Dumbarton match preview

Match Preview
Dumbarton vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 18th February 2017

After, eventually, winning through to the Scottish Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday night, attention now turns to a vital run of Championship matches which starts with Saturday’s trip to face Dumbarton at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium.

United have drawn seven of their last 10 league matches, including the last six away from home, but are without a win in 13. Dumbarton – and Raith Rovers – currently lie four points ahead of Ayr with the Sons having played a game more. Both Ayr and Dumbarton will be looking to extend their advantage over bottom side St. Mirren, who are in Challenge Cup action this weekend.

Stephen Aitken’s side were inactive last weekend on account of their defeat to Bonnyrigg Rose in the third round of the Scottish Cup. Their last match was a 2-2 draw at home to bottom side St. Mirren. The Sons were twice behind but hit back with goals from Christian Nade and Robert Thomson. Nade has netted in each of his last three games for the Sons.

Team News: Robbie Crawford is still out with an injury he received at Easter Road. Everyone else is available.

Ian McCall says: “It is obvious to say that our next 3 league matches in the next 10 days are extremely big games but it is something that I want the players to embrace and enjoy. Everyone keeps throwing stats at us about a lack of wins and of course we need to win more games and start turning draws into wins however I have said to the players that over the last few months we have lost very few games so we are not far away. We need to be more clinical and score more goals. We have quite a few players back for the game and have an almost full squad to pick from so we are really looking forward to getting out there.”

Head-to-Head (League):
Ayr United wins – 54
Draws – 23
Dumbarton wins – 44

The last five matches between the sides at the Rock have averaged 5.2 goals per game.
Last meeting: The last meeting followed the trend of high scoring encounters between sides as Ayr and Dumbarton shared eight goals between them at Somerset Park on Christmas Eve. Scott McKenna and Gary Harkins put United ahead but Robert Thomson, on the stroke of half-time, and Daniel Harvie levelled the scores in blustery conditions in Ayrshire. An Alan Forrest penalty which saw Andy Stirling sent-off put Ayr back ahead then Joe Thomson and Paul Cairney traded goals within a minute of each other before returning hero Ryan Stevenson snatched a point for the 10 men Sons in the 88th minute.

On this day: in 1911, Ayr United defeated Dumbarton Harp 1-0 in the Scottish Consolation Cup.

Match Officials:
Referee – John McKendrick
Assistant Referee 1 – Douglas Ross
Assistant Referee 2 – Calum Spence

Admission:
Adults – £18
Concessions – £9
Parent & Child (U12)- £24