October 3, 2022
Montrose vs Airdrieonians
Airdrie will look to bounce back at Montrose on Tuesday evening, and Charlie Telfer says the Diamonds will need to up their game to take the chance to go top of the table.
Links Park plays host to a rearranged fixture from last month, and with Airdrie currently two points from the summit, a win would see Rhys McCabe’s side return to the top of the table to end their first quarter.
A disappointing late defeat to newly-promoted Kelty Hearts on Saturday will have to be forgotten about quickly as the Diamonds return to what was an epic rivalry last season.
The Gable Endies edged the contest over the regular season, winning 3-0 at Airdrie on the opening day before securing a 2-1 home win in a storm-tossed return fixture.
Airdrie made amends with Craig Watson and Adam Frizzell adding to a Calum Gallagher double in the 4-1 home win in February, before sides played out a 2-2 draw in Montrose in April, Gallagher on the scoresheet again alongside Callum Smith.
The play-off semi-final between the sides was an epic encounter which will live long in the memory, Craig Johnston grabbing the only goal in the first leg at Montrose before a first half double from Cammy F Ballantyne looked to have the second leg tied up. Smith pulled one back for the Diamonds before Lewis Milne restored the visitors’ advantage, but a stunning second half display saw Smith net twice to complete his hat-trick, with Gallagher’s late strike sending the tie to extra time. Goals from Jon Afolabi and Gabby McGill put Airdrie in the driving seat before Martin Rennie scored in stoppage time to make the final aggregate score 6-5 to Airdrie.
The sides now face up for the first time this season, and although nobody expects a repeat of that last crazy match, midfielder Telfer knows his new side need to show improvement.
Speaking after the defeat at Kelty, the 27-year-old said: “We knew what the game was going to be like when we came here and it was exactly what we thought.
“It was going to be tough, they were going to be resolute at the back - so we needed to have a bit more quality to break them down, show a bit more guile in the final third, but we didn’t do it enough.”
With the defeat especially frustrating after a scrappy 90 minutes, Telfer is quick to stress that there’s a long way to go in the campaign.
“There’s so many games in the league that we need to just move on from it. I think we’ll need to learn, to remember the disappointment and how it feels, but we go again on Tuesday.
“It’ll be a similar game up there and I think we need to be more aggressive, we need to have a bit more bravery on the ball and show a bit more quality.”
And while it wasn’t result the squad wanted, Charlie insists that the Diamonds can use it to their advantage as they face another away game.
“I can understand the players’ disappointment, the fans’ disappointment - we need to just remember that we’ve still got a long way to go.
“Learn from the mistakes and the disappointments and make sure that we don’t make them again.”
Also speaking post-match at New Central Park, manager Rhys McCabe reiterated the importance of ensuring mistakes are not repeated.
“We’ve got to make sure that we recover well, look back at the game and analyse what went wrong and what kind of things we did okay, and look to go into the game on Tuesday.”
Goalkeeper Josh Rae continues to miss out for the Diamonds. Referee Alan Newlands is in charge of his first Airdrie match of the season.
Tickets for the original fixture remain valid, and information on ticketing and streaming is available using the link below.
Tuesday October 4, 2022
Links Park, Montrose
Paul O’Neill, Andrew Bryson