Match Preview Ayr United vs. Raith Rovers Ladbrokes League 1 Tuesday 14th November 2017. Kick-off 7.45pm
League 1’s top two go head-to-head tonight in a huge match at Somerset Park. Ayr United lead visitors Raith Rovers by virtue of just a solitary goal, but Barry Smith’s side have a game in hand. The Honest Men hit four last time out at Arbroath and are the SPFL’s top goalscorers with 35 goals from 12 games.
Ian McCall’s side are unbeaten since losing at Stark’s Park in September, taking 17 points from a possible 21, averaging three goals-per-game. Rovers have dropped five points since, with a loss and draw away to Albion Rovers and Forfar Athletic respectively. Their game at Stranraer was abandoned before half-time due to a waterlogged pitch.
Tonight’s fixture was rescheduled due to Raith’s progression to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup but their hopes of repeating the success of five years ago were ended at Dumbarton on Saturday; the Sons running out 2-0 winners.
Team News: Everyone is fit and available for selection.
Ian says: “There is something special about Somerset Park under the lights. Obviously we would have preferred to have the game on Saturday however I think there will still be a good crowd in tonight and an excellent atmosphere. We have options in terms of the starting lineup as we have made substitutions in the last couple of matches that have changed the way the game had been going so there is plenty to think about. We are on a good run and we want to keep that going, especially at Somerset. Hopefully our fans get right behind us tonight as it will be an extremely difficult game.
Head to head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 33
Draws – 23
Raith Rovers wins – 18
A victory for the Honest Men would be our 50th league win over Raith Rovers.
Last Meeting: Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring with his first goal for the club just before half-time at Stark’s Park at the start of the September but second-half goals from Lewis Vaughan and Jason Thomson won it for Barry Smith’s side. Chris Higgins was sent-off for a second yellow card offence late on.
Rovers’ last trip to Somerset Park was also a Tuesday night fixture and will be best remembered for Ryan Stevenson’s performance in goal for the Fifers. Despite Stevo’s best efforts,
On this day: in 1999, Raith Rovers were 1-0 winners at Somerset Park in an ill-tempered encounter. Mickey Reynolds, who replaced Nigel Jemson at half-time for United, was shown a red card with little over 20 minutes remaining and Rovers’ Peter Hetherston went on to score a late winner for the visitors.
More recently, an Alan Trouten goal gave the Honest Men a 1-0 home win over Albion Rovers in 2015.
Referee – Barry Cook
Assistant Referee 1 – Graham McNeillie
Assistant Referee 2 – Alan Macfadyen
Adult – £16
Concessions (OAP, students & 18-21 year olds) – £10
Under 18s – £5