May 14, 2022
Airdrieonians vs Queen’s Park
Rhys McCabe is ready for one final push to get the Diamonds to the Championship as Airdrie welcome Queen’s Park to the Excelsior on Sunday.
Midfielder McCabe netted a late penalty to level Thursday evening’s first leg after Simon Murray had put the Spiders in front midway through the second half.
Speaking to DiamondsTV after the match, Rhys reflected on a tight 90 minutes.
“A game of two halves, as they say. I thought we were in control in the first half, we got the ball down and looked to try and play our normal style of football.
“Obviously the pitch doesn’t really help, it cut up really quickly in the second half which obviously affected the tempo and the rhythm that we want to play at.
“We’re delighted to get away with a draw and take it back to our place on Sunday.”
All eyes will be on the Excelsior Stadium for Sunday’s 1:10pm kick-off as the Diamonds aim to continue their season-long unbeaten record against Queen’s Park.
The seven meetings over the League 1 campaign, the early season cups and the playoff final have seen Airdrie victorious twice in 90 minutes, with the other five matches ending in draws.
The Glasgow side secured their play-off place with a good run of form after Airdrie legend Owen Coyle took over in March, but McCabe believes that form doesn’t come into it with promotion hinging on a single match.
“We’ve given ourselves a chance, and it’s a straight shoot-out - winner takes all on Sunday.
“Obviously our surface is nice and big and we can move the ball really quick on it. We’ll be looking forward to getting back on it.”
The 29-year-old midfielder quickly endeared himself to Airdrie fans after joining from Queen of the South in the summer, scoring a tremendous free-kick against rivals Motherwell which earned him the club’s Goal of the Season award.
And the respect is clearly reciprocated by Rhys, who praised the New Broomfield faithful ahead of Sunday’s match, calling on Diamonds fan to once again be the 12th man.
“I’m not just saying it, but the fans have been magnificent since I came in to the club. It doesn’t get any bigger than Sunday.
“They were there against Montrose in their numbers, which really helped spur us on, so hopefully they can do the same on Sunday.”
Manager Ian Murray says his squad will give their all one last time as the Diamonds aim to get a fantastic season over the finish line.
“We know what we need to do now - it’s winner takes all, a real cup final. So we look forward to it, recover really quickly and get ourselves going again.
“Queen’s Park will be saying the same, they’re still well and truly in this. It’s finely balanced at the moment - but our home form is good, our form in general is really good at the moment, so we embrace it.
“It’s a one-off game that we have to win and we look forward to trying to do that.”
Referee Steven McLean takes charge of his first Airdrie match this season.
Tickets and livestream access are available using the links below. Fans are reminded that there will be no cash gate and no tickets onsale on the day, all tickets must be purchased online in advance. Season tickets are not valid for this fixture.
Sunday May 15, 2022
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
David Doig, Ralph Gordon