of times and haven’t been beaten. We’ll go there with plenty of confidence.
“If we play to our strengths, get on the ball and keep it moving at pace, we can catch them out. Hopefully we can get off to a good start, keep the momentum going and hopefully pick up the three points.
Airdrie manager Ian Murray wants his side to put their injury and illness woes behind them and kick on.
“I felt we did tire on Friday, particularly in the second half which was understandable, but on the flipside I don’t think I could have asked any more of them.
“We’re two very evenly-matched sides when you look at both of the fixtures. Both teams will feel over the two games that there have been many plus points and some negative points.
“If we can go on a wee run it propels us up the league table pretty quickly. Saturday will be a really tough game, but one that we’re fully focussed on.”
The Diamonds boss hopes to have Max Currie, Josh Kerr and Salim Kouider-Aïssa back in contention “soon” ahead of a big week for the club, and also confirmed that Luke Lyons is making steady progress following shoulder surgery.
The match referee is Calum Scott, who is a familiar face to the squad even at this early stage of the season, having already officiated the Premier Sports Cup defeat away to Queen of the South and the recent 3-2 victory at Peterhead.
Match tickets are available using the link below, and fans are reminded that there will be no cash gate for this fixture.
For those unable to make it along to Firhill, Queen’s Park are also offering a live stream on their QPTV channel.
Saturday September 11, 2021
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
David McGeachie, Mark Harris