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February 16, 2024

Airdrieonians vs Ayr United

Airdrie return to cinch Championship duty with a home match against Ayr United, and Lewis McGregor wants to see the Diamonds triumph over the Honest Men for the first time this season.

The Somerset Park side have won by a single goal both times the sides have met, but poor form elsewhere saw the end to Lee Bullen’s reign in January, with former Scotland captain Scott Brown taking over the reins.

Airdrie get back to league action having had two weeks off for cup matches with mixed outcomes, securing a place in the SPFL Trust Trophy final with a 1-0 win over Raith Rovers before exiting the Scottish Cup after going down 4-1 against Heart of Midlothian.

Midfielder McGregor enjoyed the experience against the Premiership high-flyers.

“Obviously playing against one of the best teams in Scotland, it’s going to be a hard game - but a good game for the younger ones like myself.

“It was a tough game, but I thought in spells we played really well. You could obviously see when it got to the last 20 minutes, they showed their experience by keeping the ball, but I thought we handled it quite well.

“I feel as if you’re always going to get that learning experience, especially being young.”

Although the Diamonds were unable to overcome the odds against the Edinburgh side, it was the first defeat since a 1-0 loss to Saturday’s opponents Ayr in December.

McGregor says it’s just a bump in the road as the side look to get back to that good form.

“I think Frizz touched on it in an interview before - that’s not going to define our season. It’s back to the bread and butter, which is the league. That’s our main objective just now.

“It’s just a wee blip. There’s always going to be a few in the season, and having it off one of the best teams is a learning curve. We just need to get back to winning ways on Saturday!”

That means getting a positive result against Ayr United for the first time since returning to the Championship last summer.

Logan Chalmers and Anton Dowds got the Ayr goals in their 2-1 win at the Excelsior in October, while Dowds was again on the scoresheet in their 1-0 December win at Somerset.

McGregor, who netted for Airdrie in the first match, says the Diamonds were below-par in both meetings.

“It’ll be a tough match - in the last two games against them we’ve not shown our stuff.

“I think we just need to go out there and get back to winning ways, as I say.”

With a busy schedule ahead for Airdrie, the chance to increase the gap on Scott Brown’s side would be very welcome.

Winger Lewis, who has been playing a more advanced central role in recent weeks, would be delighted to find the net again.

“I am feeling good just now - I feel as if I need to get more shots and add goals to my game.

“I think that would take me, hopefully, to the next level in myself.”

Player-manager Rhys McCabe says his side will be prepared for the match.

“I think it’ll be a totally different Ayr from the previous times, given that there’s a new manager and new staff in place.

“They went to Ibrox, a daunting task at the best of times for any team, and I thought they performed well. They were in the game, they were competitive.

“We’re not going to expect a totally new team, but there will be changes in terms of ideas and the way that they want to play, and we’ll obviously have to study that and try to be best equipped to deal with it.”

The Diamonds boss is still without midfielders Murray Aiken and Liam McStravick, while player-assistant Callum Fordyce is being monitored after picking up a hip knock against Hearts. Striker Gabby McGill was not risked in Sunday’s match after a knee ligament injury, and will continue to be assessed ahead of the weekend.

Referee Alan Muir takes charge of his second match involving Airdrie this season, the first being September’s 3-2 SPFL Trust Trophy win over University of Stirling.

Match tickets are available using the link below, and our DiamondsTV video (subscribers outwith the UK & Ireland) and audio (pay-per-match worldwide) streams are also available.

Please be aware that behaviour deemed unacceptable will result in ejection from the stadium. Issues arising during the match can be reported anonymously - see the posters around the stadium for more information. Our unacceptable conduct policy can be viewed using the link below.


Saturday February 17, 2024




Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie



Alan Muir


Craig Ferguson, Kenny Brown

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