Albion Rovers vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Tuesday 20th March 2018. Kick-off 7.45pm
Ayr United have the opportunity to open up a six point gap at the top of League 1 tonight (Tuesday) when they travel to Cliftonhill to face Albion Rovers. Ayr’s win at Forfar on Saturday, coupled with the postponement of Raith Rovers’ match on Sunday, has put the Honest Men in the box seat with seven games to go.
After a promising start to the season, Albion Rovers have found the going tougher in recent weeks, dropping down ninth place. Rovers sit just one point ahead of bottom side Queen’s Park, albeit with a couple of games in hand on both the Spiders and eighth-placed Forfar Athletic.
Brian Kerr’s side have won just one of their last 13 games – away to Stranraer – and have only one win to their name at home since the end of September. With 27 goals in 33 games, former United forward Alan Trouten remains a key threat and he opened the scoring on Saturday at home to Arbroath, but the Red Lichties hit back to inflict defeat on the Coatbridge side.
Team News: Jamie Adams comes back into the squad giving a full team other than Chris Higgins.
Ian says: “There are 7 games to go and of course we have got ourselves in a nice position 3 points clear however this season has had many twists and turns so we are keeping fully focused on one match at a time. Forfar was always going to be a difficult game on Saturday with the conditions and them being in good form but we put in a professional display and we were delighted with the win. We won’t have to contend with the wind tonight like we have in our last two matches, the pitch will be heavy but we know what to expect and we are hugely looking forward to it.”
Head to head (at Coatbridge):
Ayr United wins – 18
Draws – 5
Albion Rovers wins – 20
None of the last 17 meetings between Ayr and Albion Rovers have ended in a draw (10 Ayr wins, 7 Albion).
Last Meeting: Ayr opened the season with a convincing 5-1 win at a sunny Cliftonhill in August. Declan McDade opened the scoring in just the 2nd minute, with Michael Moffat and Craig Moore both adding goals before half-time. Moore would go on to complete his hat-trick before Connor Shields netted a late consolation for Brian Kerr’s side.
December’s clash at Somerset Park was a more tightly contested affair; Craig Moore gave Ayr the lead in the 16th minute but Sean Higgins equalised for the visitors nine minutes later. Three goals in five crazy second-half minutes saw Ayr go 2-1 up through Lawrence Shankland, Alan Trouten counter only for Chris Higgins to score what prove to be the winner.
The final fixture between the two sides is at Somerset Park on the final weekend of the season.
On this day: in 2010, Ayr defeated Queen of the South 3-0 at Somerset Park with goals from Tam McManus, Danny McKay and Mark Roberts. Current United players Craig Reid and Jamie Adams featured for the Doonhamers, while assistant manager Neil Scally was among the substitutes.
Referee – Stephen Finnie
Assistant Referee 1 – Andrew McWilliam
Assistant Referee 2 – David Dunne
Adult – £14
Concession – £7
Children under 12 – £2
Concession entry covers Senior Citizens (65+), Unemployed (on production of the appropriate benefit card), students with student ID and Disabled (Carer Free).