Ayr United vs. Dundee United
Saturday 6th October 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Championship leaders Ayr United take on Dundee United at Somerset Park. Ian McCall’s side come into the game on the back of three consecutive league wins and showed no ill-effect after exiting the quarter-finals of the League Cup at Ibrox, with four second-half goals in a stunning 5-1 win away to Greenock Morton last weekend.
Opponents: While Ayr United were running up a superb victory at Cappielow, Dundee United were on the reverse of the same 5-1 scoreline at home to Ross County. Slovakian striker Pavol Safranko’s 17th minute strike cancelled out Billy Mckay’s opener for the Staggies but that was as good as it got from the Terrors as Mckay went go on to complete a hat-trick in County’s comfortable victory. Matters were compounded when Stewart Murdoch’s second-half substitute appearance was brought to an end after just three minutes as he was shown a straight red card by referee John Beaton for an apparent stamp.
The result signalled the end of Csaba László’s tenure as manager at Tannadice. The Hungarian took over from Ray McKinnon in September 2017 and led the team to a third place finish in the Championship last season, however, their promotion hopes were ended by Livingston in the play-offs at the semi-final stage. The former Hearts manager leaves the Tangerines in fifth place in the table, five points behind the Honest Men, with three wins, two draws and two defeats from seven, both defeats coming at Tannadice.
Laurie Ellis will take the team at Somerset Park, the former Raith Rovers defender having acted as assistant to both László and his predecessor Ray McKinnon. Ellis’ previous stint as caretaker saw them record wins at Dumbarton and home to eventual Champions St. Mirren and he will be looking to continue that run – and close the gap at the top of the table.
Team News: Michael Rose and Chris Higgins miss out through injury.
Ian says: “These are the kind of games that you want to get promoted for. Dundee United are a huge club and will bring a good support. We have won our last 3 league games and in this league those kind of runs of form will be completely invaluable. We have momentum and we want to keep that going and again we know we are going to have to be at our best.”
Head to head (League):
Ayr United wins – 27
Draws – 15
Dundee United wins – 28
Dundee Hibernian, who become Dundee United in 1923, gained entry to the Scottish Second Division in 1910 following the amalgamation of Ayr FC and Parkhouse to create Ayr United. The first league meeting between the two new sides was at Somerset Park in November 1910 when the crimson and gold hooped shirts of the home side beat the visitors, in green shirts and white shorts, 3-0.
Last Meeting: There were four league encounters between the sides during season 2016/17, with a 0-0 draw at Somerset Park in April 2017 the most recent of those matches. Dundee United’s earlier visit to Ayrshire that season saw them return to Tayside with a narrow 1-0 victory, Tope Obadeyi scoring an early breakaway goal.
Referee – Greg Aitken
Assistant Referee 1 – David Doig
Assistant Referee 2 – Alan Grainger
Adults – £17
Concessions (OAPs, 18-21 year olds & students) – £11
Under 18s – £6