January 1, 2022
Dumbarton vs Airdrieonians
Rhys McCabe hopes to make it nine points out of nine as Airdrie complete a hectic festive week by first-footing Dumbarton.
The Diamonds travel to the newly renamed moreroom.com stadium for a 1:30pm kick-off on Sunday, having already achieved maximum points against Alloa Athletic and Queen’s Park this week.
Speaking to airdriefc.com immediately after Wednesday’s 1-0 home win over Queen’s Park, McCabe dismissed any worries of burnout in the squad.
“The boys are fit enough - that’s why we train, that’s why we work hard.
“The fitness lads make sure there are no passengers, you’ve got to be in, ready to go and you’ve got to maintain your fitness, so that come these busy periods you look to excel and kick on.”
Physical condition will certainly be expected to play a part in a fixture which has already proved somewhat feisty this season.
Although midfielder McCabe has found the net in both meetings between the sides, he knows a tricky tie lies ahead.
“Tough game, it always is. Regardless whether you’re at home or away, I think you saw that the last time we were here.
“There was lots of drama in that game, so I think obviously they’ll be feeling that they owe us one and we’ll be looking to continue the run of form that we’ve been on lately.”
The Sons first hosted Airdrie in August, rescuing a point with two goals in the last ten minutes after Gabby McGill had opened the scoring and McCabe had doubled the Diamonds lead from the spot. The controversial dismissal of Sam Wardrop proved to be a turning point, as Ryan McGeever and Andy Geggan completed the Dumbarton fightback against ten men.
The red cards were flying in the reverse fixture at the Penny Cars Stadium in October - McCabe and Ross MacLean had traded goals in the first half before late drama saw three Sons players sent off and what looked to be a last minute winner from Dylan Easton.
Stevie Farrell’s side had different ideas, and the eight men scored an unlikely stoppage-time equaliser before Salim Kouider-Aïssa won it for the Diamonds with 96 minutes on the clock.
Rhys doesn’t believe that the events of those matches will have any bearing on the first game of 2022.
“It’s a new game, it’s a totally different game. I think going into the game now the way we’re playing, the confidence is high.
“It’s important that we’ve got to keep that momentum going that we’ve built over the last couple of weeks - obviously with the Clyde game getting postponed late on, but I thought again we were excellent in that - so three games really that we’ve played really well, and confidence is oozing out us.
Manager Ian Murray also admits that his old side always provide a tough challenge.
“We know each other very well - maybe they’ll add personnel and maybe we will.
“Going down there, we expect a really, really hard game against a really decent side.“
Referee Steven Kirkland is in charge of his first league match featuring Airdrie this season, having previously officiated two cup ties - July’s 1-1 Premier Sports Cup draw against Annan Athletic and November’s 2-0 Scottish Cup win at Stenhousemuir.
With current restrictions preventing away fans from attending the match, live streaming is available via Dumbarton’s PPV platform using the link below.
Fans are reminded that the match kicks off at the earlier-than-usual time of 1:30pm.
Sunday January 2, 2022
moreroom.com Stadium, Dumbarton
John McCrossan, Brian Christie