Ayr United vs. Dundee
Friday 25th October 2019. Kick-off 7.05pm
Tonight (Friday), a new era commences at Somerset Park with Mark Kerr’s first game in charge. Dundee make the journey south with United looking to put back-to-back defeats behind them with a victory that would see them go three points clear at the top of the table ahead of Saturday’s fixtures.
At 35, Dundee manager James McPake is the youngest in the SPFL and has been tasked with leading the Dark Blues back to the Premiership at the first attempt after their relegation last season.
McPake’s side travel to Ayrshire following a disappointing defeat at home to Partick Thistle last weekend. Dundee led going into the final stages of the game after Paul McGowan’s opener on the occasion of his 200th appearance for the club but goals in the 85th, 88th and 90th minute gave Thistle a 3-1 victory in the City of Discovery. That result leaves them 5th place in the table on 12 points.
Tonight’s match could see two on loan Celtic goalkeepers take the field, with Dundee making the emergency loan signing of Conor Hazard yesterday after no. 1 Jack Hamilton was forced to undergo surgery. 21-year-old Hazard, who has one cap for Northern Ireland, has previous experience following loan spells Falkirk and Partick Thistle.
Team News: Frank Ross, Jamie Adams, Steven Bell, Mark Kerr and Andy Murdoch miss out with injuries.
Mark says: “It has been a quick week after getting the news on Monday night however training on Wednesday and Thursday was top class and the boys were raring to go. We have an opportunity to get points on the board before anyone else plays this weekend and we want to get to the top of the league after missing chances the last couple of weeks. Dundee are one of the favourites for the title so we know how difficult it will be but we have the players capable of winning us this match. Hopefully there is a great atmosphere under the lights as it makes a huge difference.”
Ayr United: WWWLL
Head to head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 19
Draws – 13
Dundee wins – 20
United have just one league win over Dundee in the last 14 meetings between the sides, stretching back to February 1995. That win came in the last head-to-head played at Somerset Park.
United lost the first match-up between the sides this season, at Dens Park in August. Substitute Andrew Nelson’s second-half strike for the Dee was the only goal of a hard fought game from which the Honest Men were unlucky to come away empty-handed.
Our last league win over Dundee came at Somerset Park in April 2012. Despite losing John Robertson and Adam Dodd to injury and a Ryan Conroy goal within the first 20 minutes of the game, United fought back to equalise in the 61st minute with a Keigan Parker free-kick. Steven Milne’s header put Dundee back in front in the 70th minute but Ayr went on to win the game and avoid automatic relegation with a spectacular Parker overhead kick and Ross Robertson goal in the last six minutes of the game.
Ayr United: Cuthbert; Tiffoney, Dodd (Longridge), J. Robertson (Hutchinson (R. Robertson), Smith; Geggan, Tomsett, Trouten, Moffat; Parker, Roberts
Dundee: Douglas, Irvine (McIntosh), Lockwood, McKeown, Weston, K Benedictus, McBride, O’Donnell, Riley, Conroy, Milne.
Referee – Bobby Madden
Assistant Referee 1 – Alan Mulvanny
Assistant Referee 2 – David Dunne
Fourth Official – Chris Fordyce
Adult – £18
Concessions – £12 (Over 65’s / Students / 18-21 / Wheelchair Users / Certified Ambulant)
U18’s – £6
Supporters are urged to purchase their tickets in advance.