November 5, 2021
Airdrieonians vs Peterhead
Max Currie wants a quick return to winning ways as the Diamonds look to bounce back against Peterhead this weekend.
The goalkeeper has played a vital role in the run of form which has propelled Airdrie up the cinch League 1 table in recent weeks, but was also part of the side which lost to Alloa Athletic last Saturday.
A goal either side of half-time from the Wasps’ Hearts loanee Euan Henderson meant that Callum Fordyce’s 85th-minute strike was too little, too late for the Diamonds, but Currie is philosophical about the result.
“That’s League 1 - you’re not going to win every game. It was just one of those days when most of the team weren’t at it, myself included, and we never picked up any points.
“I thought the goals were cheap from a team point of view and as I say, that’s myself included. You always look at it and analyse where you can do better yourself, and maybe for one of the goals I thought I could have done a wee bit better.”
The improvement in Airdrie’s form is clear to see - with 12 games played the Diamonds sit a point off the top of the table, compared to the 11-point gap at the corresponding stage last season.
That gap was closed over the course of the truncated 2020/21 campaign, with Airdrie ultimately finishing two points behind champions Partick Thistle before falling at the final play-off hurdle.
Currie agrees that the squad have a better platform to build on this time round, although League 1 continues to be notoriously tight.
“I think it’s quite clear this season that we’ve got a stronger squad. Last season I thought we were a bit up and down whereas this season we’ve been really consistent.
“Other than Queen’s Park, who I think have only lost one game, it feels like everybody can beat everybody - teams will pick up points where you’re not expecting them to.”
With Peterhead visiting the Penny Cars Stadium on Saturday, Airdrie will be aiming for an immediate return to winning ways.
The sides met at Balmoor in August, with a heavily-depleted Diamonds squad winning 3-2 courtesy of Gabby McGill’s strike and a Rhys McCabe double. Currie is looking to that day’s performance for inspiration as he and his team-mates face another difficult fixture.
“I think every game will be tough. Peterhead have been on a good run and they’ll be coming here looking to pick up something, but we need to go and get back to the form that we were in a couple of weeks ago.
“That day, if I remember, a lot of people had written us off because we went up there and we had a few Covid cases, but we showed a good team spirit and we stuck together. Although we went three goals up and they scored two, we came away with the three points!”
That spirit of togetherness throughout the club and support have certainly been factors in the Diamonds’ form so far this season, and Max says one bad result doesn’t change that.
“It’s only one defeat in six, so there’s no doom and gloom, but we had a wee chat about it and we said that our form on Saturday wasn’t good enough. We need to get back to where we were against Falkirk and East Fife.
“It makes a huge difference when the fans are singing. Even at the end, you see the reaction - it makes a lot of difference to the players going into the dressing room.”
Manager Ian Murray says the onus is on the Diamonds to press their home advantage.
“Peterhead are a good, well-drilled side with a very experienced manager who knows exactly what he’s doing.
“Saturday’s going to be really tough against a good team on a good run, but as I’ve emphasised to the players it’s about what we do. We’re at home, we’ve done okay at home in recent weeks, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to get another three points.”
Strikers Gabby McGill (concussion) and Salim Kouider-Aïssa (knee) will both miss out after picking up knocks against Alloa, but defenders Josh Kerr and Luke Lyons both hope to be back in contention.
Referee Steven Reid has recent experience with the Diamonds, having officiated last month’s 3-0 win at The Falkirk Stadium.
Match tickets and livestream access are available using the links below.
Saturday November 6, 2021
Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie
Alan Mulvanny, Michael Banks