Ayr United vs. Arbroath
Saturday 30th November 2019. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, after 21 longs days, Ayr United return to action when Arbroath are the visitors to Somerset Park. The international break and Scottish Cup weekend left the Honest Men kicking their heels for three weeks since a disappointing second-half performance and defeat at the hands of Queen of the South. Mark Kerr’s side will therefore be raring to go for the first of a home double header; Dunfermline Athletic travel to Somerset Park on Tuesday night.
Alongside Ayr, the Pars are the only side not to be in league action since our trip to Dumfries. Results in the interim see the Honest Men remain in second place in the table, nine points behind leaders Dundee United and a point ahead of third place Inverness with a game in hand.
Opponents: Arbroath required a late equaliser and replay to overcome Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup this week. An 84th minute Micheal McKenna saved The Red Lichties blushes at Beachwood Park last Saturday but the Ayrshire Junior side were comfortably dispatched in Wednesday night’s replay at Gayfield, with McKenna, Bobby Linn and Scott Stewart on the score sheet in a 3-0 win that sets up a fourth round tie at home to Falkirk.
Arbroath’s best performances of late have come at home; Dick Campbell’s side have lost Championship fixtures at Greenock Morton and Dunfermline since their last away win, a 3-1 victory over bottom-of-the-league Partick Thistle at Firhill in October. An otherwise strong start to life in the Championship sees the Red Lichties in fifth place, one point outside the promotion play-off spots and just four points behind United.
Team News: Player-manager Mark Kerr and Steven Bell have recovered from injury and are available for selection but Kris Doolan misses out with an ankle knock. Long-term absentees Jamie Adams and Andy Murdoch remain on the sidelines. Luke McCowan is suspended
Mark says: “It is great to get back into it after so long without a game. In a lot of ways it has been a good thing as we knew that break would help us get some players back which it has done and we now have a stronger looking bench. We need to build momentum again and we have a great opportunity to do that with back to back games at home on Saturday and Tuesday. Arbroath have done very well this season which is absolutely no surprise so it will be extremely tough for us however it is a home game and we must look to take the 3 points.”
Ayr United: LLWWL
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 56
Draws – 20
Arbroath wins – 28
Arbroath won both league meetings between the sides at Somerset Park the season Ayr were promoted from League 1 – despite United taking the lead in both games.
The Honest Men were comfortable winners over Arbroath in the first meeting of the season between the two clubs. An Alan Forrest double and Stephen Kelly strike completed the scoring within the first 27 minutes at Gayfield, United’s first match under the interim management of Sandy Stewart and Mark Kerr following Ian McCall’s departure.
Referee – Colin Steven
Assistant Referee 1 – Michael Banks
Assistant Referee 2 – Gary Hanvidge
Adult – £18
Concessions – £12 (Over 65s / Students / 18-21 / Wheelchair Users / Certified Ambulant)
U18’s – £6
Supporters are encouraged to purchase their tickets online in advance of kick-off to avoid queuing on matchday.