Ayr United vs. Dundee United
Saturday 20th August 2016. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United travel to the City of Discovery to face Dundee United looking pick up their first points of the Championship season in what is a first league meeting between the sides for 39 years.
For manager Ian McCall, it is a first return to the club he managed between 2003 and 2005, while Ayr new-boy Gary Harkins is sure to receive a warm reception – his last game for Dundee was against Dundee United and saw United’s relegation from the Premiership confirmed at Dens Park.
Dundee United suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday at Dumbarton and have one point from their opening two league fixtures after a draw at home Queen of the South on the opening day of the league campaign. The Terrors, however, made easy work of their League Cup section, recording home wins against Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline and bonus points on the road at Arbroath and Inverness to set up a home tie against Partick Thistle which they eased through with a 3-1 win.
Team News: Craig Moore is still unavailable with the concussion he received against St Mirren.
Ian says:”This is the reason we got promoted to come to places like Tannadice. It is one to be enjoyed and we are really looking forward to testing ourselves against a quality side. It is up to the players now to justify the faith that we have put in them and we are certainly going to have to be tighter and eradicate the mistakes we have made in defensive areas. I am sure we will have fantastic backing from our supporters and we will do everything we can to give them something to shout about.”
The Opposition: Former Lochee United and Brechin City manager Ray McKinnon was appointed Dundee United manager in May after a successful season in charge of Raith Rovers in which he guided the Kirkcaldy club to fourth place in the Championship. McKinnon – who started his playing career with the Tannadice club – took over from Mixu Paatelainen and will be looking to ensure United’s first spell outside Scottish football’s top flight for 20 years is a brief one.
Nineteen players departed the club along with Paatelainen in the summer and among McKinnon’s recruits are goalkeeper Cammy Bell, former Kilmarnock winger Tope Obadeyi and veteran midfielder Willo Flood. Aberdeen winger Cammy Smith kick started his loan spell from the Dons with a 20-minute hat-trick against Partick Thistle in the Betfred Cup.
Ayr United wins – 34
Draws – 18
Dundee United wins – 38
Ayr’s last win at Tannadice was April 1977, the same day that ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ by ABBA went to number one in the music charts.
Last meeting: The last meeting between Ayr United and Dundee United was in the Scottish Cup in 2002. After a 2-2 draw at Tannadice which saw an early David Winters goal for the home side cancelled out by Scott Crabbe and Pat McGinlay’s second-half equaliser, the Honest Men shocked their Premier League opponents with a 2-0 win in the replay at Somerset Park. Goals from Scott Crabbe and Paul Sheerin set up a Hampden Park semi-final against Celtic.
On this Day: in 1977, Ayr defeated Celtic 2-1 at Somerset Park. A second-half double by Walker McCall saw United, wearing an unfamiliar red kit, earn a famous victory.
Referee – Greg Aitken
Assistant Referee 1 – Frank Connor
Assistant Referee 2 – David Dunne
£20 – Adults
£10 – Concessions – 65+/U18/Students (in full time education with valid matriculation card)/ Ambulant and Wheelchair (with carer free)
Dundee United are able to accommodate approximately 6 away Wheelchair Users in the West Stand (Shed). Due to a steep hill it is better for away Wheelchair Users to access the West Stand from Sandeman Street rather than Tannadice Street
For Away fans who are registered as Ambulant with mobility issues, they are best to enter through Gate K on Tannadice Street and will gain access to the West stand from the bottom.