Albion Rovers vs. Ayr United
Betfred Cup – Group E
Saturday 21st July July 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Coatbridge to take on Albion Rovers in both sides’ second fixture in Group E of the Betfred Cup. Ian McCall’s side will be looking to build on last week’s strong showing against Greenock Morton at Somerset Park and double their points tally with a win.
After sitting out on Saturday, Albion Rovers kicked off their Betfred Cup campaign on Tuesday night at Ochilview, where they went down to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Stenhousemuir, all four goals coming in the second-half. The Warriors’ comprehensive victory coupled with Partick Thistle’s 2-1 win over Morton at Firhill has pushed the Honest Men down to third position in the standings.
Relegation from League 1 last season saw the departure of manager Brian Kerr who has been replaced by John Brogan. Brogan enjoyed success as manager of Stirling Albion in the early 90s before an extended period in Junior football with the likes of Blantyre Victoria, East Kilbride Thistle, Yoker and most recently Wishaw Juniors.
Alan Trouten and Scott McLaughlin headed up a long list of senior players who left the club in the summer, with long-serving defender Alan Reid, defenders Jason Marr and Ross Perry and midfielder Graeme Holmes also moving on. Bogan’s recruitment has primarily been from the Junior ranks, and includes defender Alan Murdoch who began his career at Ayr United, albeit without making a first-team appearance.
Team News: Michael Rose and Mark Kerr have picked up slight knocks and will both start on the bench. Ross Docherty and Chris Higgins are still out.
Ian says: “Obviously we were delighted with the first game last weekend. It was an all round excellent performance. I said from the start we will use these games to make sure we get as many boys game time as we can hence there being a few changes today. To be honest it is difficult to leave anyone out at the moment with the way pre season training has gone and no matter who starts we are going to have a very strong starting 11.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 50
Draws – 12
Albion Rovers wins – 30
The two clubs have met four times previously in the League Cup. In 1946 they were paired together in Group 8, sharing a remarkable 16 goals over the two games. Rovers won 5-4 at Cliftonhill but lost 4-3 at Somerset Park. It was more straightforward for the Honest Men in 1953, with 4-1 away win followed up with a 3-0 win at home.
The last meeting between the sides was of course the final day of last season in what proved to be a day of hugely contrasting emotions. Goals from Craig Moore and Declan McDaid gave the Honest Men a routine 2-0 victory with results elsewhere handing United the League 1 title and promotion to the Chmapionship but condemning Albion Rovers to relegation to League 2.
With 3-2 and 5-1 wins at Cliftonhill, United won all four meetings with Albion Rovers last season scoring 13 goals, of which Craig Moore hit six.
Since the League Cup group stage was reintroduced in 2016, United have won 8 of their 9 games, scoring 23 goals.
Referee – Mike Roncone
Assistant Referee 1 – Gary Hilland
Assistant Referee 2 – Jonathan Gall
Adults – £12
Concessions – £6
U12s (with adult) – £3