Airdrie boss knows Cove Rangers collapse required for title win as he hails spirit of 10 men in win over Dumbarton

Ian Murray praised Airdrie’s character as they saw off Dumbarton with 10 men to deny Cove Rangers a title party and keep slim hopes of lifting the crown themselves alive.

An 88th minute strike from substitute Jordan Allan earned the Diamonds a 3-2 victory, having played with 10 men for 50 minutes at New Broomfield after Adam Frizzell’s controversial red card.

Goals from Dylan Easton and Calum Gallagher had Airdrie in control but Sons pulled level after a George Stanger header and a Rhys McCabe header set up the grand finale.

Murray was delighted with the spirit his side showed to make it 18 games unbeaten and stay within five points of leaders Cove with two games to play.

But he knows only a colossal collapse will see his side lift the title now as he also praised the champions-elect for their incredible 24-game undefeated streak in a contest that he believes has brought the best out of both clubs in the top two.

Murray said: “It was one of those days when you think the world is against you.

“We let in a really soft goal for the first one. We were really disappointed with that and we spoke about that at half-time.

“The second goal is an own goal. There is a wee bit of miscommunication and you start to think: here we go, this is not our day.

“But the players hung in, did really well and I felt we always looked dangerous going forward.

“What got us the win today was staying calm and our work-rate.

“When we’ve taken a knock in games we’ve recovered and bounced back really well.

“We had 10 men for 50-55 minutes and the boys showed that we can play football, but we can dig in a little bit as well.

“That’s a huge positive from today.

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“We didn’t have much of the ball in the second half but we looked like the more dangerous side.

“Dumbarton were in a position where they had to win the game as well, which is why both teams went for it.

“But we know in terms of the league, it’s going to take a complete collapse from Cove now.

Airdrie and Cove Rangers are fighting at the top of League One
Airdrie V Cove Rangers action Photograph © Jamie Williamson @jwilliamsonpix Like me on Facebook @jwilliamsonpix +44 (0) 7989 437787 [email protected]

“Cove have done brilliantly and we’ll congratulate them when they do get over that line.

“I remember looking at Cove when they were 13 games undefeated and thinking that is a heck of a run, how are they managing that?

“Now we are sitting on 18 games.

“In a way, I think we’ve pushed each other along. They know they’ve had to keep winning and we’ve had to do the same, so it’s made both our teams better and both sets of players better.

“Within the competitive spirit of the league we’ve had this season, I think we’ve made each other better.”

Goal hero Allan was only on the pitch for six minutes when he netted the winner to notch just his third goal of the season in 30 appearances.

Murray knows there’s not been as many starts in there as the 23-year-old would have liked, but praised his contribution to the team.

Jordan Allan was on target for Airdrie

He added: “Jordan’s goals to minutes ratio has been quite high in this league and I’m delighted for him.

“He came around Christmas and did really well, but found himself out of the team purely due to team selection and a tactical point of view.

“He’s worked incredibly hard and another goal will do him no harm.

“We know we’ve got players who can come on and change the game for us and he did that.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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