Airdrie bruised by late Cove Rangers leveller as boss admits ‘football is the cruelest game in the world’

Gutted Airdrie boss Ian Murray insists his players won’t throw in the towel in the League One title race – despite Fraser Fyvie’s “cruel” stoppage time equalizer denying them the win they craved over Cove.

The Diamonds were on course to cut the gap at the top of the table to just two points thanks to Gabby McGill’s first minute opener.

However, Fyvie netted a 93rd minute screamer from 25 yards to break the Diamonds’ hearts and keep Cove five points clear at the summit with five games to play.

Both sides remain on incredible unbeaten runs with Cove’s streak now at 21 games and Airdrie’s at 15.

And Murray is certainly not giving up on turning things around in the final few games.

He said: “Football is the cruelest game in the world at times and we are feeling the brunt of that today. It’s a cruel, cruel blow to us in terms of catching Cove but we won’t throw in the towel.

“It’s not over. Football is the strangest game in the world and I said that to the players. We will keep going right to the bitter end and we’ll see where we are at game 36.

“I feel really sorry for everyone but I’m proud of the players and I’m proud of the supporters who backed us from the first minute and even in the warm-up.

“Today would have given us a fantastic opportunity. Fifteen games unbeaten at any level is very, very hard. I don’t think that’s happened to me as a player or manager before so it’s fantastic to be part of it.

“There’s not a changing room in the world that I would rather have been in at the end of that game because it’s not often on football do you get such a togetherness and such an appreciation of everyone’s hard work.

“We are not finished. Today is a wee knock and sometimes knocks knock you back a step but you gain four or five in the long run. We will keep going.”

Airdrie V Cove Rangers action Photograph © Jamie Williamson @jwilliamsonpix Like me on Facebook @jwilliamsonpix +44 (0) 7989 437787 [email protected]

The Diamonds were left to rue a number of missed opportunities in the first half, as McGill should have doubled Airdrie’s lead with a close range header that he hit straight at Stuart McKenzie.

Callum Smith also should have done better with a volley in the box that he put over.

Other than a Fyvie effort which was saved in the first half, Max Currie had little to do until he eventually pulled the ball out of the net after the ex-Wigan midfielder’s wonder strike.

And Murray added: “It’s frustrating losing such a late goal in a game I felt we deserved to win.

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“The players out so much effort into that game, the effort they put into the structure with and without the ball in the first half was excellent, so I feel really sorry for them.

“But not for too long because we need to pick ourselves up quickly and get ready for next week. They’ve got very good players and you saw that with the execution of their goal. It’s an incredible hit.

“Outwith that I didn’t think we gave them too many opportunities and we were very comfortable. Devastated is too strong a word but the boys are certainly disappointed, as the supporters will be as well.

“We understand that but we have to take the positives from the game. The work rate, the attitude of the players, I couldn’t ask for any more, so we take it on the chin.”

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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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