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  Airdrieonians vs Albion Rovers 1st January 2017  
 
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Jack Leitch played a starring role as Airdrie got back to winning ways at Stranraer - now the midfield maestro wants to kick on with a derby victory on Monday.

The Diamonds recovered from back to back defeats with an assured performance at Stair Park on Christmas Eve, and Leitch says it was an important win for the club.

"It was a brilliant result. I thought we played really well, especially in the second half when it opened up a bit and we had space to play.

"I always fancied us to bounce back, because you always have blips over the course of a season, but I thought it was a really good performance and an important three points to keep us in touch with Livingston."

The 21-year-old midfielder set up Andy Ryan's winning goal with a wonderful assist, and was pleased that his dazzling footwork paid off.

"The ball came inside and I just flicked it. The boys couldn't believe I did that with my right foot!

"It was good to get a goal out of it as well, because sometimes you see things like that and nothing really comes of it, so I was pleased that it led to the winning goal."

With attention turning to Monday's New Year derby match against an Albion Rovers side who have suffered from erratic form recently, Leitch is expecting another tough challenge.

"It'll be difficult. Like in the previous derby games, it'll be a battle.

"I think we showed in the last game that we're definitely up for that fight, and we'll be looking to get another three points on Monday and go on another winning run."

Head Coach Mark Wilson welcomes Iain Russell back from suspension, but Kyle Hutton sits this one out after an accumulation of yellow cards.

The gaffer knows what is required of his players on the day.

"It's a derby, so as long as we keep up the intensity and play with the correct attitude, we won’t be far away.

"As long as we’re prepared to do the hard work we’ve got the players - and the ability - to go and win the game."

Mike Roncone is the man in the middle for the first Monklands derby of 2017. The whistler's last Airdrie game was November's 2-1 win over Alloa Athletic, in which Wasps player-manager Jim Goodwin was red carded.

 


 
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