Ayr United vs. Ross County
Saturday 15th December 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Somerset Park plays host to a huge top-of-the-table clash in the Championship as second place Ross County make the long journey south to face leaders Ayr United.
The Honest Men were left kicking their heels last weekend when our Friday night fixture at home to Inverness became a late casualty of strong winds in Ayrshire. That denied Ian McCall’s men an opportunity to build on a sensational 5-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice the previous week.
United go into Saturday’s match on a seven match unbeaten run since defeat in Dingwall two months ago and have conceded just one goal in that period. A win for the Honest Men will open up a four point advantage over Ross County and guarantee Ian McCall’s men hold on to top spot in the Championship at Christmas.
The Opposition: Ross County have been in action twice since Ayr won at Tannadice, defeating Alloa Athletic 1-0 at Recreation Park with a last minute Keith Watson goal before being held at home by Queen of the South last weekend. Andy Stirling’s 71st minute equaliser denied the Staggies top spot in the Championship after Josh Mullin had put them ahead.
The Staggies followed up October’s win over the Honest Men with a thumping 5-0 demolition of Morton but have subsequently dropped points in draws at Falkirk and Inverness and a defeat at home to Dundee United.
Co-managers Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell have been boosted by the return of Michael Gardyne from injury; the winger played quarter-of-an-hour against Queen of the South after a two month lay-off. Experienced midfielder Iain Vigurs is also available.
Form Guide (League):
Ayr United – WWDDW
Ross County – DLWWD
Head to Head (League):
wins – 5
Draws – 8
Ross County wins – 16
United are without a win in the last 11 meetings between the sides, stretching back to March 2008. You have to go back even further for The Honest Men’s last win over Ross County at Somerset Park – a 2-1 victory in August 2002. A Mark Perry own goal and James Grady strike put us ahead in the first 20 minutes of the game and Ayr held out despite a late Connor Gethins goal.
Last Match: Ross County edged out 2-1 winners at the Globlal Energy Stadium in October. Strikes from Billy McKay and Josh Mullins put County ahead at the break but United came roaring back in the second-half. Lawrence Shankland pulled a goal back on the hour mark but the Honest Men were unable to find an equaliser that would have earned a deserved point.
Referee – Bobby Madden
Assistant Referee 1 – Ralph Gordon
Assistant Referee 2 – Craig Ferguson
Adults – £17
Concessions – £11 (65+, 18-21, Student)
Under 18s -£6
Due to damage to the Somerset Road end turnstiles, home fans will enter through turnstiles 2, 3 and 5 at the Railway End. From here you will be able to transfer from one end to the other for the match. Entry to the North Terrace and Main Stand remain unchanged. Please arrive in plenty of time as this area may become congested.
All fans are respectfully requested to conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring the Club and its supporters into disrepute and adhere to the Ground Regulations. Please visit ayrunitedfc.co.uk for information on Unacceptable Conduct. Supporters are advised to remain within the stand and to refrain from entering trackside or the field of play. Searches will be carried out at the turnstiles for any controlled containers and pyrotechnics. Under the Sporting Events Act 1985, being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence (see below). Any person committing such an offence will face immediate ejection, arrest and a life time ban from the Club. Surfing flags are not permitted. Ayr United would like to thank all supporters for their co-operation and continued backing of the team.
Notice from Police Scotland:
Supporter safety is a key priority for all Clubs, we at Ayr United are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the match day experience is safe and enjoyable. One of the most dangerous things we have to deal with is pyrotechnic articles such as smoke bombs and flares in the stadium and we’d ask that you assist us to look after you by not bringing such articles with you to matches. These articles can cause severe burns, damage to hearing or breathing difficulties and their use is especially distressing for groups such as small children and those who can’t easily move away when pyrotechnics are activated. Experience shows that when a pyrotechnic is activated in a crowd there is often a movement away from the immediate area which can cause panic and disorientation, and which creates a risk of slips and trips or crushing for those nearby. Please be in no doubt that these articles are unpleasant and potentially life-threatening to be around – they are also illegal at football matches – and being caught with them will result in exclusion from Ayr United] as well as a possible criminal conviction.