After a four week absence, Ayr United are back in action at Somerset Park when Forfar Athletic are the visitors for the first of four home games in 15 days. Despite eventually going down to a 2-0 defeat at Peterhead last weekend, results elsewhere ensured United remained outside the bottom two. Closest rivals Stenhousemuir travel to on-form Brechin.
Second placed Forfar are involved in a four-way battle at the top of League 1 and earned an important three points last weekend with a 1-0 victory at home to Dunfermline. Coupled with Morton’s victory over league leaders Stranraer, it means Forfar and ‘Ton are just one point behind the Blues. Brechin City are also just a further three points behind with a game in hand. The Loons’ last played in Scottish football’s second tier in 1992.
Read on for our match preview:
Ian says: “Last week I felt that it was a poor game, neither team played well and when you look at how good Peterhead’s home record is we nearly came away with a valuable point. We need to improve on that performance and will be looking to do that on Saturday. I have been here for 6 games now and 4 have been away so we are looking forward to some home games. I hope the crowd will get behind us like they do away from home. Forfar are a big strong side with big central defenders and a big striker so we will have to cope with the physical elements of the game. I have a few options now with nearly everyone in the squad fit and we will be going out there to win the game.”
Team news: Peter Murphy is fit and back in the squad. Martyn Campbell will play in the Under 20s match on Monday night. Everyone else is fit and available.
Form: United are without a win in their last 11 home games. It is 43 years since the Honest Men went 12 games without a win at Somerset Park.
Forfar have won four and lost four of their last eight matches.
Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park) Ayr United wins – 32 Draws – 8 Forfar Athletic wins – 7
Saturday is the 99th meeting between the sides.
Last Meeting: Both fixtures between the sides this season have ended 2-0 to the home side. A late Scott McLaughlin double at Somerset Park in August made it three wins in-a-row for Ayr United. Stephen Smith and Omar Kadar were on the score sheet when United travelled to Station Park in November.
On this day: in 2009 United beat Queen’s Park 3-0 at Hampden Park with Mark Roberts, Kenny Connolly and Ryan Stevenson on the scoresheet. 25 years ago to the day Ayr and Forfar played out a 1-1 draw at Somerset Park.
Match Officials: Referee – Stephen Finnie
Assistant Referee 1 – John McCrossan
Assistant Referee 2 – Simon MacLean
Adults – £15
OAP’s/Under 16’s and students – £8
Parent & Child Gate – £18 (via Gate 13)