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Playoff Semi Final - Mo v Diamonds


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Another very good game and a result we would have taken before the game. Leaves it bubbling for Saturday. 

Mo flew out of the traps and really looked up for it early on but as Airdrie got back into it, was glad for the half time whistle.

Second half much like the first. Mo better early on with Airdrie pressing late on.

From our end looks like Airdrie squandered a few chances and we just tried to walk the ball into the net.

The tie is still very much in the balance. This one will go right to the wire.

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That was incredibly frustrating. Montrose came flying out and we didn't know how to deal with them and looked very nervy for the first 25/30 minutes.

Started to pass it around and controlled the game more but our decision making in the final third was atrocious and our attacking players weren't on it.

The main thing is the tie is still in the balance, although we are 1-0 down. Morton were also trailing to Montrose in the first leg of the play offs last season and won the play offs overall so all is not lost.

Surely we can't be as bad at taking our chances as we were tonight. Let's try and get the biggest attendance for the game on Saturday, we are well capable of over turning this 🤞

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Games like this tonight tend to show who can handle pressure and being in the spotlight. As has been said, some of our side 'froze' tonight against a fairly average team. Murray has a decicion to make on Saturday to rectify this, all is not lost but team selection for this game should be based on who has the character to see us through.

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The big question mark for me tonight was could we live up to the big game occasion. Sadly it was a definitive no. For the first 20 mins Airdrie definitely looked like the team who’d been sat on a bus for two and a half hours, but as the game wore on we found ways through with some slick passing, and Dillon didn’t look too great when we got the ball down and ran at him. We’ve debated Gal’s merits all season but the long and short of it is that a clinical striker nets the chances he had tonight, and we’d probably be at least even. 
 

Felt we made the wrong choices in the final third all night, and McDonald at right back seemed lost all game. Other than that, we’re definitely still in the tie and at least we can take solace in the 4-1 on Mo’s last visit to the ground. Hopefully a more expansive pitch presents more opportunity to pick through the back line.

For the return, I’d be sticking McCabe into midfield and bringing Kerr in for Agnew, and have Allan on from the start. 

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Have to agree with most of the comments here. Montrose were excellent in the opening 20 minutes, pressing Airdrie high up the park, not giving us a moment to settle in. To be honest, they played a bit like Airdrie at their best. It was a dreadful goal to loss, especially so early on, but I think that mostly players panicking from not being able to handle Montrose. We rode our luck a bit after that with Agnew clearing one off the line but once we got through that spell I felt we had the better of the half.

Again, Airdrie probably had the better of the second half and certainly had the better chances, though Montrose still threatened too. They were very quick in their transitions tonight and seemed to cause us a lot of problems in midfield and at full back. Tonight felt a bit like averaging out the 4-1 game where we didn’t have too many chances but scored some brilliant goals. A lot of snatching at chances tonight, overplaying it when a shot is on and then wasting the few opportunities we did have.

Lyall Cameron was the best player on the park for me. Worked hard, always found space and was generally involved in everything positive for Montrose. Craig Johnston lead the line superbly well, he’s never really impressed me as a goal scorer but he never gave Fordyce and McCabe a moments peace and he made two usually composed players make some strange decisions tonight. 

I’d be tempted to bring Watson in for MacDonald if he’s fit on Saturday. MacDonald had a tough night and I also felt we lacked a bit of physicality tonight against a Montrose team who are more streetwise and know when to put in certain tackles and slow the game down which Watson would help with. I was quite relieved he didn’t start tonight, as Johnston’s pressing would probably have caused a mistake from him, but I’d be open to Kerr coming in too with McCabe moving up one. Gabby McGill had a tough night too, he had his moments but struggled to really impact the game. I’d always leave Gallagher on as although his finishing was poor tonight he’s our most reliable goal scorer but I’ve become a bit of a Jordan Allan truther since our recent debate on him and thought Allan would have been better to start beside him tonight. If we go with the midfield diamond again as we moved to during the game then Smith moving up front and Scott McGill coming in is a solid option too. 

I had the fear before this game, I always worry when playing Montrose and particularly in a play-off. It’s a very frustrating result, we did enough to come away with a draw which would have been a decent result, but can’t complain about that when you don’t take your chances. I suppose the last time we lost to Montrose we went 20 league games unbeaten, so no reason we can’t bounce back again on Saturday, but it’ll be another very tough game.

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Montrose could’ve been a couple up within 15 minutes. We literally shat it and just crumbled for those first 20 odd minutes. 
 

I think we started to find our flow towards the end of the game which gives me hope for Saturday.

None of our front three had a good game but Gallagher was woeful and  has just really frustrated me AGAIN.

It was simply an off day for us but we can’t have off days anymore.


I think we’ll do the business on Saturday at home as we do have much better footballers when we play our stuff.

Good on the MO loyal for their vocal support! Hopefully silence a few on Saturday  

 

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6 hours ago, Diamond1924 said:

Montrose could’ve been a couple up within 15 minutes. We literally shat it and just crumbled for those first 20 odd minutes. 
 

I think we started to find our flow towards the end of the game which gives me hope for Saturday.

None of our front three had a good game but Gallagher was woeful and  has just really frustrated me AGAIN.

It was simply an off day for us but we can’t have off days anymore.


I think we’ll do the business on Saturday at home as we do have much better footballers when we play our stuff.

Good on the MO loyal for their vocal support! Hopefully silence a few on Saturday  

 

Once again the dreaded play off form strikes, certainly better as game went on, Watson, Kerr, and Allan for me to start on Sat, 

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8 hours ago, dextermorgan said:

Games like this tonight tend to show who can handle pressure and being in the spotlight. As has been said, some of our side 'froze' tonight against a fairly average team. Murray has a decicion to make on Saturday to rectify this, all is not lost but team selection for this game should be based on who has the character to see us through.

"Fairly average team"

Pretty evenly matched so Airdrie average too?

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First 20 minutes airdrie looked lost. Montrose started well. Lost that stupid goal. We then settled and were the better team for the remainder of the first half. Should have scored a couple.

The first 20 minutes of the second half were pretty non descript. Airdrie looked better in possession but didn’t really threaten. Felt we then were on top for the remainder of the game but montrose continued to look dangerous on the break.

Overall felt airdrie were the better team until the final third. Usually much more deadly than that. Easton was fairly average by his standards. It was good to see two teams playing decent football though.

Fairly confident that airdrie will be much better on Saturday. Won’t have a midweek trek to contend with. Montrose will be dangerous. I can see ET and penalties. It is a shame that one of these teams will not make it up.

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Currie

Watson Kerr Fordyce Paterson

McCabe

S. McGill Easton Frizzell

Gallagher Smith

 

That’d be the second leg team for me. Definitely want the extra midfielder in as we were totally overrun until we changed the shape last night. Don’t think Agnew and McCabe can play together in the same midfield unfortunately and I’d rather have Kerr on and McCabe in midfield.

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In all probability you need to win your home game in 90 mins to progress. So nothing's really changed, other than the fact it could go to extra time.

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20 hours ago, mo83 said:

Few bus loads of you boys coming down?Mind and Behave lol

As one of the pensioner advance guard, I hope the bus guys did behave

 We had a fine fish supper in the town and were in plenty of time for what seemed to be a large home and away crowd. All my winter preparation was not really needed!

On the game I was impressed tho not surprised at how quickly Montrose got into the game

 Craig Johnson is new to me in playing that role and it was as uncomfortable a night for our defenders as they've had this season

 Montrose also were able to stay solid at the back, and Steeves also surprised me at how he played there. Maybe that's what explained how we failed to press them. Those long diagonal balls certainly caught us out and was a part of our defensive howler.

There was at least one corner which might have seen us two down. 

It was as close as I thought and on the night we made a lot of poor decisions in the final third . There are two schools of thought around Agnew/McCabe axis amongst our supporters, and Ian Murray has a right puzzle for Saturday. I think there will need to be several changes by us. All still to play for , and hope Montrose fans come down to back what is a good team . Just a shame the top 2 just don't go up!

 

 

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Said yesterday that a narrow defeat wouldn't be a cause for panic, but it was disappointing to see the panicky start the players made to the game. The goal was a calamity, a real gift, and whilst we got to grips with the game part way through the first half and held on to it for most of the game after that, we fluffed the chances we did make and looked uncharacteristically sloppy in the final third when in promising positions. 

If we were going to have an off day, leg 1 away from home was the time to do it I suppose. Trying to put myself in the place of a Montrose supporter, I'd be thinking that an out of sorts Airdrie side not playing to their potential likely needed punished by more than one goal and would be worried enough was not done to capitalise. Have to expect we'll be sharper on Saturday. 

I certainly hope so. A one goal deficit is by no means insurmountable and we can play a lot better than last night, this we can be sure of. 

Frustrating night, but the tie is very much alive. 

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21 minutes ago, Chapelhall chap said:

As one of the pensioner advance guard, I hope the bus guys did behave

 We had a fine fish supper in the town and were in plenty of time for what seemed to be a large home and away crowd. All my winter preparation was not really needed!

On the game I was impressed tho not surprised at how quickly Montrose got into the game

 Craig Johnson is new to me in playing that role and it was as uncomfortable a night for our defenders as they've had this season

 Montrose also were able to stay solid at the back, and Steeves also surprised me at how he played there. Maybe that's what explained how we failed to press them. Those long diagonal balls certainly caught us out and was a part of our defensive howler.

There was at least one corner which might have seen us two down. 

It was as close as I thought and on the night we made a lot of poor decisions in the final third . There are two schools of thought around Agnew/McCabe axis amongst our supporters, and Ian Murray has a right puzzle for Saturday. I think there will need to be several changes by us. All still to play for , and hope Montrose fans come down to back what is a good team . Just a shame the top 2 just don't go up!

 

 

Glad you enjoyed your supper and the game!!

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McDonald had a torrid time in the first 20 minutes but it was a misunderstanding between Paterson and Currie that gifted Montrose the lead. You'd expect the keeper to be screaming instructions at the fullback and not sure why Paterson would play in back towards his own goal, can only think it was a moment of panic/nerves caused by the pressure Montrose were putting us under in the early stages. Gradually we then settled and began to carve out some good opportunities and finished the first half the stronger team. Second half Airdrie again had really good chances to equalise but the poor decision making is borne out by the match stats showing only one shot on target, Gallagher's shot into the side netting rather than cutting it back one of the most frustrating for me on the night. 

That said, all to play for in the second leg with hopefully a good home support.

As a side note, to Montrose fans, since you get your kit from Teamware your fans can likely order items on-line and collect it for free in the Airdrie stadium shop on Saturday!

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11 hours ago, dextermorgan said:

As has been said, some of our side 'froze' tonight against a fairly average team. 

Surely a wind up attempt here? That's a Falkirk fan type statement.

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15 minutes ago, mo83 said:

Glad you enjoyed your supper and the game!!

If you were a neutral it was a good match. Clearly Mo fans were happier at the end but I confess to being a wee bit annoyed. Still only half time. Whatever happens I want to see Dunfermline relegated. 

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