After Raith Rovers returned to winning ways in the Scottish Cup against Auchinleck Talbot last weekend, they'll be hoping to get one over another Ayrshire side this Saturday, when they travel to face Ayr United.

The Honest Men are on a great run of seven games unbeaten, with their last defeat coming in October against Dundee, and that sequence sees them top of the Championship, a point clear of second placed Morton.

Rovers on the other hand are now in seventh place, after two straight defeats in the league, although they are one of just three sides to come out on top against Lee Bullen's men this season, when they last met in September.

Kyle Connell and Sam Stanton gave Rovers a 2-0 half time lead, but they were reined in by Ayr midway through the second period, after goals from Brad Young and Andy Murdoch. However, with both teams pushing for a winner, it was Raith who got it, with a rocket from Scot Brown sealing a 3-2 win.

Rovers have had a poor record at Somerset Park down the years, but they have improved that in recent years, and have lost just once at the ground in their last four visits, with their last win coming in September last year, when goals from Ethon Varian and Dario Zanatta sealed a 2-0 win, in a match which featured three red cards.

Saturday's match referee will be Kevin Clancy.

Head-to-Head Record:

Ayr United wins: 54

Raith Rovers wins: 58

Draws: 50


Rovers ‘all or nothing’ season continues – as does the pink strip hoodoo

This one pretty much went to form for the season: Rovers either win or lose, and Ayr has shown they’ve got the enviable ability to grind out victories. This is why the latter sit top of the league, whereas Rovers sit in 7th and starting to fall adrift of the top four.

Rovers made a couple of changes from last week’s cup win with Liam Dick and Kyle Connell coming back into the team, Ryan Nolan and Sam Stanton dropping to the bench.

The game started with Rovers on the front foot, controlling a lot of possession but struggling to carve out any real goal scoring opportunities. The best early chance fell to Connor O’Riordan but his header from a corner went over the bar.

Next up was Lewis Vaughan, but his shot from outside the box was deflected wide. Ayr threatened next as Kieran Ngwenya was caught in possession on the halfway line, Logan Chalmers charged forward for the hosts and his left-football shot curled just wide with Jamie MacDonald at full stretch.

It wasn’t long before Ayr broke the deadlock – on the 31st minute to be precise. A long ball wasn’t dealt with by O’Riordan and after some clever footwork from Chalmers, his cross was slotted home by Josh Mullin at the back post. Ayr 1-0 Rovers.

Lewis Vaughan sends the ball across goal from the bye-line

Half-time: Ayr Utd 1-0 Raith Rovers

As the hardy travelling Rovers’ fans were expecting a fast start to the second half (becoming a bit of a theme), it never really materialised. The biggest shout probably came from a penalty claim as Vaughan’s cross seemed to hit the arm of the Ayr defender – V.A.R. would probably have given it but this is a technology a long way away from affecting the Scottish Championship.

Albinson gets in before the in-rushing Lewis Vaughan

Ayr then went close with Mullin’s deflected shot looping just wide of MacDonald’s right post. But they didn’t have to wait long to confirm the three points were staying at Somerset. With 20 minutes to go, Rovers again conceded possession on halfway. Ayr stretched the play wide to the right, and after some nice footwork from Dipo Akinyemi, he floated over a cross which was met perfectly by Mullin to head into the bottom corner. Ayr 2-0 Rovers.

The 2nd goal effectively killed the game, and although Rovers made substitutions, a comeback never looked likely.

Disappointing day for Rovers while Ayr stay top of the league as we approach the half-way point in the season.

Full Time: Ayr Utd 2-0 Raith Rovers
Crowd: 2,094

By David Proudfoot





Manager Ian Murray spoke after the game

Live Updates

Welcome to today's Championship game, Ayr United v Raith Rovers at Somerset Park. Weather wise it's dry but cold. Ref is Kevin Clancy supporting him is Dougie Potter and John Stewart
Ayr get the game underway. Raith shooting towards the home section this half
Game in its settling in phase at the moment
Good linking play by Raith there in midfield with Connolly eventually playing the ball to Ngwenya who tries to cross into the box but nothing comes of it
Connell has a shot but there is no power behind it and doesn't trouble Albinson
An Easton freekick gets into the Ayr box but they head clear
Oh dear by Connell as his throw in goes off kilter and Ayr take advantage of the loose ball
Easton gets the ball, he goes upfield but ball is intercepted in the Ayr box
From a Raith corner ball is met by the head of O'Riordan but his effort is wide
Vaughan's through ball to Connell doesn't come to fruition
Ayr try to make a break for it but Spencer is there to intercept
Raith corner after Connolly passes to Vaughan who takes the e ball to the byline
Easton takes it, ball falls into the box, Ayr clear but only as far as Brown who has a shot but his effort is wide
Ayr with a shot now but MacDonald gets down to smother
Freekick Raith deep in their half after a foul on Liam Dick from Akinyemi
So close for Vaughan as the ball is played back from the byline and falls to him. His shot is deflected and ball out for a corner
Vaughan plays the ball tight at the byline he plays it back but Ayr are first to react and clear the danger
Threatening play by Raith there as Brown charges forward with the ball, he passes to Connolly, Ayr intercept ball falls back to Raith but offside is called as the ball is passed
Ayr with a long shot effort as Chalmers has a go but it takes a deflection from MacDonald… Ayr corner
Ayr score
Pass comes from Chalmers and Mullin is there to slot home for Ayr
Vaughan intercepts an Ayr ball but his pass forward is to no one
Ayr with another shot and MacDonald palms away, Raith clear
Freekick Raith just in Ayr half as Easton is fouled
Millen with a lovely ball to Connell but his final effort goes just wide
Ayr on the threat as Aikinyemi passes to Chalmers who has a pop, thankfully ball goes high over the bar
O'Riordan with a timely strong tackle as Dempsey has his eye on charging forward
Brown charges forward but he can't pass to his right so has to play the ball back
Ngwenya does well to stop Mullin from passing the ball into the danger area
Ayr corner as O'Riordan has to get rid as McKenzie presses in his heals
Ref blows for half time Ayr 1 (Mullin 30') Raith 0
Raith get the second half underway… shooting towards their own fans
No half time changes
Free kick Ayr as Connolly fouls Dempsey
O'Riordan clears an Ayr ball planted in the box
Connnell's pass to Vaughan isn't good enough as Raith push forward
Akinyemi makes a low cross into the Raith box but thankfully Ayr don't pounce in the box and the ball shoots through
Ayr fans are screaming for a penalty … Clancy says nah
Vaughan's long cross doesn't make it to Millen
O'Riordan does well to stave off McKenzie as he passes the ball back to MacDonald who thumps the ball clear
Connolly has a shot but McGinty gets in the way
Freekick for Raith which is played quickly by Brown
Connolly plays the ball long to Vaughan who tries to cross it in, ball put out for a Raith corner
Easton this time tries to get the ball into the 6yard again Ayr clear for a Raith corner
Ayr freekick deep in Raith half
Freekick is taken but it's wasted by Ayr as they go for the shot. Doesn't trouble MacDonald who gathers
Mullin has a shot approx 25 yards out, his shot hits the net supports must have taken a deflection on the way as Ayr corner
From a second Ayr corner ball falls to front post but a Raith clear
Raith sub off Easton and bring on Stanton
O'Riordan bundled to the ground in the box, they are looking for the foul but ref has other ideas
Stanton passes to Ngwenya who quickly passes back. Stanton has a pop but it hits off an Ayr player
Booking for Chalmers as he fouls Millen
Good ball from Stanton to Connell but the latters second touch is poor as Ayr intercept
Goal Ayr
Akinyemi gets the ball to Chalmers who scores
Raith sub off Spencer and bring on Gullan
Ayr sub off Chalmers and bring on Mitchell-Lawson
Reading for Ayr has an ambitious shot and as expected ball is wide
Raith make a triple substitution off goes Connolly and on comes Ross, off goes Ngwenya and on comes Nolan and off goes Vaughan and on comes Frederiksen
Connell's cross into the box goes over the byline… goal kick Ayr
Frederikson has a good flick on header but no one there to pick up the ball
Liam Dick heads out for an Ayr corner
Mullin gets the ball into the mix but thankfully MacDonald gathers
Nolan does well to put off Akinyemi
Ayr sub off Akinyemi and bring on Bryden and also sun off McKenzie and bring on Ashford
Ayr sub off Murdoch and bring on Smith and also sub off Ecrepont and bring on Watret
Todays attendance is 2094
Ref blows for full time Ayr 2 (Mullin 30' 69') Raith 0