Stranraer vs. Ayr United
Championship Play-Off Final, second leg
Sunday 15th May 2016. Kick-off 2.45pm
Somerset Park is set to host one of the biggest games in its 128 year history on Sunday when Ayr United meet Stranraer for a place in next season’s Championship. You have to go back to 1956 for the last time the Honest Men won promotion on home turf, with subsequent successes in 1966, 1969, 1988, 1997, 2009 and 2011 all clinched away from home.
The sides go into the second-leg level after Ross Docherty’s 94th minute equaliser at Stair Park. The goal denied the Blues a seventh consecutive home win – they haven’t managed the same form on the road, where they have just one win in nine.
Ayr United are looking for a return to the second tier of Scottish football after a four year absence while Stranraer last competed at that level 10 years ago.
Team News: Craig Moore is suspended. Everyone else is fit and available.
Ian says: “We were delighted with the late goal on Wednesday as it gives us real confidence going into Sunday after coming out with a draw and not having played well. Overall Stranraer deserved to win so to get a draw is a bonus. It’s been a long season however we feel fresh now and have no real injury worries. We have pace and quality, there’s a good team spirit and we are really looking forward to the game. We know the prize and everyone is up for it. Our supporters have a huge part to play. I think there could be double in the ground from the Peterhead game and if that’s the case then the atmosphere will be electric. The supporters really helped us during the Peterhead game and for a game of this size I hope they are even noisier.”
Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 29
Draws – 7
Stranraer wins – 8
Ayr United won both league games between the side at Somerset Park this season, 2-1 in March and 3-1 in October – but lost both 2-0 last season.
Play-off Record: Ayr have twice before reached the Championship (previously Division 1) play-off final, winning promotion on both occasions after drawing the first leg. In 2009, United were 2-0 down at home to Airdrieonians but two second-half goals from Mark Roberts levelled the tie ahead of the second-leg were Ryan Stevenson netted the promotion-winning goal. Two years later, The Honest Men were 2-1 down with 15 minutes remaining on the clock in the second-leg against Brechin City at Glebe Park but Mark Roberts’s equaliser and Michael Moffat’s famous goal earned a second promotion in three season – both times under the management of Brian Reid.
Referee – Andrew Dallas
Assistant Referee 1 – Graham Chambers
Assistant Referee 2 – Sean Carr
Fourth Official – Nick Walsh
Adults – £10
Concessions – £5