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April 19, 2024

Partick Thistle vs Airdrieonians

One point will secure Airdrie’s involvement in the promotion play-offs, but Gabby McGill says it’s business as usual for the Diamonds as they aim for the win which will see them leapfrog Partick Thistle into third place.

The sides go into Saturday’s Firhill meeting level on points after a phenomenal Airdrie streak which has seen them win 12 and draw three of their 19 matches since the turn of the year.

Striker McGill is not surprised by the upturn in form, and says it bears similarities to last season - which ultimately ended in promotion for the Diamonds.

“What we accomplished last season was unbelievable, but if you look at the run-in from after Christmas and new year, we really started to pick up - and that’s exactly what we’ve done this year.

“We’ve always said that if we get into a good run of form, a little purple patch, then you know how good this league is - you can quickly climb up.

“It’s nothing but keeping doing what we’re doing. Keep concentrating, keep planning, preparing, recovering, and we’re ready to see the season out and then onto the play-offs.”

Airdrie have three regular-season matches to secure the point required to guarantee participation in the Premiership play-offs, with Saturday’s match followed by a home game against Dundee United and a final-day trip to Hampden to face Queen’s Park.

With the Diamonds looking sharp after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Dunfermline Athletic, their fourth straight win, McGill says the side won’t relent as they look to end the campaign on a high.

“Everyone’s different, but for me personally if you go into every game thinking “we need a point”, then you’re giving yourself a disservice right from the off.

“Our form is the best in the league, which is brilliant, but we never want to be going into a game trying to take a point. That ain’t going to be the case for the last three games either, we’re going for three points in every game that we play.”

Two goals separate fourth-placed Airdrie from Saturday’s opponents Partick Thistle, so while a draw would promise play-offs for both sides, an Airdrie win would put the Diamonds in the driving seat for third place and all of the benefits that would bring.

The matches so far between the sides suggest it’s likely to be a close affair at the Wyre Stadium.

McGill cancelled out James Lyon’s opener at the Excelsior in August, with Calum Gallagher grabbing the winner in a 2-1 Airdrie victory.

The scoreline was reversed on a snowy December afternoon in Maryhill, Ricco Diack and a Callum Fordyce own-goal putting the hosts 2-0 up before Craig Watson got one back.

And Watson was on the scoresheet again back at Airdrie in January, Tomi Adeloye netting the Thistle equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

McGill expects another tight encounter, but insists Airdrie were unfortunate on their first visit to the west end of Glasgow.

“Certainly down there at their place it’s always going to be a tough game, a battle. But at the end of the day there’s no reason why we can’t go there and implement our style of play and get three points.

“Last time we played them there it was a setpiece and an own goal. Things like that happen, but we were much the better team in the second half. Unfortunately the scoreline was 2-1, but at the end of the day that’s something that we need to put right.”

Part of Airdrie’s recent impressive form can be attributed to a settled squad, with McGill recently joining five other members of the current squad in the centurion club.

The Yorkshireman’s 100th appearance came against Greenock Morton two weeks ago, mirroring the achievements of Watson, Gallagher, Rhys McCabe, Adam Frizzell and Callum Fordyce - who is fast approaching his 200th game.

Gabby beams with pride when talking about his latest achievement in the Diamond shirt.

“It was only about halfway through the season I clocked it, someone said “you could get your 100 here”.

“To get 100 for Airdrie is a really nice feeling, and it’s something that I’m definitely proud of. It’s a great place to play football, and it makes it all the better when you’ve got the lads in the changing room that we’ve got.

“There’s no better place that you’re going to enjoy your football, so I’m really proud and happy.”

Player-boss McCabe expects there to be very little between the sides for the fourth - but hopefully not final - time this season.

“They’ve been a mainstay in third position for most of the season, a well experienced Championship outfit, so we know what we’re going to be up against.

“They’re competitive games, they’ve been very tight regardless of whether we’ve been on the receiving end of a good performance or a bad performance - the scorelines suggest that it’s been really tight.

“Ultimately we’ll be looking to go and make sure that the performance and the result are in our favour, but knowing what’s at stake for both teams I’d imagine that it’s going to be very competitive.”

The Diamonds manager is back running after missing the last five games with a calf strain, and was pleased to report that captain Adam Frizzell is feeling no ill effects from a hamstring knock sustained against Dunfermline.

Defender Cammy Ballantyne also picked up a calf strain last weekend, and is rated doubtful for the trip to Firhill. Josh Rae (head), Murray Aiken (ankle) and Liam McStravick (knee) remain sidelined.

Referee Iain Snedden has overseen one other Airdrie match this season, October’s 2-1 home defeat to Ayr United.

Match tickets are available using the link below. Attendance information is also included on the ticket page, please familiarise yourself with all the details if you are making the trip to Glasgow.


Saturday April 20, 2024




Wyre Stadium at Firhill, Glasgow



Iain Snedden


David McGeachie, Calum Doyle

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