Ayr United vs. Stranraer
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 14th April 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, the Honest Men can take a huge step towards the League 1 title when they take on Stranraer to Somerset Park. A win over the battling Blues would leave United needing just two more points from their remaining two games to guarantee top spot – and could even be enough to clinch the trophy this weekend if Raith Rovers fail to take maximum points at home to Queen’s Park.
Ayr’s never-say-die attitude has been clear for all to see in recent weeks, coming from behind to defeat East Fife and Airdrieonians on the road, while at home Ian McCall’s men have won their last four games, scoring 13 goals without conceding.
Visitors Stranraer require a win to keep their faint promotion hopes alive with the Blues currently lying six points adrift of third and fourth placed Arbroath and Alloa Athletic and an inferior goal difference. Stephen Farrell’s side have, however, put themselves back in contention in recent weeks, winning three games on the bounce including last time out at Alloa where Morgyn Neill scored the only goal of the game.
Arguably the Blue’s best result of the season came three weeks ago at Gayfield when despite being two goals down after 13 minutes, three goals in the last 20 minutes from Stephen Okoh, Grant Anderson and Scott Agnew gave them a vital three points and go to prove the team from Wigtonshire are not to be taken lightly.
Team News: Ross Docherty, Chris Higgins, Paddy Boyle and Andy Geggan miss out through injury.
Ian says: “I have read quite a few things over the last week and sensed an attitude from a lot of supporters that the league is over. This is far from over, football has a habit of kicking you in the teeth when you least expect it. We have approached this game exactly the way we have the last ten games. Our focus is on this match and absolutely nothing else as we know that if we win then nobody can do anything about it.”
Head to head (League):
Ayr United wins – 42
Draws – 9
Stranraer wins – 22
After losing all four matches against Stranraer during season 2014/15, the Honest Men are unbeaten in eight of the last nine games between the sides, losing only once.
Last Meeting: United were 5-1 winners when the sides last met, at Stair Park at the start of January. Lawrence Shankland and Michael Moffat put United two-up at half-time with an Alan Forrest double and Shankland again giving Ayr a five-goal lead before Kyle Turner’s late consolation. The match was Steven Bell’s last for Stranraer before he joined the Honest Men.
Moffat and Shankland were also on the scoresheet during the first Somerset Park match-up between the sides this season, with both goals coming in the second-half. The Blues finished the game with nine men after Scott Robertson and Steven Bell were sent-off.
The first meeting between the sides this season was at Stair Park in August and required a late Paddy Boyle to give Ayr all three points.
Referee – Euan Anderson
Assistant Referee 1 – Frank Connor
Assistant Referee 2 – Jim Burns
Adult – £16
Concession (OAPs, Students, 18-21) – £10
Child (Under 18) – £5