Dundee vs. Ayr United
Saturday 10th August 2019. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United make the first of four trips to the City of Discovery this season where we will face Dundee at Dens Park.
The Honest Men started their second season in the Championship with a comprehensive 4-2 win over Greenock Morton last weekend. Goals from Michael Moffat, Luke McCowan and Alan Forrest put United three-up with the Ton’s two second-half goals briefly signalling a comeback before Craig McGuffie concluded the scoring.
Opponents: Former Livingston and Hibernian defender James McPake is the man charged with leading Dundee back to the Premiership after their relegation last season. The 35-year-old – forced to retire from playing last year due to a serious knee injury – takes over from Jim McIntyre who was unable to steer the Dark Blues to safety after a five year stint in the top flight.
Dundee progressed to last sixteen of the Betfred Cup without conceding a goal in the Group stages. After opening up with a 3-0 over Raith Rovers; McPake’s side were held to goalless draws at Cove Rangers and at home to Peterhead, winning the subsequent penalty shoot-out on both occasions, before edging out Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1-0 in the decisive fixture. They opened up their league campaign at Dunfermline last Friday night, coming back from two goals down to grab a point, both goals coming from the penalty spot.
The Dee were given a boost yesterday with the signing of striker Kane Hemmings from Notts County. The former Rangers youth, who shot to prominence with Cowdenbeath, scored 28 goals in 44 games for Dundee in his first spell with the club before moving to Oxford United in 2016 in a deal reportedly worth £250,000. Hemmings supplements attacking options which include former Ayr United winger Declan McDaid and Danny Johnson, signed from Motherwell during the summer. Shaun Byrne, a key figure in Livingston’s promotion to the Premiership, is also a new addition in the centre of midfield.
Team News: Aaron Muirhead serves the second game of a two match ban. Craig Moore and Frank Ross remain sidelined with injury.
Ian says: “We were delighted to start the league season with a win and even more so to do it with such a good performance. It was great to have 4 different scorers and there is plenty of confidence around the team. Dundee will expect to be vying for the title this season so we know how difficult a task this is but we are approaching this game the same way we do every game, to go there and win.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 28
Draws – 24
Dundee wins – 59
It is over 38 years since United’s last league win at Den Park, a 4-2 win in January 1981. The Honest Men have faced the Dark Blues in Dundee on league duty on 12 occasions since then, drawing 5 times.
United romped to a well-deserved 3-0 win in the Betfred Cup at Dens Park last season. A Lawrence Shankand double and Michael Moffat strike punctuated an outstanding performance from the Honest Men against their then Premiership opponents, who finished the game with nine men after frustration got the better of second-half substitute Sofien Moussa and midfielder Genseric Kusunga.
Team: Doohan, Geggan, Adams, Rose, Harvie, Forrest (McDaid 74), Murdoch, Kerr, Crawford, Shankland (Moore 90), Moffat
Referee – Alan Newlands
Assistant Referee 1 – Graeme Stewart
Assistant Referee 2 – Steven Traynor
Adults – £24
Concessions – £16
Under 18s – £10