Ayr United vs. Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Friday 7th December 2018. Kick-off 7.45pm
Tonight/Tomorrow night (Friday), top of the table Ayr United welcome Inverness Caledonian Thistle and the BT Sport cameras to Somerset Park as we look to build on last Friday’s stunning 5-0 win over Dundee United.
Lawrence Shankland’s four goal haul at Tannadice – taking his tally to 26 in 23 games this season – headed up a superb team performance which saw United keep a 15th clean sheet of the season and extend our unbeaten run to seven matches.
Again, only a win will guarantee Ian McCall’s men hold on to top spot in the Championship this weekend, with Ross County – two points behind the Honest Men – at home to Queen of the South on Saturday.
The Opposition: Inverness bounced back from their first league defeat since March with a convincing 6-1 win over Edinburgh City on Tuesday night in a Scottish Cup third round replay. Jordan White helped himself to a hat-trick against the League 2 leaders, after Blair Henderson cancelled out Tom Walsh’s opener. Walsh with a second goal and Aaron Cogan Doran completed a comfortable night for the Caley Jags.
Falkirk lifted themselves off the foot of the table last weekend with a dramatic last minute winner at the Caledonian Stadium, a victory that ended Inverness’s long unbeaten run. Tom Walsh struck in the 6th minute for the home side only for a Zak Rudden double to give the Bairns the lead at half-time. George Oakley equalised on the hour mark but Scott Harrison scored in the 90th minute give Falkirk all three points.
Inverness have been the Championship’s draw specialists this season, with no fewer than 10 of their 15 games this season finishing all square. Amongst all those draws, John Robertson’s men have just two league wins since the start of September, both coming against bottoms side Partick Thistle. Caley lie in fourth position in the league table, just a point ahead of fifth place Queen of the South.
Form Guide (League):
Ayr United – WWDDW
Inverness – DDWDL
Team News: Alan Forrest, Mark Kerr and Jamie Adams are unavailable through injury.
Ian says: “Last week was fantastic but that is over now and we have had a greats week training in preparation for tomorrow night. Every game feels like a big game just now and of course every game is tough so we need to keep picking up points. Our record at Somerset is good this season and teams are starting to play differently against us so we need to be prepared for that and it is really important that our fans stay patient. Our fans can go behind both ends tomorrow so hopefully that means a big atmosphere all game!
Head to Head:
Ayr United wins – 7
Draws – 11
Inverness wins – 12
United are without a win in the last 9 league meetings between the sides, stretching back to April 2013.
Last Match: Ayr United left the Highland capital in August frustrated not to take all three points despite having full back Daniel Harvie sent-off for two bookable offences and playing for over an hour with 10 men. The game ended goalless.
On this date: in 2002, Ayr and Inverness were involved in a six-goal thriller at Somerset Park. The Honest Men were 3-0 up thanks to goals from Scott Chaplain, Eddie Annand and Paul Lovering but the visitors fought back with goals from Bobby Mann, Paul Ritchie and Dennis Wyness. James Grady and Russell Duncan were then sent-off as both sides played out the final 15 minutes with 10 men.
Referee – Craig Thomson
Assistant Referee 1 – Paul O’Neill
Assistant Referee 2 – Kevin McElhinney
Fourth Official – David Dickenson
Adults – £17
Concessions – £11 (65+, 18-21, Student)
Under 18s – £6
Due to the match being televised on Friday night, most of the car park’s capacity will be taken up with BT Sports production trucks. This, therefore, will have an impact on how many spaces will be available. Priority will be given to Blue Badge holders, Staff and Officials. Unfortunately, on this occasion we will be unable to accommodate Car Park Passes.
Due to damage to the Somerset Road end turnstiles, home fans will enter through turnstiles 2, 3 and 5 at the Railway End. From here you will be able to transfer from one end to the other for the match. Entry to the North Terrace and Main Stand remain unchanged. Please arrive in plenty of time as this area may become congested.
All fans are respectfully requested to conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring the Club and its supporters into disrepute and adhere to the Ground Regulations. Please visit ayrunitedfc.co.uk for information on Unacceptable Conduct. Supporters are advised to remain within the stand and to refrain from entering trackside or the field of play. Searches will be carried out at the turnstiles for any controlled containers and pyrotechnics. Under the Sporting Events Act 1985, being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence (see below). Any person committing such an offence will face immediate ejection, arrest and a life time ban from the Club. Surfing flags are not permitted. Ayr United would like to thank all supporters for their co-operation and continued backing of the team.
Notice from Police Scotland:
Supporter safety is a key priority for all Clubs, we at Ayr United are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the match day experience is safe and enjoyable. One of the most dangerous things we have to deal with is pyrotechnic articles such as smoke bombs and flares in the stadium and we’d ask that you assist us to look after you by not bringing such articles with you to matches. These articles can cause severe burns, damage to hearing or breathing difficulties and their use is especially distressing for groups such as small children and those who can’t easily move away when pyrotechnics are activated. Experience shows that when a pyrotechnic is activated in a crowd there is often a movement away from the immediate area which can cause panic and disorientation, and which creates a risk of slips and trips or crushing for those nearby. Please be in no doubt that these articles are unpleasant and potentially life-threatening to be around – they are also illegal at football matches – and being caught with them will result in exclusion from Ayr United] as well as a possible criminal conviction.