February 17, 2023
Dunfermline Athletic vs Airdrieonians
Callum Fordyce wants Airdrie to make amends for last weekend with victory at East End Park.
The Diamonds travel to Fife to face Dunfermline Athletic for the second successive Saturday with the pain of blowing a three-goal lead fresh in their minds.
Gabby McGill, Calum Gallagher and an own goal put Airdrie in a commanding position against the league leaders last weekend, but Callum Smith’s 60th-minute sending-off sparked a landslide from James McPake’s side, with the Pars turning the score on its head to win 4-3.
Skipper Fordyce says his side must pick themselves up immediately as he describes a stinging result.
“A massive blow, a real sickener if I’m honest with you. It still hurts and it’ll probably hurt till Saturday comes round, but that’s football.
“It’s obviously a massive buzz for them but we’re gutted - devastated. The changing room was a low place and it’s just one of those ones that we need to get to the back of our minds straight away.”
The manner of last weekend’s defeat may have been hard to take, but Airdrie remain in third place as the race for promotion from cinch League 1 rumbles on.
Saturday sees a return to an old stomping ground for defender Fordyce, who captained the Pars between 2015 and 2017.
The Fife side’s devastating comeback has increased the gap at the top of the table, but there’s still everything to play for in a sport which often throws up surprises.
“You’ve got to take it a game at a time. Dunfermline are a good number of points ahead of us, but we’re not counting ourselves out of anything.
“We’ll look to try and win every game that we can, and we’ve got a right good chance on Saturday to go and rectify what happened.”
With the Diamonds suffering play-off final heartache last season after a tremendous campaign, Fordyce is pleased with the progress in his first season in management, pointing out that the overall quality of the league has improved.
“This year it’s definitely a harder league, there’s six or seven teams that could go and push anybody. You’ve got to cement that play-off position and what will be will be after that.
“We’ve got to focus on one game at a time and try to put a smile back on everybody’s faces.”
And although the Diamonds ended up empty-handed last time out, Callum believes that an impressive start to the match has shown that Airdrie are capable of getting a result this Saturday.
“I don’t think we need to fear anybody. If you do you shouldn’t be playing the game - you’ve got to believe in yourself and believe in your team-mates.
“The boys showed for 60 minutes how good a team we can actually be, and we need to make sure we go and do that on Saturday.
“The aim from now until the end of the season is three points every Saturday, and what will be will be.”
Manager Rhys McCabe, another former Dunfermline player, is also encouraged by the opening hour of Saturday’s match.
“We know where we can hurt them, we know what worked for us in that early part of the game.
“I thought we looked really good, so it’s all about trying to implement that - away from home it’ll be a lot tougher, but from our point of view it’s a chance to go there after that result and rectify it.”
The Diamonds boss has no injury concerns, although striker Callum Smith will miss the trip to East End Park through suspension following his hotly-debated red card.
Referee Ross Hardie has been in charge of one Airdrie match this season - July’s 1-1 Premier Sports Cup draw with FC Edinburgh.
Match tickets and DTVLive streaming details are available using the link below.
Saturday February 18, 2023
East End Park, Dunfermline
David Dunne, Lee Robertson