Queen’s Park vs. Ayr United
Irn-Bru Cup 1st Round
Tuesday 14th August 2018. Kick-off 7.45pm
After a battling performance in the Highlands on Saturday, where United’s 10-men could well have taken all three points south from the Caledonian Stadium, we return to action tonight (Tuesday) in the Irn-Bru Cup against Queen’s Park at the National Stadium.
While last season was remarkable for the team’s goalscoring exploits, it is defensively where Ian McCall’s men are impressing this term, with the clean sheet at Inverness United’s fifth in-a-row. It is now 526 minutes of play since Ross Doohan’s goal was breached, for the only time this season, by Michael Tidser’s free-kick.
The Opposition: A 16th minute Jamie McKernon penalty gave the Spiders their first three points of the season on Saturday as they defeated Berwick Rangers 1-0 at Hampden Park. That followed a creditable draw against title-favourites Peterhead at Balmoor on the opening day of the league campaign, Queen’s again getting an early goal through Scott Gibson in the seventh minute before Rory McAllister equalised 18 minutes later.
Gus McPherson’s side escaped automatic relegation from League 1 on the final day of last season thanks to our title winning result against Albion Rovers plus three points against Arbroath, however that only delayed their demotion by a week as they fell to Stenhousemuir in the play-off semi-finals. Our title winning goalkeeper Jordan Hart switched Somerset Park for the Spiders in the summer, while Gerry McLauchlan is also part of the Queen’s Park defence that will be looking to shut out United this evening.
Team News: Chris Higgins is out. Michael Moffat, Mark Kerr, Jamie Adams and Andy Geggan are being rested from the squad. New signing Liam Smith goes straight into the squad.
Ian says: “We always look forward to going and playing at Hampden and tonight is a great opportunity to get some game time to those who haven’t had quite as much recently. That’s not to say we will be taking it lightly, as you will see later we will have an extremely strong team out. One thing I will never do is underestimate Queens Park. The next round is on September 8th and I want to make sure we have a competitive game on that date so we will be going all out to win the tie and keep up the momentum.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 71
Draws – 26
Queen’s Park wins – 39
The Honest Men have won both previous encounters in the Challenge Cup under its various guises. In 1997, a Stevie Kerrigan double and Dean Wordsworth goal gave United a 3-0 victory while more recently Alan Forrest became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer when he came off the bench to score a late winner in a 2-1 win at Hampden. Michael Moffat had earlier cancelled out a Tony Quinn penalty.
Last Meeting: Lawrence Shankland bagged a hat-trick against his old side in the last meeting between the sides, in March at Somerset Park. A Craig Moore penalty rounded off the scoring in a 4-0 win. Earlier in the year, in January, Ayr also scored four in their last visit to Hampden, Craig McGuffie’s popping up with two late stunners before an Adam Cummins consolation after Craig Moore and Alan Forrest put us two-up at the break.
Referee – Greg Aitken
Assistant Referee 1 – Gordon Crawford
Assistant Referee 2 – Iain Snedden
Adults – £10
Concessions (65+/Student/Unemployed/U16) – £5
We thank you for travelling to support the team. Your support is vital. However, we all need to be able to enjoy watching games in a safe and considerate environment.
We ask that you support the players and team without resorting to unacceptable behaviour that can lead either Club or individuals facing charges.
All Scottish grounds have a searching policy as a condition of entry.
Possessing or using any pyro device and anyone detected will be liable to prosecution and a lifetime ban from football stadiums.
Copies of Ayr United’s Unacceptable Conduct Policy can be found on our website. https://ayrunitedfc.co.uk/unacceptable-conduct-policy/
Thank you and enjoy the game.