Match Preview Albion Rovers vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 5th August 2017. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United kick-off their league campaign when they travel to Coatbridge to face Albion Rovers. Buoyed by a four wins out of four in the Betfred Cup, the Honest Men will be looking to take their scintillating cup form into League 1 – but will have memories of a false start two season’s ago at Cliftonhill which saw them defeated 3-0 by the Wee Rovers on the opening day.
Free-scoring United ended the group stages of the Betfred Cup as the country’s top goalscorers with 15 goals but in former Ayr midfielder Alan Trouten, Rovers have the competition’s joint top scorer. Trouten netted seven goals – including a hat-trick against Hamilton in a 4-4 draw a Cliftonhill a fortnight ago. Like the Honest Men, Albion were unbeaten in their four games but three draws with only one bonus point penalty shoot out success meant that their seven point haul wasn’t enough to progress to next week’s second round.
It was all change at Cliftonhill over the summer with manager Darren Young heading the list of departures along with Dunlop brothers Michael and Ross, keeper Ross Stewart and strikers Ross Stewart, who joined his namesake in moving to St. Mirren, and Ryan Wallace. New boss Brian Kerr has added two familiar names to Ayr supporters in Alan Trouten and Scott McLaughlin plus former Clyde striker Sean Higgins.
Team News: Everyone is fit and available
Ian says: “It’s going to be extremely tough, the previous four games mean nothing now going into this game and you never get an easy game there. What this start has given us is momentum and we want to keep that going, keep scoring goals. It is great to have a full squad available though it may have came just too early for a couple of them. Our support will be crucial this season, I reckon we will take big numbers tomorrow and hopefully they get right behind the boys.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 49
Draws – 12
Albion Rovers wins – 31
Rovers have had the upper hand in league fixtures between the sides at Cliftonhill, winning 19 of the 40 fixtures in Coatbridge with just 5 draws.
Rovers defeated the Honest Men last time out with a second-half Mick Dunlop header at Somerset Park in April 2016. That result meant it was honours even over the four league matches between the sides in the 2015/16 season with a home and away win a piece. United won the last encounter at Cliftonhill 3-1 with goals courtesy of Jordan Preston (2) and Ryan Stevenson.
On this day:
United have a 100% record in matches played on 5th August with wins in 2000 at home to Ross County, away to Stranraer in 2002 and at Stirling Albion in 2006.
Referee – Graham Beaton
Assistant Referee 1 – Frank Connor
Assistant Referee 2 – Chris Phillips
Adults – £14
Concessions – £7
U12s – £2