Ayr United vs East Fife
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 17th February 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, we welcome East Fife to Somerset Park as United get back to League 1 business. Title rivals Raith Rovers have played twice in the league since the Honest Men slipped up at home to Alloa Athletic and as a result have extended their advantage at the top of the table to eight points, having played one more game.
Sixth-placed East Fife won their away match, 2-1 at Stranraer, but have just two victories since the start of December. They were defeated 2-0 by Queen’s Park last weekend and earlier last month suffered a shock home loss in the Scottish Cup at the hands of Brora Rangers.
Team News: Ross Docherty and Robbie Crawford are back in training however won’t be ready in time for this match. Chris Higgins is out for the season. Steven Bell is back in the squad after missing Sundays match due to being cup tied.
Ian says: “It is a huge game, we are taking one game at a time and each one has huge importance for us. We know how we want to finish the season, we have let far too many opportunities slip away. Our preparation has been excellent and it is making a big difference in confidence seeing important players getting so much closer to fitness. We have to be stronger and make teams work harder for their chances.”
Head to head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 21
Draws – 10
East Fife wins – 4
East Fife have historically found Somerset Park an unhappy hunting ground, with just three wins from 33 league fixtures, in 1995, 2011 and 2012.
That victory in 2012 represents the Fifers’ last victory over Ayr, the Honest Men have won the last seven meetings between the sides, scoring 24 goals.
Last Meeting: Chris Duggan opened the scoring at New Bayview when the sides met in the middle of December. The home side held the advantage at half-time but Ayr roared back in the second-half. Michael Rose scored a double to put United ahead before Moore and Shankland completed the scoring.
On this day: Just like our last match against East Fife, United defeated Fife opponents 4-1 away from home on this day in 2001. Again, Ayr trailed at half-time but a second-half hat-trick from Pat McGinlay against Raith Rovers plus a Eddie Annand goal gave the Honest Men all three points at Starks Park.
Referee – David Lowe
Assistant Referee 1 – Andrew McWilliam
Assistant Referee 2 – Willie Ferguson
Adult – £16
Concession (OAPs, Students, 18-21) – £10
Child (Under 18) – £5