Albion Rovers. Ayr United
Premier Sports Cup - Group E
Saturday 10th July 2021. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United kick-off the 2021/22 season with a trip to Coatbridge to face Albion Rovers in the group stage of the Premier Sports Cup. The match is a repeat of last season’s opener which the Honest Men won 5-2 on the way to topping the section.
After securing Championship football for another season back in April, manager David Hopkin has set about refreshing his squad for the new campaign with seven summer signings and four positive pre-season outings have given the squad the opportunity to get up to speed.
Elsewhere in Group E, Edinburgh City - who visit Somerset Park on Tuesday - host Hamilton Academical this evening.
Former United manager Brian Reid led Rovers to seventh in last season’s 22 game League 2 campaign.
While last season’s top goalscorer Matthew Aitken was one of a number of players to depart Cliftonhill in the summer, Reid has strengthened his squad, including with the signing of five players from Stirling Albion: Cammy Binnie, Declan Byrne, Aldin El-Zubaidi, Scott Roberts and David Wilson while Max Wright, formally of Annan Athletic, will provide a goal threat.
Ayr favourite Ryan Stevenson misses the game as he continues his recovery from an Achilles injury.
Rovers finished bottom of the League Cup group stage last season, picking up two points courtesy of a penalty shoot-out win over Stranraer.
Nick McAllister is recovering from an injury sustained during pre season and his recovery is going well and we are hopeful to have him available in the next few weeks. Joe Chalmers and Markus Fjortoft have slight knocks so will miss out tomorrow.
The Manager Says:
Head to Head
Ayr United wins: 55
Albion Rovers wins: 30
United have won five of the six League Cup matches between the sides, Rovers only win coming in a group stage match in 1946.
Last Meeting: There were five goals in just seventeen minutes in the first-half when the sides met at the same stage of the competition last season. Matthew Aitken opened the scoring in the 23rd minute from the penalty spot before goals from Luke McCowan (30) and Tom Walsh (35) gave United the advantage. Aitken again struck to level the scores but Bruce Anderson ensured the Honest Men went into half-time in front.
It was a more comfortable second-half for Ayr with Dario Zanatta and a second for Anderson handing us a 5-2 win. Rovers finished the game with 10 men after Lewis Wilson was sent-off with
Team: Sinisalo; Muirhead, Roscoe, Baird, Murdoch (Hewitt), Miller, Walsh (Zanatta), McCowan (Smith), Chalmers, Moffat (McKenzie), Anderson.
Referee – Grant Irvine
Assistant Referee 1 – Sean Kerr
Assistant Referee 2 – Andrew Craven
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