Albion Rovers vs. Ayr United
League 1, Saturday 8th August 2015
Ayr United’s much anticipated League 1 campaign begins on Saturday when Ian McCall’s side make the trip to Coatbridge to face Albion Rovers. The Honest Men go into the game on the back of two cup wins at home, against Albion and Brechin City and including victories at the end of last season, Ayr are looking for five-in-a-row for the first time since 2008.
Rovers followed up their Petrofac Cup defeat at Somerset Park with a 3-0 reverse at Championship side Raith Rovers in the League Cup but are sure to be a different proposition at Cliftonhill as they prepare to unfurl the League 2 Championship flag.
Team News: Nicky Devlin, Gerry McLauchlan, Craig Moore and Andrew Muir are all suspended for this match.
Ian says: “This will be our hardest test of the season so far. Albion will have a go at us at their home ground and we will need to be at our very best. SO far this season I have felt dangerously comfortable however this is the league now and all of us will be on the ball. We are going their to win. We will be going to try and win every game this season home and away. Cliftonhill will be a really tough place to go this season.
I would love our supporters on the road to recreate Forfar every week. I can assure them it gives everyone a massive lift. Theres no other team in the league that has supports like ours away from home and we will use that to our advantage.”
Ayr United wins – 40
Draws – 12
Albion Rovers wins – 25
Club Historian Duncan Carmichael advises that Saturday will be the seventh meeting between the clubs on the opening day of a league campaign. Of the previous six, five have been at Somerset Park and United have recorded just one win: a remarkable 5-4 victory away from home in 1954.
Saturday marks something of a coincidence as Rovers also hosted Ayr in their first league game after winning their last league championship in 1989. United had turned full-time that summer but were defeated 3-1 in a match played at Airdrie’s Broomfield.
Last Meeting: Fans don’t need to look too far back to remember the last meeting between the side – a 3-1 win for the Honest Men a fortnight ago. United’s last trip to Cliftonhill was in April 2013 and saw them come away with a 3-1 victory courtesy of goals from Michael Moffat, Liam Buchanan and Scott McLaughlin. Only Robbie Crawford and Michael Donald from the match day 16 are still at the club.
On this day: in 2009 Ayr opened the the league season back in Division 1 with a 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle at Somerset Park. Mark Roberts’s audacious 5th minute opener was cancelled out by Simon Donnelly. Paddy Boyle was an unused substitute for the visitors.
Referee – Alan Newlands
Assistant Referee – John McCrossan
Assistant Referee – Simon MacLean
Adults – £14
Concessions* – £7
Juniors (aged 13-16) – £3
Parent & Child (U12) – £14
* Senior Citizens (65+), Students (with Student ID), Unemployed (on production of the appropriate benefit card) and U16s