May 12, 2023
Falkirk vs Airdrieonians
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair stresses the importance of professionalism when Airdrie face Falkirk in the second leg of the cinch Championship play-off semi-final.
The Diamonds travel to Grangemouth on Saturday with a four-goal advantage after Tuesday evening’s stunning 6-2 home victory, and ex-Bairns defender Taylor-Sinclair was among the Airdrie scorers.
The Antiguan international says the goal against his former club - his first in an Airdrie shirt - wasn’t entirely unexpected.
“It was a goal I think I was due - I said to Charlie on the way to the game that I fancied myself to score because I’ve got a record of scoring against previous clubs that I’ve played for.
“It was a great ball from Justin, all I had to do was knock it in. That’s the type of quality he’s got with that left foot.”
Taking a 5-0 lead into the interval, the Diamonds were dealt a huge blow after the break when the visitors netted twice, either side of a red card for goalkeeper Josh Rae.
The Airdrie defence, superbly marshalled by Taylor-Sinclair and skipper Callum Fordyce, stood up to a spell of Falkirk pressure before late drama saw Bairns striker Jordan Allan red-carded before Diamonds player-boss Rhys McCabe netted a stoppage-time penalty.
Taylor-Sinclair says Airdrie were galvanised by an earlier defeat in similar circumstances.
“I think we’ve learned from lessons previously in the season, the disappointment from the Dunfermline game.
“That put us in good stead for what happened in the game on Tuesday.”
With McCabe’s spot-kick shifting the momentum back in Airdrie’s favour, the Diamonds deservedly enjoyed an impressive result - while also being aware that there’s no room for complacency.
“After the game the changing room was rocking, everyone was happy. I think you can enjoy those moments after the game, but the next day we’re back into training it’s back to business and focussed for what will be another big game come Saturday.
“It’s only half-time. We’re not guaranteed in the final yet, so we’ve still got to go to The Falkirk Stadium and put on a performance and hopefully we can come out victorious.”
Aaron knows that another top display will be required with Saturday’s hosts gunning for a momentous turnaround.
“This’ll be the last chance for them, so I’d expect them to throw everything at us. We’ve got to be big enough and strong enough to stand up to that test.
“We’ll see what comes in the game - over the past few years Airdrie have had a great record going away to Falkirk so hopefully that will be the same again.”
Player-manager Rhys McCabe says there’s no chance his side will be going to Falkirk simply to defend their lead.
“Going into the game with the mentality that you’re on the back foot brings unnecessary nerves and pressure that you don’t need. We’ve proven throughout this season that we’re at our best when we’re on the front foot.
“The game-plan stays the same for me, Tuesday night is done. I’ll be going into the game on Saturday approaching it as if it’s 0-0, and we’ll be going to win that game.”
The Diamonds boss is without suspended goalkeeper Josh Rae, but has no injury concerns ahead of the tie.
Referee Euan Anderson takes charge of his first Airdrie match this season.
Match tickets are available using the link below, with updated information regarding turnstiles and cash gates.
Saturday May 13, 2023
The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Sean Carr, Paul O’Neill