Ayr United vs. Albion Rovers
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 28th April 2018. Kick-off 3pm
The League 1 season comes to a climax on Saturday, with Albion Rovers making the journey to Somerset Park. The SPFL have a helicopter on standby to deliver the league trophy but consecutive defeats for the Honest Men, at home to Stranraer and away to Alloa last Sunday, mean a win for Raith Rovers over the Wasps at Starks Park will see the chopper – and title – head east.
With matters now out of the hands of Ian McCall’s side, all United can do is win and hope Alloa can take something from Starks Park, where the home side have dropped just four points all season. A draw for Ayr would be good enough if Jim Goodwin’s side became the first side to beat Raith at home in the league this season.
Visitors Albion Rovers are consigned to the relegation play-offs at best and could be automatically relegated on Saturday if Queen’s Park defeat Arbroath at Hampden and Rovers fail to pick up at least a point. Brian Kerr’s side ended a run of seven straight defeats last Saturday, taking all three points at home against East Fife with a Sean Higgins goal in the first minute of the match; a second-half equaliser for the Spiders away to Forfar Athletic ensured that the fight against the drop would go to the last day.
Team News: Ross Docherty, Chris Higgins, Paddy Boyle, Andy Geggan and Craig Reid are out with injuries. Lawrence Shankland is suspended.
Ian says: “There is no question about how down everyone felt after Sundays game. It has been extremely difficult to get the head round the fact we are going into the final weekend a point behind however we are all well aware that we still have a job to do. The players know that the only thing worse than how they felt on Sunday would be if Raith slipped up on Saturday and we didn’t capitalise. Our focus is winning Saturday’s game as Albion have a huge amount to play for so it certainly won’t be easy, all we can do is try and win our game and see where it takes us. We have put far too much into this season to come away with nothing.”
Head to head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 33
Draws – 7
Albion Rovers wins – 10
There has only been one draw in the last 37 matches between Ayr United and Albion Rovers, stretching back to August 1961.
Last Meeting: United have won all three meetings between the sides this season. After a 5-1 win at Cliftonhill on the opening day of the league campaign, the subsequent two matches have been much closer affairs, a 3-2 win at Somerset Park at the start of December and a victory by the same margin away from home last month.
Back in December, Craig Moore and Lawrence Shankland twice put Ayr ahead only for Sean Higgins and Alan Trouten to level the scores, but just two minutes after Trouten’s equaliser, Chris Higgins scored what proved to be the winning goal.
United were again pegged back in the Tuesday night fixture between the sides at Cliftonhill last month. Craig Moore – his fifth goal in three games against Rovers – and Jamie Adams put United two-goals ahead with strikes in the 28th and 36th minute but Kane Hester and Trouten again made it 2-2. Great work from Craig McGuffie set up Lawrence Shankland for the winner in the 75th minute after home keeper Daniel Potts failed to hold on to McGuffie’s strike.
Referee – Barry Cook
Assistant Referee 1 – Sean Carr
Assistant Referee 2 – Ryan Kennedy
Adults – £10
Concessions and U21s – £5
We look forward to welcoming all fans to Somerset Park. Your support is vital. However, we all need to be able to enjoy watching games in a safe and considerate environment. We ask that you support the players and team without resorting to unacceptable behaviour that can lead to the Club and individuals facing charges.
Like all Scottish grounds, Ayr United have a searching policy as a condition of entry.
Possessing or using any pyro device and anyone detected will be liable to prosecution and a lifetime ban from Somerset Park.
Copies of our Unacceptable Conduct Policy can be found around the stadium, Match programme and on our website. http://www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/unacceptable-conduct-policy/
Enjoy the game