Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson believes how his side react to their first league defeat of the season today will show how well they have adapted to life in the SPFL.
The former Highland League club made a smooth transition to League 2 last season by winning the title and with it promotion to Scottish football’s third tier at the first attempt.
The momentum continued into the new campaign with four straight wins taking Paul Hartley’s side top of League 1 until their excellent start was halted by a narrow 1-0 loss at Falkirk last weekend.
Losing matches is not a regular occurrence for the Balmoral Stadium outfit and Megginson is eager to bounce back at Airdrie today.
He said: “We were frustrated at how the game panned out at Falkirk. We felt we were the better team in the first half, but we switched off for one second in the second half and were punished for it.
“The game sort of petered out after that, but having had a few days to reflect on it we more than matched an established full-time team for long spells.
“There were some disappointed guys in the dressing room and the gaffer told us it showed how far we’ve come that we were feeling that way.
“The hunger is there to win and we’re looking to bounce back at Airdrie.”
Cove can return to the top of the table with victory at Airdrie this afternoon and Megginson believes the resilience built in the Highland League can serve the side well in their efforts.
He said: “I think the mentality we’ve built since our Highland League days has served us well, as the desire to win games consistently has become the built-in mindset at the club.
“If you had offered us four wins out of five before a ball was kicked I would have said that’s a really good start.
“When you look at the five games we’ve played so far, we’ve played the two full-time teams in Partick Thistle and Falkirk and taken three points from it.
“We’ve always tried to play football and that won’t change, but the big difference at this level is the chances of being punished are much higher. You just need to switch off once and the opposition will take advantage.
“What we know is we drop points in League 1. I think most teams will as there are no easy games, but from our point of view it is how we react to those game where we didn’t get a win that matters.”
Megginson faces a reunion of sorts when he leads his side out at Penny Cars Stadium today as his former manager Ian Murray will be in the home dugout.
He said: “I played for Ian when we are at Dumbarton and, while I haven’t seen Airdrie for a while, I know we have a really tough shift ahead of us and we’ll have to be at our best to get a result.”