Match Preview Peterhead vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 23rd April 2016. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United travel north to face Peterhead for what could be a decisive match in the race for second place. A win for the Blue Toon will secure them that accolade and home advantage in the second-leg of the the up coming play-off semi-final between the sides. A draw or United win and it will go to the final week of the season which sees Ayr host Airdrieonians and Peterhead travel to Dunfermline on the day they will receive the League 1 trophy.
Petrofact Cup finalists Peterhead were defeated 4-0 by Rangers at Hampden a fortnight ago and then defeated 5-1 at Brechin City last weekend, a match which saw them concede four first-half goals.
The Blue Toon have already secured their highest league finish since joining the SFL in 2000. They have lost just two league matches at home this season – including last time out versus Cowdenbeath. That result and a subsequent defeat at Forfar before the Challenge Cup final mean Jim McInally’s side have lost four-in-a-row.
Team News: Jamie Adams, Brian Gilmour, Ryan Stevenson and Alan Trouten are all out but expected to be close to a return for next Saturday.
Ian says: “We are looking at it as a big game, a win puts us second and would ensure that a win at home next Saturday will mean the runners up spot. We see that as a big motivation and will play our strongest available team. I don’t think that whatever happens in this game will give either team a psychological advantage in the playoffs however we just want to finish the season in second place.”
Head-to-Head: Ayr United wins – 8 Draws – 9 Peterhead wins – 13
Ayr are without a win in the last eight meetings between the sides.
Six of United’s eight wins against Peterhead have come away from home.
Last meeting: Shane Sutherland and Craig Moore traded early goals when the sides last met at the start of February. Rory McAllister’s 41st minute strike was enough to earn the Blue Toon all three points at Somerset Park. Scott Ross was sent off late on for the visitors.
Ayr’s last trip to Balmoor ended in a 3-0 defeat, all three goals coming after the hour mark.
On this date: in 2011, Ayr defeated Dumbarton 2-1 away from home. Goals from Alan Trouten and Michael Moffat gave the Honest Men a two goal advantage after just 16 minutes; a second-half Eddie Malone own goal turned out to be just a consolation for the Sons of the Rock, who featured Nicky Devlin at right-back.
Saturday will be United’s 500th game to be played in the month of April.
Referee – Euan Anderson
Assistant Referee 1 – Michael Banks
Assistant Referee 2 – Ross Anderson
Adults – £12
Concessions (12-16, 65+ & students) – £6
Peterhead operate a no cash turnstile and urge all supporters to purchase their ticket on arrival at the stadium to ensure a quick entry to the ground. Entry is via the turnstiles located to the north of the main building.
Stovies are available in the social club before the game for 50p.