Alloa Athletic vs. Ayr United
Saturday 29th February 2020. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s disappointing defeat at home to Morton when they travel to face Alloa Athletic at the Indodrill Stadium. The Honest Men burned one of their games in hand in the battle of second place and now trail Inverness – who are in Scottish Cup action this weekend – by four points. With a clutch of teams hoping to make the promotion play-offs, three points would set Mark Kerr’s side up nicely for the visit of champions elect Dundee United on Tuesday and a double-header against their city rivals Dundee, who currently have a one point advantage over the Honest Men and face Arbroath this weekend at Dens.
Opponents: Alloa are one the the Championship’s form sides and are unbeaten in their last five matches. Peter Grant’s men are outside the relegation places and boast a four point advantage over bottom side Partick Thistle.
Last weekend saw the Wasps come back from a two goal deficit at Cappielow to draw 4-4 with Greenock Morton. Ton took a two goal advantage into the break despite Alan Trouten and Kevin Cawley’s first-half goals for Alloa; late goals from Kevin O’Hara and Robbie Deas meant a share of the spoils in Inverclyde.
With keeper Neil Parry still on the sidelines and Jamie MacDonald having returned to parent club Kilmarnock, Alloa have brought in 19-year-old keeper Keiran Wright on loan from Rangers. Also joining the Wasps in January were Scotland U19 midfielder Scott Banks, who returns to Scotland on loan after signing a three-year deal with Crystal Palace following his switch from Dundee United plus Hibs U20 defender Ben Stirling.
Team News: Andy Murdoch, Craig Moore, Andy Geggan and Ross Docherty are out with injuries. Aaron Muirhead returns to the squad after suspension.
Mark says: “Tuesday was disappointing both in terms of result and the performance. In the first half we were in control and had scored a good goal then poor defending allowed them to get back in the game out of nothing. The second half we never really got into our rhythm but all that said we did get into some good areas and had chances. Defensively we need to improve and stop conceding cheap goals. The positive is that we have another game very quickly and we go to an Alloa side in excellent form. We know what their pitch is like and we have prepared well and are looking forward to getting back out there and gaining some momentum.”
Ayr United: LWWDL
Alloa Athletic: WWDDD
Head to head (League):
Ayr United wins – 61
Draws – 24
Alloa Athletic wins – 27
United have won five of the last six meetings between the sides since both clubs were promoted to the Championship in 2018.
Previous Meeting: United put in one of their best performances of the season at the Indodrill stadium in the first meeting between the sides in September. Alan Forrest opened the scoring in the 10th minute from the penalty spot after on-loan Kilmarnock keeper Jamie MacDonald felled Micheal Moffat. Sam Roscoe headed home a Stephen Kelly corner just three minutes later and United made it 3-0 in the 19th minute through Luke McCowan. Forrest’s second goal of the game just after the half-hour made it 4-0. Kevin O’Hara grabbed a consolation goal in the 61st minute but the Wasps were well beaten.
The return fixture at Somerset Park in December was a closer encounter but also saw the Honest Men grab too early goals. A Ross Docherty double within the first 12 minutes was enough to give us all three points despite Kevin O’Hara’s second-half counter.
Referee – Greg Aitken
Assistant Referee 1 – Gordon Crawford
Assistant Referee 2 – Gary Hanvidge
Adults – £18
Senior Citizens (Over 65) – £10
Juveniles (Under 16) – £4