Match Preview Ayr United vs. Aberdeen
Betfred Cup Second-Round Wednesday 10th August 2016. Kick-off 7.45pm
Tonight, Ayr United welcome Aberdeen to Somerset Park with a place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup at stake. United were defeated in their league opener at home to Raith Rovers at the weekend but already have one victory over top flight opponents to their name this season and will be looking to shock the side who have finished runners-up in the Premiership in the last two seasons.
Aberdeen kicked-off their Premiership season with a goalless draw away to St. Johnstone on Sunday. The match followed a six-game Europa League qualifying campaign which started at the end of June and saw them overcome Luxembourgian and Latvian opposition before exiting the competition in controversial fashion at the hands of Maribor in Slovenia last Thursday.
Extra-time will be played if the sides cannot be separated after 90 minutes, with kicks from the penalty spot also a possibility.
Team News: Ross Docherty is suspended. Craig Moore is still out with the head knock sustained against St Mirren.
Ian says:”We are clear underdogs for tonight which is a good thing in this game. Aberdeen were the clear 2nd best team in the country last season and will be looking to improve again this season so we know what we are up against. They have pace all over the pitch and are big and strong. We won’t get many chances today so it is crucial that we take any chances we do get, that’s something we have been working on is I feel that we miss too many chances at crucial points of games.
The Opposition: Derek McInnes, Aberdeen boss since March 2013, after taking over from former Scotland manager Craig Brown, has strengthened his squad at either end of the pitch over the summer, recruiting goalkeepers Joe Lewis from Cardiff, Hearts veteran Neil Alexander in addition to strikers Jayden Stockley (from Bournemouth) and Miles Storey, who spent last year at loan with Inverness.
Key men Niall McGinn and Adam Rooney were rested from Sunday’s trip to Perth but both came off the bench in the second-half. Rooney netted 20 goals in 35 appearance for the Dons last season while McGinn was a star performer for Northern Ireland in the European Championships, netting against Ukraine in Lyon.
19-year old centre-back Scott McKenna, who played an important role in Ayr avoiding relegation to League 2 during his loan spell at Somerset Park, is a regular in Aberdeen’s matchday squad.
Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park): Ayr United wins – 13 Draws – 16 Aberdeen wins – 11
Ayr United and Aberdeen have been infrequent opponents in recent years, with tonight’s fixture just the third meeting between the sides since 1979. Aberdeen’s first win at Somerset Park came at the 16th attempt, back in 1933. The Honest Men will be thankfully not to be making the journey north tonight – have have just three win in 45 games away to the Dons.
The last meeting between Ayr United and Aberdeen was at the same stage of the League Cup in 2008. The only goal of the game came five minutes before half-time when Chris Maguire squeezed home a close-range shot from a deep Charlie Mulgrew cross. Andrew Considine is the only member of both match day squads not to have moved on.
Referee – Alan Muir
Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Stevenson
Assistant Referee 2 – Stuart Hodge
Fourth Official – Alan Newlands
Adults – £17
O.A.Ps & Students – £10
U16s – £5