October 29, 2021
Alloa Athletic vs Airdrieonians
Callum Fordyce has issued a rallying cry to the Airdrie faithful as the Diamonds look to extend their impressive run of form at Alloa this weekend.
With the second quarter of the league campaign underway, the side sit third - level on points with league leaders Queen’s Park - but it’s also been an eventful time off the park for the skipper.
As the Diamonds put together a run of one defeat in eight matches, Fordyce and wife Zoe both tested positive for Covid with the birth of their second child imminent.
Thankfully both recovered well and baby Darcie arrived without incident, just in time for the popular defender to take part in last weekend’s action-packed 3-2 win over Dumbarton.
“If you’d said to me a few months ago that all this would kick off when the wee one was due, I’d have laughed.
“It was a whirlwind few weeks, and obviously that game on Saturday has topped it all off! If you ask anybody that was there or any of the boys that played, it was probably the craziest game you’ll ever see. Certainly the craziest game I’ve played in!”
The events of Saturday’s match have been well publicised over the last week, with visitors Dumbarton staging an unlikely comeback to level the match at 2-2 in stoppage time despite only having eight men on the park.
Substitute Salim Kouider-Aïssa headed home Airdrie’s 96th-minute winner to spark wild celebrations at the Penny Cars Stadium, and Fordyce was delighted to join team-mates and fans alike in the dramatic late revelry.
He recalls the chaotic events following Paul Paton’s stoppage time equaliser.
“We managed to win a couple of corners in a row - that’s obviously where it came from, the ball looped in the air and credit to Sal, he’s got great timing on the jump and beat the keeper to it.
“The emotions were crazy. You’re exhausted after the game just from the emotions of it all, not actually the 90 minutes!
“You see what it means to the fans after the game, there’s a real togetherness with the players and the staff. We know that something special could possibly happen this year, but we don’t want to get carried away with ourselves.”
Airdrie now face a trip to the Indodrill Stadium to face recently-relegated Alloa Athletic, and it will take some doing to match the drama of the last fixture, although the Wasps had a similar ending to their last league match as they came from 3-2 down to beat Queen’s Park 4-3.
Fordyce believes Saturday’s fixture has the potential to produce another thriller.
“I played there a few times when I was at Livingston and Queen of the South, it’s a tough place to go. Alloa are a good side, you saw that when they played here.
“We’ll need to be very compact and hard to beat, but we’ve got to go and express ourselves. They’ve been like ourselves on Sunday there, coming back and getting a result, so they’ll be flying with confidence too and it’ll be an exciting game.”
With the fantastic backing from the support playing a big part in the club’s recent good fortunes, Callum believes that the fans can continue to be Airdrie’s twelfth man as they seek to solidify their position at the top of the table.
As the second quarter of the cinch League 1 campaign is now up and running, we asked the skipper if he had a message for the Diamonds faithful.
“Keep behind the team. At times things aren’t going to go our way, we’re not going to go the full season playing incredible football and winning 3 or 4 nil - at times it’s going to be tough.
“Stick by the players - you’ve done that since we’ve been here with the tough start to the season - the manager’s been great with us, he’s found a system that works for us and we’re playing some good stuff, so basically stick by us throughout the season and show that support!”
Manager Ian Murray says both sides will be approaching the match with confidence after recent dramatic results.
“Alloa showed glimpses of their quality here in the midweek game, they showed it on Sunday at Queen’s Park, that’s for sure - taking that scalp, the first defeat for the league leaders.
“They’ll be buoyant with that result. They’re a very dangerous side with good attacking players, the system that they play and a good management staff.
“We’re full of confidence as well, I’ve not been there as manager of Airdrie so I’m looking forward to it. It’s somewhere I visited regularly with Dumbarton and I had a decent record, so I hope the players on Saturday can keep that going for me!”
The Diamonds boss confirmed that Josh Kerr’s condition was under assessment after coming off with a calf knock on Saturday, but was pleased to report that fellow defender Luke Lyons had resumed full training ahead of schedule.
Referee Barry Cook has already taken charge of one Airdrie match this season - August’s 2-2 away draw with Dumbarton.
Admission to the Indodrill is on a pay-at-the-gate basis, with live streaming and match programmes also available. See the link below for full details.
Saturday October 30, 2021
The Indodrill Stadium, Alloa
George King, Ian Hart