Stranraer vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Tuesday 2nd January 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Tuesday, the Honest Men travel south to ‘first-foot’ Stranraer looking to start 2018 with a win after back-to-back defeats for the first time this season. Those disappointing losses at at the hands of Airdrieonians and Forfar have seen United’s advantage at the top of the table cut to just two points, with Raith Rovers also boasting two games in hand.
Rovers beat Stranraer 3-0 at Starks Park on Saturday, a second consecutive defeat on the road for Stevie Farrell’s side after going down 1-0 at Alloa the previous week. The Blues occupy fourth place in an increasingly bunched-up League 1 table, two points behind second-placed Alloa but just four ahead of Albion Rovers in eighth.
Danny Stoney, Tom Lang, Liam Dick and striker Ryan Wallace – who has 10 goals to his name this season – have departed Stair Park in recent days but on loan Hearts youngster Angus Beith will be a one to watch for the home side.
Team News: Robbie Crawford and Andy Geggan are definitely out with injuries.
Ian says: “After a great run we ended the year with two disappointing results, especially on Saturday when we had the game won. At times in the second half we were playing some brilliant football and it is incredible we didn’t score more than two with a mixture of poor finishing and some astonishing goalkeeping. All that said and there is no doubt we should be winning matches from 2 nil up, simple as that. Today presents another difficult task as it is always a tough match at Stranraer however we are only focused on ourselves and getting back to winning ways.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 54
Draws – 12
Stranraer wins – 25
After winning four games in-a-row during the 2014/15 season, Stranraer have only one victory in the last eight meetings between the sides.
Last Meeting: Michael Moffat and Lawrence Shankland were on the scoresheet when the sides last met in what was a ill-tempered match at Somerset Park at the end of October. The visitors ended the game with nine men after Scott Robertson and captain Steven Bell were set-off, albeit one of the red cards was later rescinded.
The first match-up of this season between the sides came at Stair Park in August and was a seven goal thriller. Ryan Wallace and Declan McDaid traded first-half strikes before United took control with goals from Moore and Moffat. Stranraer fought back to level the match with two Ryan Thomson goals in the space of three minutes but Paddy Boyle popped up to score a winner with five minutes to go.
On this day: Tuesday will the the 50th time Ayr United have played on January 2nd and the sixth time Stranraer have been the opponents on this date. Two years ago, a second-half Jamie Longworth gave the Blues a Hogmanay win at Stair Park and they were also winners in 1995. United’s wins came in 2007, 1999 and 1988.
Referee – Grant Irvine
Assistant Referee 1 – Michael Banks
Assistant Referee 2 – Alan Macfadyen
Adults – £15
Concession (65+) – £10
Secondary School – £5
Primary School – FREE
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.