We play our final away fixture of 2014 against Ayr United at Somerset Park on Saturday and are seeking our first victory in League 1 since beating Stenhousemuir 5-4 at Ochilview on August 23 – the same day our opponents this weekend last won at home. Stuart McLaren’s men go into the match eight points behind Ayr, who also have a game in hand.
Team news: Midfielder Willie Robertson is available again after a three-match suspension but Darren Lee Smith remains out with a knee injury and the game is likely to come too soon for striker Lewis Coult. Club captain Darren Smith left the club this week, as did fellow midfielder Blair Munn.
Opponents: Ayr United reached the play-offs last season and made an excellent start to 2014/15 but parted company with manager Mark Roberts in the wake of Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat to Stenhousemuir and his assistant Andy Millen is in caretaker charge. The Honest Men are hoping to appoint a new boss in early January, having slipped to second from bottom in the table after eight defeats in nine League 1 games.
Past meetings: Saturday marks our first visit to Somerset Park since April 2009, when we suffered a 3-1 defeat despite taking the lead through Martin Grehan. Our last victory at Ayr was 5-2 in December 2005 when Chris Aitken scored with a stunning free-kick and Paddy Connolly was also among the goals.
Going further back, our 2-2 draw there in March 1996 extended our unbeaten league run to 27 games, a sequence which was ended by Stenhousemuir a week later. The 3-2 final-day victory at Somerset Park in May 1987 was an incredible occasion – both the Binos and Ayr just missed out on promotion as Raith and Meadowbank went up.
Last five league form: Ayr United LLLLL Stirling Albion LDLLL
Referee: John McKendrick
Admission: Adults £15, Concessions £8 (seniors, students, U16s), Parent & Child £18
Return visit: Saturday April 25, 2015
Our next game: Stirling Albion v Morton – Saturday December 27, 2014
Other League 1 games: Dunfermline v Stranraer, Forfar v Airdrie, Morton v Peterhead, Stenhousemuir v Brechin