January 27, 2023
Airdrieonians vs Alloa Athletic
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair says Airdrie must use lessons learned in defeat against Alloa Athletic this weekend, as the Diamonds look to keep home dominance of the tie going.
The Wasps visit the Excelsior for the second time this season with Gabby McGill and Calum Gallagher giving Airdrie a 2-0 win back in August, but Brian Rice’s men reversed the scoreline at the Indodrill two months later.
Defender Taylor-Sinclair featured in that match, and has been putting in typically solid performances since returning to the side recently.
Although disappointed that the Diamonds didn’t play last weekend, the 31-year-old is pleased with his recent contribution.
“I’m happy to play a part - we went up to a tough venue in Peterhead and got the 3-0 win and then obviously the conditions played a part in our last game, but it’s been good.
“It’s always disappointing when you don’t have a game on the Saturday. We’ve been on a good run of form and we’re just looking forward to the game coming up.”
That last match was a 1-1 draw with Kelty Hearts at New Central Park, played out in driving wind and rain.
Adam Frizzell gave Airdrie a 21st-minute lead, but the home side drew level in the second half through Jamie Barjonas.
Taylor-Sinclair says it was a game of two halves in more ways than one.
“To be honest the first half was enjoyable, I thought we played quite well and stuck to our principles.
“The second half - I’d probably put it down as the coldest game I’ve ever been a part of!”
Players and fans alike will be hoping for better weather this weekend when Alloa come to visit, but Taylor-Sinclair warns that Airdrie must be wary of being stung by a side in good form.
“It’s always going to be difficult against Alloa, they’re set up quite well.
“I think we can learn a lot from the last time we played them - what we can do to counteract their shape and formation, so hopefully we can do that.”
The match kicks off a run of three consecutive home matches for the Diamonds, and with form at the Excelsior being generally impressive this season, Aaron wants to take full advantage.
“We need to try and make this place a fortress again, with teams fearing to come here.
“That starts on Saturday against Alloa if we can get a good result and then kick on that run.”
Player-manager Rhys McCabe knows what to expect from the Indodrill outfit, who hold the upper hand this season thanks to a 1-0 SPFL Trust Trophy win in September.
“Alloa are playing with an overall confidence which obviously is result-driven, so we know it’s going to be a tough game.
“They’ve improved, they’re well organised and they’ll be full of confidence.”
With the manager himself having recovered from illness, he reports no injury issues in the squad as defender Cammy Ballantyne edges closer to a return.
Referee Peter Stuart makes his second visit to Airdrie this season, having officiated October’s 3-3 draw with Queen of the South.
Match tickets and live streaming details are available via the link below.
Saturday January 28, 2023
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
Gary Hilland, Jamie Andrews