Ayr United welcome Stranraer to Somerset Park on Saturday as the League 1 campaign resumes after the international break. The Honest Men will remain top of the table if they can extend their unbeaten start to the league campaign to five games.
Stranraer sit ninth in League 1 with two points from four games. Former Ayr United striker Craig Malcolm will sit out Saturday’s game through suspension after being sent off in the Blue’s last league game, a 2-1 defeat at home to Dunfermline Athletic in which Malcolm’s ex-strike partner Michael Moffat scored the winner.
The Stair Park side were in action on Saturday, wining through to the semi-finals of the Petrofac Training Cup with a 1-0 victory over Championship side Falkirk. Anthony Marenghi scored the only goal in the first-half, one of six former Ayr United players to feature for the home side.
Read on for our match preview:
Marko says: Stranraer had a great result last weekend which will give them confidence after a poor start however after the start we have made our boys are very confident. Our games with Stranraer always have a wee edge to them and this one will be no different with a few of our ex players in their team. We want to make Somerset Park a difficult place to come and we have done that so far this season with not conceding a goal. I have been delighted with the support we have had this season and last time out at Stenhousemuir our fans really got behind us with 20 minutes to go. We were disappointed not to get the win but that shows how far we have come.
Team news: Martyn Campbell and Kevin McKinlay are both doubtful for the match however they are the only injury doubts in the squad.
Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 27
Draws – 7
Stranraer wins – 6
The last six fixtures between the sides at Somerset Park have averaged 4.83 goals per game.
Last Meeting: Ayr gained some revenge for two heavy defeats earlier in the season with a 5-0 win over the Blues the last time the sides met, which was in March. Michael Moffat (2), Craig Malcolm, Michael Donald and Alan Forrest were on the score sheet at Somerset Park while the visitors had captain Frank McKeown sent off.
– Stranraer have played 9 matches this season but only one away from home: a 4-0 defeat at Greenock Morton;
– The Blues had a similarly slow start to last season, drawing one and losing four of their first five league games before going on to secure their highest league position since 2006;
On this day: Saturday will be the 20th fixture Ayr have played on the 13th September. Stranraer were also the opponents the last time United played on this date when Chris Aitken, Ryan Borris and Bryan Prunty scored in a 3-1 win at Stair Park which saw Stranraer’s Gregory Tade sent off for two bookings in quick succession. The sides also played out a 0-0 draw on 13th September 1986.
Referee: Calum Murray
Assistant Referee 1: Steven Reid
Assistant Referee 2: Liam Butler
Concessions £8 (OAPs, students and under16s)
Parent and child gate £18