Raith match preview

Match Preview
Raith Rovers vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 13th February 2018. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Kirkcaldy looking to regain top spot in League 1 from title rivals Raith Rovers. Three defeats in four games have seen Ian McCall’s side usurped by the Fife side, who now lead United by one point with two games in hand.

Rovers pose a formidable challenge at Starks Park where they have won 10 out of 10 leagues games this season, conceding just four goals in the process. Following a blip in November which saw them lose consecutive games at Dumbarton, Ayr and Peterhead in the Challenge Cup, league and Scottish Cup respectively – without scoring – Barry Smith’s men are unbeaten in their last seven games, dropping points only in a 2-2 draw at Airdrie.

Team News: Chris Higgins, Andy Geggan, Ross Docherty, Robbie Crawford and Brian Gilmour are definitely out. Michael Rose and Craig McGuffie are 50/50 chances to make it. Jack Ruddy joins the squad.

Ian says: “We certainly didn’t expect to come into this game on a run of 3 defeats in our last 4 however we are one point behind and this is very much a top of the table clash so I hope we have a good support there that get right behind us. Raith are expecting a big boost in numbers however our away support are second to none in the way they can get behind the team. We still have key players out injured however we have every confidence in the boys that will be starting. They are a good side, well organised and have a good manager so it will be very tough. Raith have won all 10 home games however we beat them comfortably at Somerset and we should have won the last match at Starks so we will be going there knowing we can get something if we are at our best.

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 50

Draws – 44

Raith Rovers wins – 50

 

United have just one win in their last seven trips to Starks Park, with four of the games ending all square.

 

Last Meeting: United beat Rovers in November after a dominant performance at Somerset Park earned the Honest Men a 3-0 victory.  Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring in the 16th minute and Ayr’s advantage was doubled six minute later with a fine strike from Robbie Crawford. A late Craig Moore goal rounded off the scoring, with the result giving United a three point advantage at the top of the table.

Earlier in the season, Rovers were 2-1 winners when the sides met at Starks Park in September; Lewis Vaughan and Jason Thomson

On this day: in 1940, the Honest Men defeated Celtic 3-1 at Celtic Park. The result was made all the more remarkable because outside left Fally Rodger was required to deputise in goal due to the illness of regular ‘keeper Hall. Rodger put in an inspired performance in his unfamiliarl role, even saving a Celtic penalty.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Barry Cook

Assistant Referee 1 – Douglas Ross

Assistant Referee 2 – Graham Grainger

 

Admission:

Adult – £15

Junior (unaccompanied) – £8
Junior (Under 16, accompanied by a full paying adult) – £5
Junior (Under 12, accompanied by a full paying adult) – Free
Senior Citizen (Over 65) – £8
Concession (Student/Jobseeker) – £10
Disabled supporter & carer – £8

Concession and free tickets for U12s must be purchased from the Main Office ticket window. Proof of status required.

We thank you for travelling to support the team.  Your support is vital.  However, we all need to be able to enjoy watching games in a safe and considerate environment.

We ask that you support the players and team without resorting to unacceptable behaviour that can lead either Club or individuals facing charges.

All Scottish grounds have a searching policy as a condition of entry.

Possessing or using any pyro device and anyone detected will be liable to prosecution and a lifetime ban from football stadiums.

Copies of Ayr United’s Unacceptable Conduct Policy can be found on our website.  http://www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/unacceptable-conduct-policy/

Thank you and enjoy the game.