Hibernian match preview

Match Preview
Hibernian vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 11th September 2016

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Edinburgh on league duty for the first time since Boxing Day 1998 to face Scottish Cup holders Hibernian at Easter Road.

Ian McCall’s men climbed to 7th in the Championship table last weekend when they picked up their first league win of the season, beating Greenock Morton 2-1 at Somerset Park and will be hoping to extend a three match unbeaten run.

Hibernian’s season started on 14th July with a Europa League qualifier against Brondby at Easter Road. Neil Lennon’s side have won seven of their nine fixtures this season and boast a 100% record in the league.

Last weekend, Hibs travelled to ‘The Rock’ and earned a narrow victory against Dumbarton, Jason Cummings scoring first-half penalty.
Team News: Craig Moore is out however everyone else is fit.

Ian says:”This is another one of the games we have been looking forward to. It’s a fantastic place to go and play football and there will be a big crowd. We need to be brave and have confidence in ourselves. I am sure we will have a great support there backing us all day.”

The Opposition: Neil Lennon has a wealth of talent to choose from as he attempts to lead Hibs back to the Premiership following their demotion in 2014.

Strikers Grant Holt, who boasts English Premier League experience from his time at Norwich and Aston Villa, and Brian Graham have been added to the squad that beat Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final in May, as has midfielder Graeme Shinnie on loan from Birmingham while Israeli International Ofir Marciano is likely to keep goal.

Head-to-Head (all competitions):
Ayr United wins – 27
Draws – 19
Hibernian wins – 51

Matchstick Men & Matchstick Cats & Dogs by Brian & Michael was top of the music charts when Ayr recorded their last league win over Hibernian, a 2-1 victory at Somerset Park in April 1978. United’s last win at Easter Road was in the quarter-final, second-leg of the league Cup in October 1980. A 2-0 win in the capital secured a 4-2 win on aggregate and a place in the semi-final.

Last meeting: The last five meetings between the sides have all been in cup competitions, most recently in the sixth round of the Scottish Cup in 2012 when Hibs edged past United at Somerset Park with early goals from Roy O’Donovan and Leigh Griffiths from the penalty spot. The following season had seen a 0-0 draw in the same competition at Easter Road before Mark Roberts scored the only goal of the replay to send the Honest Men into the fifth round of the competition and shock the Hibees.

The last league match between Ayr and Hibernian was at home in February 1999. Despite a 5th minute Ian Ferguson penalty, the Easter Road side ran out 3-1 winners with Stevie Crawford bagging a hat-trick.

On this day: in 1974, United were defeated 3-0 away to Birmingham City in the Texaco Cup. The first-leg of the quarter-final tie had ended goalless.

Match Officials:
Referee – Nick Walsh
Assistant Referee 1 – Alan Mulvanny
Assistant Referee 2 – Paul O’Neill

Adults – £22
Concessions – £12