MATCH PREVIEW v Stirling

Ayr United travel to Forthbank on Saturday looking to make it a perfect start to the League 1 campaign with a win over newly promoted Stirling Albion.

The Binos were promoted through the play-offs last season, beating Annan Athletic and East Fife on the way. They made the long trip to Peterhead on Saturday and came away from Balmoor with a point against the League 2 Champions.

Read on for our match preview:

Team News: Kevin McKinlay is still struggling and is not certain to play however we have a fully fit squad otherwise.

Marko says: “I wont be letting the boys think that the hard work is done by beating a full time team last Saturday, this will be a very difficult game and we must make sure the attitude is correct right from the start.We need to win our battles all over the pitch and pass the ball the way we did on Saturday.”

“Stirling went to Peterhead last week and got a result and that will be a very difficult place to go this season. They are strong up front however we are confident with our attacking options that we will create chances.

Head-to-Head:
Ayr United wins – 24
Draws – 25
Stirling Albion – 25

Stirling Albion and Ayr United were last in the same division during season 2008/09 when the sides recorded one home win each. The other two matches ended in a score-draw.

The meeting between the sides at Albion’s old ground Annfield in September 1987 was the first in Scotland to be played on an artificial surface. The game ended 1-1.

Last Meeting:
United last made the trip to Forthbank in August 2009 in the first round of the League Cup. Goals from Willie Easton and Chris Aitken earned the Honest Men a win after extra-time. The Binos ended the match with nine men after the dismissal of Andy Graham and Ross Forsyth. Team: Grindlay; Keenan, Campbell, James, Aitken; Borris, Stevenson, Aitken, Easton; Roberts, Prunty.

Stats:
– Captain Scott McLaughlin is in line to make his 100th appearance for the club on Saturday;
– United are table-toppers for the first time since January 2011.
– Sixteen year-old Sean McKenzie made his debut against Morton on Saturday, becoming the 21st Academy graduate to make a first-team appearance.
– Aged 32, Stirling boss Greig McDonald is the youngest manager in Scottish senior football.

On this day:
Ayr have played 20 times on the 16th August and our record reads: W8, D7, L5.

Match Officials:
Referee: Mat Northcroft
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Stevenson
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel McFarlane

Match Info:
Admission:
Adults: £13
Students and OAPs: £8
U17s: £5
U12s: Free (when accompanied by a paying adult)

Forthbank Stadium

Located in Springkerse area of Stirling, Forthbank Stadium hosts home games for Stirling Albion FC. The stadium has a capacity of 3808 and was opened in 1993. Home fans are situated in the West Stand with travelling supporters based in the smaller East Stand. The North and South terracings are available when required.

Car Parking

There is free parking for home and away fans at the stadium however this is limited and is shared with users at The Peak facility. There is additional free parking at Springkerse Retail Park a 5-10 min walk.

Train

Stirling is well serviced in terms of trains from most parts of Scotland. From the train station the ground is about a mile and half or a 20min walk away. When exiting the train station, take a left and go over the new modern looking bridge across the railway tracks. Walk South East over a small patch of land that takes you on to Forthside Way. Follow this road out of town and it will take you straight to Forthbank Stadium. Alternatively there is a taxi rank located at the front of the train station and see below re buses.

Disabled Facilities

Reserved parking is available for disabled supporters. Supporters wishing to make use of this facility should call the club on 01786 450399. (read more)

General Stadium Information

Club Shop – On match days opens pre and post match. Please phone the Club in advance to check for opening times during the week.

Cash Machine – Nearest cash machine is located at Morrisons Supermarket (5 mins walk).

Credit/Debit Cards – We are pleased to accept both credit and debit cards in the office and club shop.

Bino Bar – Is located at the ground for all supporters and will be open pre and post match.

Catering – Match day catering is provided underneath both stands and sells a variety of hot and cold snacks.

Smoking Policy – Forthbank Stadium operates a complete no smoking policy within the stadium.

Ayrshire Derby Details

The game will be played at Rugby Park on Tuesday 26th August at 7.45pm.

Ticket prices are £20 for adults, £15 OAPs, under 21s and students and £5 for under16s.

Ticket availability will follow later this week.

Ayrshire Derby latest

We are aware of the amount of supporters who are looking for information on the upcoming match regarding date and tickets prices.
Ayr United are doing everything we can to get this information as quickly as possible however we are still awaiting the details.
As soon as we have them we will relay them to our supporters immediately.

MATCH PREVIEW v MORTON

Ayr United’s League 1 campaign kicks off on Saturday when Morton are the visitors to SomersetPark. The Honest Men go into the match buoyed by a 4-0 victory over East Stirlingshire in the League Cup and the prospect of an Ayrshire derby in three weeks time.

 

The visitors are beginning life in League 1 after seven years at Championship/Division 1 level following their relegation last season. Jim Duffy is the new man in the Cappielow hot seat after the departure of Kenny Shiels in the summer, the former Kilmarnock manager’s exit hastened by a 10-2 defeat in their final game of last season.  The Ton have begun this season under Duffy with routine home victories over Spartans and Berwick Rangers in the two cup competitions.

 

Read on for our preview of Saturday’s game:

 

Team News: Kevin McKinlay was unable to train on Thursday and wont make the game. Everyone else is available.

 

 

Marko says: Boss Mark Roberts has urged his men to lay down an early marker at Somerset Park tomorrow.

And he insists three points against league new boys, Morton, would send a strong message.

Marko said: “Somerset must be our fortress this season and nobody will get an easy time of it down here.

“If we take care of business on our own ground, we’ll be there or thereabouts come the business end.

“Morton will fancy themselves this season having stayed full time, but if we match them for effort and attitude then we’ll have a right good chance.

“The place is buzzing right now after the cup draw paired us with Killie and training on Thursday night was brilliant.

“The lads also took a lot of confidence from the win at East Stirling and it was great to get four goals and a clean sheet under our belt.

“I always loved the opening day of the league season as a player and hopefully we’ll get a decent crowd in so we can start as we mean to go on.”

 

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):

Ayr United wins: 40

Draws: 15

Morton wins: 25

 

Saturday will be the 134th time Ayr and Morton have faced each other in league competition. While United have the upper hand (57 wins to 46), the Honest Men have taken just four points from the previous eight encounters between the sides.

 

Last Meeting:

Morton’s last trip down the Clyde coast to SomersetPark ended in a goalless draw in March 2012. United lined up on the day: Cuthbert, Tiffoney, Malone, Robertson, Smith; McGowan, Geggan, Tomsett, Dodd; Parker, Roberts.

Stats:

–          Ayr’s win over East Stirlingshire last weekend was the club’s 200th in the month of August and was the club’s biggest away win in the League Cup since 1981.

–          It is nine years since Ayr United opened a league campaign with a home win: a 2-0 victory over Dumbarton in August 2005. Stuart Boyd and Gareth Wardlaw scoring for Ayr that day.

 

On this day:

Ayr United have won the last four matches they have played on this date, including a 2-1 victory over Morton in the League Cup in 2005. Overall, United’s record on 9th August is: P16, W8, D4, L4.

 

Match Officials:

Referee:  Craig Charleston

Assistant Referee 1: Sean Carr

Assistant Referee 2: Jim Burns

 

Match Info:

 

Admission:

Adults: £15

Concessions: £8 (U16s, Students and OAPs)

Parent & Child: £18 – please enter by gate 13.

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