April 1, 2022
East Fife vs Airdrieonians
Airdrie were unfortunate not to close the gap at the top of the league last weekend, but Max Currie says the Diamonds have to keep picking up wins - starting at East Fife on Saturday.
The goalkeeper has been in fine form in recent weeks - as have the squad as a whole - as Ian Murray’s men travel to Methil looking to extend a 15-match unbeaten run, but the 25-year-old was beaten by a stoppage-time screamer just as Airdrie looked to have secured a win over Cove Rangers.
“A 93rd-minute goal, you’re practically the last kick of the ball away from three points and closing the gap.
“I think it’s just one of those strikes that if you bounced another hundred balls at him I don’t think he’d be able to do it again. The dip on the ball and everything that went with it, I think it was just in one of those areas I couldn’t save.”
A win over Paul Hartley’s side would have brought the Diamonds to within two points of the cinch League 1 summit, but still requiring a slip-up from the leaders in the remaining five matches.
Currie says nothing changes for Airdrie as they look to win their remaining games and see what happens elsewhere.
The former Stranraer goalie has been amazed at how quickly the season has gone in.
“Coming back after Christmas, I think putting a good run together helps that, because the weeks just fly in - you’re looking forward to the next game.
“Five games to go and to still be in the race for the title, I think it says a lot about the team.”
With a number of eye-catching performances and clean sheets during Airdrie’s impressive unbeaten streak, Currie is quick to praise his defenders as he hopes to keep the back door shut during the season’s climax.
“I just normally look to go into every game and keep a clean sheet. Obviously it never happens throughout a full season, but if you limit teams to as little chances as you can, you give yourself a chance.
“Hopefully I can keep that run going until the end of the season.”
History is on Currie’s side as the Diamonds face tenth-placed East Fife, having registered three clean sheets out of three against the Bayview side this season.
A double from Calum Gallagher either side of Scott McGill’s goal gave Airdrie a 3-0 home win in September, while Gallagher was on the scoresheet again in November’s return fixture, finishing off a superb passing move to hand the Diamonds a 1-0 victory.
The 3-0 scoreline was repeated at the Excelsior in January, with Jordan Allan, Adam Frizzell and Dylan Easton grabbing the goals.
Although the Fifers have been rooted at the foot of the table for most of the season, Max says nothing can be taken for granted on Saturday.
“They’ve certainly improved a lot since Stevie Crawford came in. I know under Darren Young at the start they were maybe struggling, but they’ve certainly come to life a bit under the new manager.
“They’ll be looking to bounce back after a poor result, but on the other hand so will we.”
Manager Ian Murray knows a win is imperative for his side as they hope for favours in the title race, but agrees that it won’t be easy.
“It’s a hard place to go, we’ve always found it quite tough through there.
“Apart from Saturday, defensively they’ve picked up a little bit. They’re a dangerous side who are battling at the bottom of the league to stay in the division.
“We have to go there, we have to keep believing, and take it a game at a time.”
Defenders Luke Lyons and Kyle MacDonald continue to miss out for Airdrie alongside striker Salim Kouider-Aïssa.
Colin Steven takes charge of his first Airdrie match of the season.
Match tickets and livestream access are available using the links below.
Saturday April 2, 2022
Locality Hub Bayview Stadium, Methil
Andy Milne, Alan Grainger