St Mirren match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. St Mirren
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 25th February 2017

Somerset Park plays hosts to a huge match at the foot of the Championship table on Saturday when bottom side St. Mirren are the visitors. The Buddies sit eight points adrift of the Honest Men with a game in hand, having picked up just two league wins this season.

Ayr will hope that the last gasp drama that saw them snatch a point at Dumbarton last weekend will provide them with the impetus in the search for a long-awaited victory, while St. Mirren come into the game on the back of consecutive cup wins, against East Fife and The New Saints which have seen them progress to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup and final of the Irn-Bru Cup.

St. Mirren’s two league wins this season came in back-to-back games at the start of December against Raith Rovers and Queen of the South. Since then they have picked up four points from a possible 21; Ayr meanwhile have notched up five points from our last seven league games.

The Opposition:
Manager Jack Ross have overseen wholesale changes to the St. Mirren squad over the winter, signing no fewer than 10 players in the January transfer window. Among the new arrivals are Craig Storie and Cammy Smith on loan from Aberdeen, striker Rory Loy from Dundee and keeper Billy O’Brien, who has joined from Manchester City. Stephen McGinn has also returned to the club after leaving for Watford in 2010.

Team News: Ross Docherty begins a 2 match suspension. Robbie Crawford is out with an injury picked up at Easter Road and Declan McDaid has a 50/50 chance.

Ian McCall says: “One look at the league table tells you just how a big a game this is for both teams. Both teams have similar form in that there are too many draws and we need to start turning our draws into wins. If we do that it won’t take long for the league table to look vastly different to what it does now. It’s a game we are really looking forward to as we have to turn our home form around and quickly. When you look at the squad St Mirren have you would expect them to be in the top 4 so we know they have a lot of quality and are playing better than earlier in the season. We are at Somerset Park, we have to start winning games here and will be picking the team accordingly.”

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 22
Draws – 21
St Mirren wins – 23
United have won just one of the last 11 league fixtures between the sides and Saturday is the 50th league meeting between Ayr and St Mirren at Somerset Park.

Last meeting: Ayr and St. Mirren have already met four times this season. The Saints recorded League Cup and League Challenge Cup wins at the Paisley 2021 stadium earlier on in the season, while both league fixtures have ended 1-1. The Buddies have scored decisive goals in the last 10 minutes all four matches between the sides this season.

On this day: in 2012, United defeated Livingston 3-1 at Somerset Park. The visitors opened the scoring in the 11th minute but Ayr roared back, Andy Geggan netting twice and Eddie Malone also on the scoresheet.

Match Officials:
Referee – Craig Thomson
Assistant Referee 1 – Brian Templeton
Assistant Referee 2 – Thomas Shaw

Adults – £17
OAP’s and students – £10
Under 16s – £5