Ayr United vs. Dundee United
Friday 25th January 2019. Kick-off 7.45pm
Tonight, Friday, Ayr United look to return to form and put last Saturday’s cup shock behind them when Dundee United are the visitors to Somerset Park.
Three draws followed by three defeats mean the Honest Men are without a win in six matches since beating Dundee United at the end of November, however, we remain in touch with Ross County at the top the Championship and a win would see us go back to the top of the table ahead of the Staggies’ game at home to Alloa Athletic.
The visitors have their own incentive to take all three points in front of the BT Sports cameras: a win will see them usurp Ian McCall’s side in second place.
The Opposition: Dundee United come into tonight’s game on the back-to-back victories; a 1-0 home win against Dunfermline in the Championship and a comfortable 4-0 win at Montrose in the Scottish Cup last weekend. Previously, Robbie Neilson’s side had just one win in five league games. That run saw 1-1 draws at Morton and Inverness and a 2-1 win over 10-man Falkirk – in which Aaron Muirhead scored a late penalty for the Bairns – bookended by Ayr’s stunning win at Tannadice eight weeks ago and defeat at the hands of Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park in their final match of 2019.
Saturday saw four new faces in the Dundee United squad, with experienced midfielder Morgaro Gomis, Aiden Nesbitt and former Aberdeen forward Cammy Smith starting; while American midfielder Ian Harkes – son of former USA international John – came off the bench to score the Tangerines’ fourth goal in the final minute.
Ayr United – DDDLL
Dundee United – DWLDW
Team News: Andy Geggan, Alan Forrest, Jamie Adams, Lawrence Shankland and Mark Kerr are all out with injuries.
Ian says: “We have worked extremely hard this week with the huge focus being getting three points tonight and getting back to the top of the league. Obviously we are going through a sticky patch recently but we know we are better than that and can’t wait to get back out there. It is going to be tough, Dundee United have added to their squad and are in good form so we need to get back to our best. And what better time to do that, under the lights on live television at Somerset Park.”
Head to Head (League):
Ayr United wins – 29
Draws – 15
Dundee United wins – 28
Ayr United are undefeated in 8 of 36 league matches against Dundee United at Somerset Park.
Last Match: Dundee United are yet breach Ross Doohan’s goal in the two matches between the sides this season. Lawrence Shankland and Declan McDaid goals ensured the Tangerines left Somerset Park emptyhanded at the start of October, while Shankland netted four at Tannadice at the end of November in a stunning 5-0 win for the Honest Men. Michael Moffat was also on the scoresheet.
On this day: The Honest Men have a 56.26 win percentage on Burns Night. The last fixture to be played on this date was at Stenhousemuir in 2014, in which Alan Forrest cancelled out now-Dundee United forward Paul McMullan’s goal in a 1-1 draw.
Referee – Don Robertson
Assistant Referee 1 – Graeme Stewart
Assistant Referee 2 – Kevin McElhinney
Fourth Official – Barry Cook
Adults – £17
Concession (OAPs, students and 18-21 year olds) – £11
Under 18s – £6