August 12, 2022
Queen of the South vs Airdrieonians
Cammy Ballantyne believes Airdrie can continue their perfect start in League 1 if the Diamonds continue to focus on their own performances.
The 25-year-old joined Airdrie from Montrose in the summer, and will look to put in another steady display against Queen of the South on Saturday after impressing in his first few games for the club.
Defender Ballantyne is pleased with the start to his Diamonds career.
“The boys have made it easy for me settling in. The way the gaffer and Dycey have handled training and integrated me into the team, it’s been smooth so far!
“I’m happy with my personal performances. There’s still a wee bit to come, I’m obviously going from part-time to full-time so a wee bit of fitness to come, but so far so good for me.”
The full-back already has a goal to his name after bagging a debut strike against Cowdenbeath in the Premier Sports Cup - but would like to increase that tally.
“I usually only get a token two or three a season, so hopefully I can add to those numbers for the team, especially when we’re playing further forward.
“I’d like to add a couple more goals to my game!”
It’s two wins and two clean sheets so far for the Diamonds, who started their cinch League 1 campaign with a 2-0 win at Peterhead before last week’s 4-0 demolition of Falkirk.
Ballantyne caught the eye against the Bairns - both getting forward and defending - and was pleased that the side were able to entertain the large home support.
“For the first 20 minutes they were the better team, they knocked it about well without actually creating too much.
“As soon as we got to grips with that and got the goal, we started to take over, and we were clinical with our chances.
“The first home game of the season, you want to put on a show. Luckily we did with four goals!”
And so the season continues with the first visit to Palmerston Park on league duty since 2010.
The Doonhamers have spent the interim playing in the Championship, and Willie Gibson’s men will be looking for an immediate return despite a tricky start to their League 1 season.
A home defeat to Clyde was followed by last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Montrose, but Airdrie supporters are already familiar with some of the quality in the Queens side.
Ex-Diamonds Max Currie, Rico Quitongo and Paul McKay all currently ply their trade in Dumfries, while Airdrie have no fewer than six former Queen of the South players - David Hutton, Josh Rae, Callum Fordyce, Adam Frizzell, Rhys McCabe and Salim Kouider-Aïssa.
Cammy expects a difficult game when his new side travel south.
“They’re a good team, they’ve got good players and are well organised, so it’s never going to be easy. We need to go down there and just do what we can do and hopefully come away with another win.
“They’re another full-time team so they’ll be wanting to get the ball down and play, and so will we. It’s early days, you can only tell so much from the first two games - but from what we’ve seen so far it’s going to be two teams wanting to play football.”
Airdrie player-boss Rhys McCabe wants his side to continue in a similar vein.
“We go down with the same mentality as normal, and we go and try to win the game.
“The main thing for us is trying to keep that momentum going, continue the winning run and try to emulate what we did last season when we went on that unbeaten run.”
Josh Rae will continue to miss out for the Diamonds after scans revealed that the goalkeeper’s shoulder injury will keep him sidelined for a number of weeks. Midfielder Dean McMaster is back in training, but faces checks on inflammation after his leg injury.
Matthew MacDermid referees his first Airdrie match of the season.
Supporters travelling to Palmerston Park are encouraged to buy tickets in advance - see the link below for details.
Saturday August 13, 2022
Palmerston Park, Dumfries
Chris Rae, Ross Anderson