A hat-trick of wins has de­lighted Ian mind­ing gap

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Sport Round-up -

EAST FIFE ..............................................................................1 AIR­DRIEO­NI­ANS .................................................................2 Air­drieo­ni­ans gaffer Ian Mur­ray reck­ons that his Di­a­monds can close the gap on the play-off spots af­ter a win over East Fife.

The Di­a­monds sit a point out­side of the top four in fifth af­ter claim­ing their third con­sec­u­tive win.

Just four points sep­a­rate third spot and sixth-placed Mon­trose in the tight League One scrap for pro­mo­tion.

The New Broom­field men face sec­ond-placed Raith this week­end and the man­ager in­sists Air­drie can con­tinue to build mo­men­tum.

Mur­ray told the Ad­ver­tiser:“It was a great re­sult against East Fife, but it’s im­por­tant that we fol­low it up.

“Raith be­ing the full-time team have a huge ad­van­tage in the play-off run-in.

“I like the way they play, but we go to try and get some­thing and close the gap on them as well.

“We know that they will bring a lot of qual­ity and we have to be ready for it.

“They are sec­ond, and if not for Ar­broath’s form they would be the out­stand­ing con­tenders for the league.

“Like the East Fife game, we see it as an­other good op­por­tu­nity to make up ground.

“The way the league is shap­ing up, with all the teams still to play each other, it should be a re­ally in­ter­est­ing end to the sea­son.

”I want to make sure that it is an ex­cel­lent fin­ish to the sea­son for us.”

Former Fifer Kyle Wilkie prod­ded home a loose ball to give the away side the lead on 18 min­utes af­ter Leighton McIn­tosh con­trolled Kieran Mac­Don­ald’s cross in from the left to play in his team­mate.

A mix-up in the vis­it­ing de­fence al­lowed An­ton Dowds to re­ply al­most in­stantly for the for the Methil men.

Dowds took ad­van­tage of a goal­keep­ing howler - in­ter­cept­ing a short pass from Ben McKen­zie and knock­ing the ball home.

An­other mix-up, this time for East Fife al­most al­lowed Air­drie to take the lead. A slip on 40 min­utes al­lowed McIn­tosh to race in on goal with just goal­keeper Brett Long to beat.

The Bayview keeper man­aged to get down and clear the dan­ger.

In 44 min­utes, Leighton McIn­tosh was the hero head­ing in a Josh Ed­wards cross.

The home side did have the ball in the net just af­ter the restart, but the lines­man was quick to raise his flag and rule out the strike.

Former Air­drie and Al­bion Rovers mid­fielder Ross David­son also came close to a with his shot from the edge of the box as the match.

Daryll Meg­gat went close to lev­el­ling the game late on, but Grant Gal­lagher cleared the header off the line to take the three points back to the Penny Cars Sta­dium.

Methil boss Dar­ren Young ad­mit­ted af­ter­wards:“They were the bet­ter team.”

Vic­tory Air­drie se­cured an im­pres­sive away suc­cess

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