Round up your mother and father, brothers and sisters, granny, aunties, cousins, workmates and pals from the bowling club, deck them out in black and white and get them down to Somerset Park on Saturday. The Honest Men face already-relegated Stirling Albion in a crucial match in the fight to avoid relegation. What’s more, entry is just £5.
United are locked in a battle with Stenhousemuir to avoid the League 1 play-offs. An 88th minute consolation from Stenny full-back Ciaran Summers in a 3-2 defeat at Stranraer on last weekend saw them climb out of the relegation play-off spot and above Ayr on goal difference. The Warriors host Brechin City on Saturday, who require one more point to guarantee fourth spot.
Stirling Albion were consigned to an immediate return to League 2 a fortnight ago after a last minute goal by Brechin City’s Andy Jackson at Glebe Park. Last weekend, the Bino’s were defeated 2-0 by Greenock Morton at Forthbank, their 23rd loss of the season. Former Ayr left-back Kevin McKinlay will miss out on a return to Somerset Park through suspension as does Adam Cummins who played for Ayr against Stirling in the 2-2 draw between the sides in December.
Read on for our match preview:
Ian says: “I am delighted the club have gone with the reduced entry as it gives everyone the chance to see Somerset at its best. I hope theres a good atmosphere from the start and we will aim to start the game as fast a pace as possible. At home in recent games we have played some great football and we will be looking to do that again and eradicate the mistakes. We have told the players to forget everything that’s happened before now, focus on Saturday and get 3 points. Winning is our only focus.”
Team news: We have a fully fit squad for the match.
Form: United have lost their last three matches and have taken just three points from a possible 27. Stirling have lost 12 of their last 14 matches and their last four in-a-row. The Binos have picked up just three league wins this season – two of them away to Stenhousemuir. Stuart McLaren’s side host the Warriors on the final day of the season.
Head-to-Head (League): Ayr United wins – 26 Draws – 25 Stirling Albion wins – 25
Albion have won just one of the last nine meetings between the sides.
Last Meeting: United raced to a two goal lead in just 15 minutes at Forthbank on Valentines Day courtesy of goals from David Robertson and a Gordon Smith own goal when the sides last met. Phil Johnston pulled one back for the hosts before Craig Beattie and Jordon Preston completed the scoring, United’s eighth and ninth goal against the Binos this season.
On this day: United are unbeaten in 12 of their 15 matches played on 25th April, most recently beating East Fife 2-0 at Somerset Park in 2009.
Match Officials: Referee – Alan Newlands
Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Hodge
Assistant Referee 2 – Barry Reid