Dumbarton match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Dumbarton
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 24th December 2016 – Kick-off 12:30pm

It is the night before Christmas but an early kick-off at Somerset Park on Saturday when Dumbarton make the journey down the Clyde coast for a crucial match in the Ladbrokes Championship. With both sides – along with Dunfermline – locked on 17 points, three points will be hugely important going into the second-half of the season and the New Year.

Ayr are looking for their first league win in seven games and have lost their last three home games – against Hibs, Dundee United and Falkirk – without scoring. A point at the Paisley 2021 Stadium last time out means Ian McCall’s men maintain a six point advantage over the Buddies at the foot of the table.

Dumbarton were 2-1 winners at home to Falkirk last weekend, Gary Fleming netting the winner in the 68th minute, two minutes after the Bairns’ equalised Robert Thomson’s first half opener. It was an important win for Stephen Aitken’s side following their shock defeat to Junior side Bonnyrigg Rose in the Scottish Cup.

Team News: Craig Moore is out and Jamie Adams begins a two match suspension.

Ian says: “We have some huge games coming up and this is the start of a run of games we are really looking to pick up points from. Dumbarton have had some good results recently and the fact we won comfortably when we played them earlier in the season means absolutely nothing in terms of this game. If we play as we have been then we are going to start picking up wins and scoring goals so its a game we are really looking forward to.”

Head-to-Head (league):
Ayr United wins – 54
Draws – 22
Dumbarton wins – 44

United have won the last four matches between the sides at Somerset Park without conceding.
Last meeting: Alan Forrest hit a hat-trick in a 3-0 win for the Honest Men when in the sides met at the Rock in October. Dumbarton’s last visit to Somerset Park was in January 2011 and ended 2-0 to United thanks to goals from Mark Roberts and Danny McKay. Ayr skipper Nicky Devlin featured for the Sons on the day.

On this day: Ayr’s last Christmas Eve fixture at Somerset Park was in 1960 and saw Rangers defeated 1-0. Peter Price scored the only goal of a game and home goalkeeper John Gallagher saved a Ralph Brand penalty.

Match Officials:
Referee – Craig Charleston
Assistant Referee 1 – Graham Chambers
Assistant Referee 2 – Chris Gentles

Admission:
Adults – £17
OAP’s and students – £10
Under 16s – Free