Ayr United vs. Falkirk
Betfred Cup Group G
Saturday 20th July 2019. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United return to Somerset Park for our first home game of the season, with Falkirk the visitors in Group G of the Betfred Cup.
A narrow defeat at Livingston on Tuesday night means The Honest Men are in third place in the group table, a point behind the Bairns. It’s a must win for United to have any realistic chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.
It has been a busy summer at the Falkirk Stadium as Ray McKinnon looks to ensure the Bairns stint in League 1 is just a brief one after their shock relegation from the Championship last season. Twenty-two players have departed the Falkirk Stadium since May, with the Bairns opening match of the Betfred Cup campaign featuring no fewer than eight debutants in the starting XI.
Former Kilmarnock, Derby County and Hearts striker Conor Sammon was on the scoresheet on match day 1 when Falkirk and Livingston ended all square at the end of 90 minutes but it was the Lions who added the bonus point with a shootout win.
Another new signing, Declan McManus, scored nine minutes in his Falkirk debut on Tuesday night at home to Stranraer in a 1-0 for the Bairns.
Team News: Jamie Adams and Craig Moore are out with injuries.
Ian says: Tuesday was a great test for us, it gave us plenty of food for thought in terms of the way we can play at certain times. Livingston are a big strong side and had a good first half but once we got a grip on the game I thought we were superb. Saturday will be another big test, Falkirk are in League One but they are a Championship team in all but name. We have a great record in this cup and we want that to continue. Hopefully we get a good crowd for our first game at Somerset.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 50
Draws – 33
Falkirk wins – 59
There have been seven meetings between the sides in the League Cup – with four of them ending all square. The most recent League Cup tie between the Honest Men and the Bairns was in September 2002 at Somerset Park and saw the visitors record their only win of the series; Lee Miller and Collin Samuel scoring for a side featuring Mark Kerr in midfield.
Jordan McGhee scored twice in the first-half the last time the two sides met, at the Falkirk Stadium in March. The Bairns were also winners at Somerset Park in January with Zak Rudden scoring the only goal of the game. United won the first two league encounters of last season.
Referee – Barry Cook
Assistant Referee 1 – Daniel McFarlane
Assistant Referee 2 – Colin McAlpine
Adults – £12
Concessions – £6
(OAPs, students and under 21s)
Under 12s – Free
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