Inverness Caledonian Thistle vs. Ayr United
Saturday 24th October 2020. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United make the long journey north to take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle in their second Championship fixture of the season.
Mark Kerr’s men opened the campaign with a narrow win over Queen of the South at Somerset Park last Saturday; Michael Miller benefiting from the dangerous set-piece delivery of former-Inverness man Joe Chalmers to net twice against the Doonhamers, ensuring the Honest Men kicked off with a league win for the fourth consecutive season.
United head north boosted by the additions of forwards Cammy Smith and Innes Cameron.
Opposition: After taking two points from their opening two Betfred Cup games, Inverness started their league campaign with a defeat at the hands of Dunfermline last weekend. Despite taking a second minute lead through Bulgarian forward Nikolay Todorov, the Pars responded with three goals to send John Robertson’s side home empty-handed.
Robertson was without a number of first-teamers for the trip to Fife, with Lewis Toshney, David Carson, Kai Kennedy, Aaron Doran, Shane Sutherland and Miles Storey all unavailable. There was further injury woe for Caley Thistle when goalscorer Todorov was forced off after 20 minutes following a collision.
While important players in the shape of Shaun Rooney, Carl Tremarco, Charlie Trafford and Jordan White – a regular thorn in United’s side during his time at Inverness – departed the Caledonian Stadium in the summer, Robbie Deas (Celtic), Danny Devine (Dunfermline Athletic), Wallace Duffy (St. Johnstone) have all joined to bolster the defensive line for a club that will again be looking to finish in the play-off positions.
Team News: Cammy Smith and Innes Cameron are added to the squad. Tom Walsh misses out through injury. Luke McCowan is suspended.
Mark says: “We have watched the Dunfermline Inverness game from last weekend and Inverness were in control for most of the match but lost goals at crucial times. They are very good at stretching the game and we know from recent seasons that it is always a very hard place to go. We go there with confidence. We have had a good weeks training with a week between matches and also a couple of new faces into the squad.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 8
Draws – 12
Inverness wins – 18
The Honest Men have just one win in 18 matches at the Caledonian Stadium. That win came in January 2003 and since then it has been five draws and four defeats under the shadow of the Kessock Bridge.
Previous Meeting: United’s victory over Caley Thistle last time out ended a eight-match streak without a win over the Highlanders. Stephen Kelly’s 61st minute goal was enough to give Mark Kerr’s men all three points at Somerset Park in January. Inverness won both the two earlier encounters last season 2-0.
Referee – Alan Muir
Assistant Referee 1 – John McCrossan
Assistant Referee 2 – George King
Saturday’s game can be streamed on the SPFL’s Match Centre website. Register for an account and buy the match for £10 at: https://matchcentre.spfl.co.uk/subscribe