Dunfermline Athletic vs. Ayr United
Saturday 18th March 2017
On Saturday, Ayr United travel to East End Park to face familiar foes Dunfermline Athletic. United will be looking to extend their seven league match unbeaten run away from home – only the top two sides Hibs and Falkirk have lost fewer games away from home than the Honest Men this season – but with all seven games drawn, United need to start picking up wins.
With a quarter of the season remaining, St. Mirren have closed the gap at the foot of the table to just one point following their victory over Dundee United on Wednesday night. Raith Rovers are four points ahead of Ian McCall’s men and host the Arabs this weekend. Dumbarton, a further point ahead, travel to Easter Road while St. Mirren face Queen of the South in Dumfries.
Dunfermline have one win in their last seven league matches and have drawn their last two, including against St. Mirren last Saturday; a game that ended goalless. The Pars are not quite clear of relegation danger yet, and Ayr will be looking to cut their cushion between the play-off spot to just four points.
Team News: Peter Murphy, Jamie Adams, Paul Cairney and Declan McDaid are all definitely out. Robbie Crawford, Craig Moore and Ross Docherty are all 50/50
Ian McCall says: “9 games to go and all huge games. The final quarter of the season and we have it in our own hands. Dunfermline are seven points ahead of us however if we can win there tomorrow and get it back to 4 points then we bring them back into the mix. Dunfermline have a very good squad so we know how difficult it will be however our away form has been good and we know we can get a result.”
Ayr United wins – 34
Draws – 29
Dunfermline Athletic wins –55
Saturday will be the 18th meeting between the sides in three-and-a-half years, with Ayr winning just one of those fixtures.
Last meeting: Dunfermline were 2-0 winners at Somerset Park at the start of January, Nicky Clark and Andy Geggan scoring in the first-half. Former United midfielder Geggan has scored 6 goals in 16 games against the Honest Men in a Dunfermline shirt.
The first two meetings between the sides this season ended all square, including a remarkable match at East End Park in December which saw Dunfermline go down to 10 men, Alan Forrest equalise from the spot and then Greg Fleming save two Kallum Higginbotham penalties in quick succession.
On this day: in 1939 United defeated Motherwell 6-1 at Somerset Park. More recently, the Honest Men recorded a 1-0 win at East Fife in 2009, Brian Prunty scoring in the 12th minute.
Referee – Bobby Madden
Assistant Referee 1 – Anthony Cooper
Assistant Referee 2 – Graham Fraser
Adults – £17
Concessions (Over 65/Student) – £11
Child (under 16) – £5