Dunfermline match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Dunfermline Athletic
SPFL Championship
Saturday 7th November 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, United return to Somerset Park with league leaders Dunfermline Athletic the visitors for our latest Championship fixture. The Honest Men looked to be on course for all three points at Cappielow last weekend despite being reduced to 10 men following Aaron
Muirhead’s red card. However, a disastrous five minute spell saw Mark Kerr’s side fall to their first league defeat of the season and a record of four points from a possible nine. Four of our next five games are at home, including next week’s Betfred Cup tie against Stranraer.

Opposition : Dunfermline have started the season strongly with six wins out of six. They are yet to concede a goal in the Betfred Cup, recording wins over Dumbarton, rivals Falkirk and a coronavirus-hit Kilmarnock side. Their league campaign started with a 3-1 win over
Inverness at East End Park and they went one better a week later at Alloa, Kevin O’Hara coming off the bench to score a 23 minute hat-trick.

Last weekend, the Pars saw off Queen of the South at home. Defender Euan Murray netted his fifth goal in six games in the first-half, with Declam McManus doubling the home side’s advantage before the break. Paul Watson’s strike on the hour mark was ultimately the
winner, coming either side of Joe McKee’s goal and a Stephen Dobbie penalty.

Sixteen players left East End Park permanently in the summer, most notably striker Kevin Nesbit who moved to Hibs in a £250,000 transfer after scoring 23 goals in 32 appearances last season. Experienced defender Stephen Whittiker made the opposite journey across to
the Queensferry Crossing and forwards Declan McManus, Kevin O’Hara and Dom Thomas have all contributed this season since joining the club, Thomas’s set piece delivery in particular being a dangerous option for Stevie Crawford’s side.

Team News : Tom Walsh misses out with injury. Aaron Muirhead is suspended. Everyone else is fit and available.

Mark says : “It is another big game for us. We know we should be in a better position than we currently are however we have worked extremely hard to tidy up the areas that have spoiled what have been, in the main, good performances. Dunfermline have had a good start and we need to make sure we deal their threats, especially from set pieces. As frustrated as we have been with Saturdays defeat we must also look at the fact there were so many really good performances and move forward.”

Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 38
Draws – 30
Dunfermline Athletic wins – 58

Four of the last five fixtures between the teams have ended 1-0.

Previous Meeting :
Craig Moore’s first half goal was enough to give the Honest Men all three points in the last meeting between the sides, at East End Park in January. Dunfermline won both of the first two encounters of last season. Kevin Nisbet scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for the Pars at Somerset in December while in October 2019 Stevie Crawford’s side were victorious in a five-goal thriller in Fife. Greg Kilite opened the scoring with Andy Ryan making it 3-2 late on after Lee Ashcroft cancelled out his first-half own goal with a spectacular volley and Alan Forest had put the Honest Men ahead.

On this day : In 1959, Ayr defeated Celtic 3-2 at Celtic Park in Division One.

Match Officials :
Referee – Craig Napier
Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Stevenson
Assistant Referee 2 – Steven Traynor

Streaming:
Non-season tickets holders can purchase a PPV Pass to watch this game for £12.50 by
visiting https://ayrunitedmedia.co.uk/live-streaming