Ayr United vs. Queen’s Park
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 24th March 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United will look to maintain their six point advantage at the top of League 1 when bottom side Queen’s Park are the visitors to Somerset Park. After a busy spell of three away games in seven days, United return home in a good run of form; 16 points from a possible 18 since the start of February have put Ian McCall’s side in a strong position with just six games of the league campaign to go.
Opponents Queen’s Park are battling for their League 1 survival and currently sit two points from the safety of eighth place. The Spiders have fared better away from Hampden Park this season, with 17 of their 26 points coming on the road, three of those points came last Saturday with a 3-2 win at Stranraer. On loan Hearts striker Aidan Keena netted twice in the first half for the Spiders – the Irishman’s sixth and seventh goals in just 8 appearances for Gus MacPherson’s side – with Sean Burns’s second-half strike proving decisive after Scott Robertson pulled one back for the Blues and Scott Agnew scored a penalty in the final minute.
Former United defender Gerry McLauchlan has been added to the Queen’s Park squad.
Team News: Jamie Adams is suspended for one match.
Ian says: “After 3 away games on the trot it is good to be back at Somerset as we had really started to pick up our form here with three 3 nil wins in a row. We had a very tough fixture during the week and at this stage of the season it is all about getting wins any way possible. We should have won more comfortably however again the players showed great character to win after being pegged back. Queens PArk are a good side and they always give us a tough match so today will be no different. We need the fans behind us from the start, 6 huge games left and this is the first of them.”
Head to head (League):
Ayr United wins – 45
Draws – 23
Queen’s Park wins – 31
Saturday’s match will be the 100th league meeting between Ayr United and Queen’s Park.
The Spiders have just one win in the last 26 meetings between the clubs in all competitions, that victory coming in Division 2 at Somerset Park in August 2007.
Last Meeting: United have won all three meetings between the sides this season, most recently recording a 4-1 win at Hampden Park towards the end of December. Craig Moore opened the scoring for the Honest Men in the fifth minute before Lawrence Shankland capitalised on some slack defending to set up Alan Forrest to double the advantage just before half-time. Two stunning strikes from substitute Craig McGuffie put Ayr four goals ahead before a late Adam Cummins consolation.
United were required to stage a comeback when the sides met at Somerset Park earlier in the month of December. A Craig Moore penalty put Ayr ahead but Gus MacPherson’s side battled back to take the lead in the 48th minute after Connor McVey and a Craig Reid own goal found the back of the net. Goals from Declan McDaid and Alan Forrest two minutes from time eventually secured all three points for the Honest Men
On this day: in 1934, United recorded their biggest ever victory away to Celtic, defeating the Parkhead side 3-0. The result ensured that we took full points off Celtic in season 1933/34 having already beat them 3-1 at Somerset Park in November 1933. Johnny Holland opened the scoring in the 17th minute, with goals either side of half-time from Terry McGibbons completing the scoring in-front of a crowd of 6,000. The result saw United occupy fifth position in the First Division table behind Rangers, Motherwell, Aberdeen and Queen of the South.
Referee – Barry Cook
Assistant Referee 1 – Alan Mulvanny
Assistant Referee 2 – Ross Birrell
Adults – £16
OAPs, students and 18-21 year olds – £10
Under 18s – £5