Ayr United vs. Dumbarton
Saturday 25th March 2017
On Saturday, Ayr United host to a huge match in the battle for Championship safety, with Dumbarton making the trip to Somerset Park. A win for Ian McCall’s men will see them draw level on points with the Sons and extend their advantage over bottom side St. Mirren, who play in the the Irn-Bru Cup final this weekend – to four points.
United’s long overdue victory over Dunfermline Athletic last time out, coupled with wins for St. Mirren and Raith Rovers, mean that there are just five points separating the bottom half of the Championship table. Elsewhere this weekend the Pars face on form Morton at Cappielow and Raith Rovers host Queen of the South.
Dumbarton held Championship leaders Hibs to a 2-2 draw last Saturday, twice going ahead Christian Nade and Robert Thomson. The Sons have lost just one of their last seven matches but will be without on loan duo Daniel Harvie and Ross McCrorie, who are on international duty with the Scotland U19s.
Team News: Jamie Adams and Declan McDaid are out with injuries.
Ian McCall says: “I will say this for every match but it is pretty clear how big a game it is tomorrow. A win moves us further clear of St Mirren and will bring us much closer to the teams above us so there is a huge incentive for us to get a result. I was so proud of the team last weekend. It was like the walking wounded but the level of desire, passion and determination they showed was incredible, and that’s exactly what we will be looking for every match from here on in.”
Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 44
Draws – 10
Dumbarton wins –19
The Sons are without a win in their last six visits to Somerset Park, stretching back to October 2004 when John Dillon scored the only goal late in the game.
Last meeting: There have been 15 goals in the three matches between the sides this season and over a third of Ayr’s Championship goals have come against the Sons this term. Two of those goal came in the stoppage time when the sides last met, at the Rock last month. After Ross Docherty was sent off before the half-hour mark, a Sam Stanton double in the second-half looked to have put Stephen Aitken’s in an unassailable position but a Michael Rose free-kick and Craig Moore penalty saw the Honest Men earn a point.
On this day: in 2006, Ayr travelled to Cappielow to face a Morton side in second place in Division 2. The match saw United end an eleven match run without a win with an emphatic 4-0 victory in Greenock, Paul Weaver, Keiran McAnespie and a Gareth Wardlaw double putting the Ton to the sword.
Saturday will be the club’s 500th competitive fixture in the month of March.
Referee – Craig Charleston
Assistant Referee 1 – Willie Conquer
Assistant Referee 2 – Steven Strang
Adults – £17
OAP’s and students – £10
Under 16s – £5