Q of S match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Queen of the South
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 22nd October 2016

On form Ayr United begin the second quarter of the Championship season at home to Queen of the South on Saturday. Ian McCall’s men go into the game buoyed by their biggest win of the season at Dumbarton last weekend, and a third consecutive clean sheet, which cemented the Honest Men in seventh place in the table. United have lost just one of their last eight games.

Queen of the South were on the wrong end of a shock 5-0 defeat at home to Morton last Saturday, a result which ended an eight-game unbeaten league run and saw the Doonhamers knocked off top spot by Hibernian, albeit only on goal difference.

Gavin Skelton’s side are in fact without a goal in regulation time in their last five games, a run which includes a 5-0 defeat in the League Cup against Rangers, goalless draws at home to Hibs and away to Dumbarton and a 2-0 extra-time win over Northern Irish champions Linfield.

Team News: Craig Moore is out and Jamie Adams is doubtful.

Ian says: “In our second league match we went to Queen of the South and lost 4-1 and although I didn’t think the margin should have been as wide they still deserved to win. There is no question that we have improved since then and the boys are confident right now and you can see it in the way that they are playing. Some of the players have really stepped up to the plate in recent weeks and we are just looking to keep this run going. Queens lost 5-0 last week so they will be hurting and out to make up for that bad result so its going to be an extremely difficult game. Jamie Thomas has gone back to Burnley, we just felt that Craig McGuffie has improved faster than we expected and it meant that game time for Jamie would most likely be limited so we both agreed it would be best for him to go back to Burnley. I would like to thank him for his efforts while here, he’s a great boy and will have a good future in the game ahead of him.”

The Opposition: Winger Danny Carmichael has rejoined his hometown team since our last meeting with Queen of the South, after a disappointing season with Hibernian in which he only made nine appearances in an injury hit spell in the capital. Carmichael played 184 games for the Doonhamers but was unable to make his second debut against Morton last Saturday. Captain Chris Higgins, Derek Lyle and Dale Hilson also missed the defeat due to injury.

Head-to-Head (all competitions):
Ayr United wins – 36
Draws – 14
Queen of the South wins – 35

The last eight matches between the sides have all been in the league and the Doonhamers have taken 22 from a possible 24 points.

Last meeting: Gavin Skelton’s side ran out comfortable 4-1 winners when the sides last met, at Palmerston Park in August. Derek Lyle opened the scoring after 12 minutes and Stephen Dobbie made it 2-0 just before half-time. Lyle and Lyndon Dykes netted in the second-half either side of Kevin Nesbit’s consolation.

On this day: in 2005, Ayr were defeated 6-0 away from home at Dumbarton. The match turned in the 32nd minute when referee Crawford Allan dismissed United midfielders Dougie Ramsay and Raymond Logan.

Match Officials:
Referee – John Beaton
Assistant Referee 1 – Brian Templeton
Assistant Referee 2 – David McKniff

Saturday is also Armed Forces Day at Somerset Park.

Any Veterans, Cadets or serving members of the Armed Forces wishing to come along to the game on the 22nd should contact Capt Mick Green on his e-mail 6SCOTS-HQ-PASO@mod.uk or by phone 0141 224 5470 Monday to Friday.

Adults – £17
Concessions – £10
Under 16s – £5