On Saturday all roads lead to Station Park, Forfar, with a bumper travelling support set to roar on Ayr United in a match with huge significance at both ends of the table. United’s four-goal victory over Stirling Albion last weekend edged them two points ahead of Stenhousemuir and out of the relegation play-off spot, ahead of the Warriors trip to face the Binos.
Forfar, meanwhile, brushed aside Dunfermline Athletic last weekend, racing to a three-goal lead after just 36 minutes and have aspirations of a first league title for 20 years. The Loons trail Greenock Morton, who host Peterhead, by three goals at the summit of the table.
Among all the possible scenarios the most straightforward is that a win for the Honest Men will guarantee League 1 football next season. Similarly, Ayr will avoid the play-offs if Stenhousemuir fail to beat Stirling Albion regardless of the result at Station Park. A draw and things become slightly more complicated: United would still finish eighth if Stenny win by a margin of two goals or fewer or by a margin of three goals but score only one goal more than the Honest Men.
Whatever the outcome, it is sure to be gripping finale.
Read on for our match preview:
Ian says: “Its a final day of the season that means so much to both teams. Forfar and ourselves have so much to play so it should be a good occasion. Once again we have told the boys that whats happened before doesn’t matter, its all down to Saturday and getting the 3 points. There are so many permutations however what isn’t in doubt is that if we win we are safe. Another thing not in doubt is the support that we will take. We know how far they have travelled not only on Saturday but all season and we will do everything we can to make sure they come down the road happy. We are going there full of confidence.”
Team news: We have a fully fit squad travelling to the match.
Form: United 4-0 victory over Stirling ended a run of nine matches without a victory and was their first since beating Forfar at the end of February. The side have lost their last five games away from home. Forfar Athletic have won six of their last seven matches and Dick Campbell’s men have won their last four matches at home without conceding. It is 18 games with the Loons’ last draw.
Ayr United wins – 48
Draws – 14
Forfar Athletic wins – 26
Saturday is the 100th meeting between the two sides in all competitions.
Last Meeting: A first-half Jordan Preston goal earned Ayr United all three points at Somerset Park the last time the sides faced each other, on 28th February. United also beat Forfar 2-0 at home at the start of the season thanks to a Scott McLaughlin double but the score line was reversed when the Honest Men made the trip to Station Park in November.
On this day: Ayr have played four league games, winning 2, drawing 1 and losing 1. Our most recent fixture on this date was a 1-1 draw with Alloa Athletic in 2009.
Referee – Greg Aitken
Assistant Referee 1 – Steven Reid
Assistant Referee 2 – Thomas Shaw
Adults – £12 (Ground), £13 (Stand)
Over 65s & Under 17s – £6 (Ground), £7 (Stand)
Away supporters should enter by the turnstiles at the North West corner of the ground and occupy the West Terracing and the West End of the South Enclosure. Turnstiles will open at 2.15pm and fans are asked to arrive as early as possible and have the correct admission monies if possible to avoid congestion in the minute leading up to kick-off.