Ayr United vs. Partick Thistle
Saturday 2nd November 2019. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, bottom-of-the-table Partick Thistle travel to take on Ayr United at Somerset Park in a hotly anticipated Championship match-up. It is the return to Somerset Park of former manager Ian McCall, as he looks to revive the fortunes of the Glasgow side who again find themselves in the wrong half of the Championship table.
United bounced back from three consecutive defeats on Tuesday night with a win against a Morton side that were previously unbeaten at Cappielow this season. Despite a poor sequence of results, with defeats at home to Inverness and Dundee and away to Dunfermline, the Honest Men remain within just three points of league leaders Dundee United, who travel to third place Inverness Caledonian Thistle this weekend.
Opponents: Ian McCall makes a return to the opposition dugout at Somerset Park for the first time since January 2010 – after nearly five years in charge of the Honest Men. The 55-year-old appears to have a big job on his hands at Firhilll, with the Jags remaining at the foot of the table despite picking up six points from a possible 15 since McCall’s arrival.
Both wins have involved late comebacks, at Inverness at Dundee, but Thistle were unable to repeat the feat at Tannadice on Tuesday night, putting in a spirited performance but ultimately being undone by a solitary Lawrence Shankland strike. All of Thistle’s eight league points have been won on the road this season; they’ve lost five out of five at Firhill.
Team News: Frank Ross, Steven Bell, Mark Kerr, Jamie Adams and Andy Murdoch are out with injuries.
Mark says: “After a really good win on Tuesday night we go into the game with confidence and we need to look to gain some momentum again. We have worked hard on what to expect from them and how we feel we can win the game. Ian McCall knows our team very well so we need to be ready for that. There should be a great atmosphere at the game and it is one we are really looking forward to.”
Ayr United: WLLLW
Partick Thistle: WLWLL
Head to head (League):
Ayr United wins – 43
Draws – 28
Partick Thistle wins – 49
Ian McCall’s Honest Men took advantage of an ill-disciplined Partick Thistle performance when the sides met at Firhill in August. Shea Gordon put the Jags 2-1 ahead in the 43rd minute, after Luke McCowan cancelled out Stuart Bannigan’s early penalty, but was sent off just 60 seconds later for a mistimed tackle.
Twenty minutes into the second-half Stuart Bannigan was also shown a red card for a reckless challenge on McCowan and the Honest Men hit back against the 9-men of Thistle, equalising through former Jag Kris Doolan. Stephen Kelly went on the grab the winner with a long range strike.
Last season saw United record three wins at Firhill, including in the group stages of the Betfred Cup. There was one win each at Somerset Park, with Thistle winning on their last trip to Somerset Park in April, Gordon again on the scoresheet.
Referee – William Collum
Assistant Referee 1 – Andrew McWilliam
Assistant Referee 2 – Jonathan Bell
Adults – £18
Concessions (OAPs, students and 18-21) – £12
Under 18s – £6
There are no cash turnstiles at Somerset Park and supporters are encouraged to purchase match tickets in advance of tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off. Tickets can be bought online and printed at home or simply shown on your smartphone at the turnstile.
Cash sales will be available from the Administration Office (home fans) and Lottery Office (away fans) on match day, but long queues can be expected.