Match Preview Peterhead vs. Ayr United Championship Play-Off, semi-final, first leg Tuesday 3rd May 2016. Kick-off 8pm
After securing second place in Ladbrokes League 1, Ayr United travel north to face Peterhead in the first leg of the play-off semi-finals tomorrow (Tuesday). United’s 4-0 win at Balmoor nine days ago proved enough to leapfrog Jim McInally’s side and secure home advantage for the second leg on Saturday.
Peterhead go into the game on the back of six consecutive defeats and without top goalscorer Rory McAllister, following his red card against the Honest Men. McAllister, who has 31 goals in 40 appearances this season will serve the second game of a two-match suspension. The Blue Toon were defeated 1-0 by Champions Dunfermline on Saturday at East End Park.
Team News: The full squad is travelling apart from Jamie Adams. Jamie will be training this week and is expected to be fit for Saturday’s second leg.
Ian says: “Back when I was playing the team who finished second were always promoted however the playoffs work as shown by the fact there were no meaningless games in our league on the final Saturday of the season.
It will be an extremely tough game there is no doubt about that. All that’s happened previously goes out the window and its all down to these two games. We changed the team about on Saturday and were extremely poor however prior to that we had scored 8 and conceded 0 in two tough away games so we will be going there with confidence high.
These games will be played like a cup tie so its something to look forward to. Hopefully our supporters will make themselves heard!”
Head-to-Head (at Balmoor): Ayr United wins – 7 Draws – 2 Peterhead wins – 7
Peterhead took seven points from the four meetings between the sides this season.
Play-off Record: Ayr United are competing in the play-offs for the fifth time. United won promotion in 2009 and 2011, after finishing second both seasons but were relegated from the First Division following defeat in the semi-final against Airdrie in 2012 and also fell at the semi-final stage in 2014. P12, W5, D4, L3, F21, A18
Peterhead have been involved in the Division 1/Championship play-offs on two previous occasions. In 2006, they beat Morton 1-0 on aggregate to set-up a final against Partick Thistle but, after earning a 2-1 win at Firhill, were defeated on penalties at Balmoor in the final despite taking an early lead. In 2009 they lost out to Airdrie in the semi-final. P6, W2, D1, L3, F5, L7.
On this date: in 2014, United secured a play-off place with a 4-1 win over East Fife. Craig Malcolm netted a hat-trick at Somerset Park with Brian Gilmour also on the scoresheet.
Referee – Stephen Finnie
Assistant Referee 1 – Andy Milne
Assistant Referee 2 – Anthony Cooper
4th Official – Matt Norcroft
Adults – £12
Concessions (12-16, 65+ & students) – £6