Queens Park match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Queen’s Park
William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Saturday 14th January 2017

On Saturday, Ayr United welcome Queen’s Park to Somerset Park as the Scottish Cup takes centre-stage. It is a welcome break from the Championship for the Honest Men who are without a win since beating Brechin City in the last round of the Cup; drawing five of their seven games since, including away to Falkirk last time out.

Queen’s Park have won seven of their last nine games, including at home to Montrose in the previous round of the Scottish Cup. After clinching promotion via the play-offs last season, Gus McPherson’s side lie in fifth place in League 1, just three points behind second-placed Alloa Athletic. Last weekend they were 2-1 winners at home to Airdrieonians.

Team News: Craig McGuffie, Jamie Adams and Craig Moore are all back in the squad.

Ian McCall says: “Queens Park are a club I know well and you never get an easy game against them. They have some really good players and a top manager so will be very well organised. Both clubs will see this as a big chance to get to the last 16 and we really want to be in that draw on Sunday. The cup is always a welcome break from league action as is playing a team that we aren’t used to so we are all looking forward to it.”

The Opponents: Queen’s Park boast three players with connections to Ayr United: keeper Willie Muir spent 1½ years at Somerset Park as back-up goalkeeper but was unable to usurp Graeme Smith or David Hutton between the posts; Midfielder Jamie McKernon featured for Ayr at Hampden Park in the semi-final of the League Cup among 25 appearances for United on loan from St. Mirren in 2011/12 while Adam Cummins also spent a short spell on loan from Motherwell in 2014.

The Spiders’ top goalscorer this season is full-back Ross Millen, son of Andy.

Head-to-Head:
Ayr United wins – 58
Draws – 25
Queen’s Park wins – 34
Queen’s Park have won just one of the last 21 meetings between the sides.

There have been eight meetings between the sides in the Scottish Cup, United winning through on six occasions, once after a replay. The Spider’s sole win came in 1975.

Last meeting: Ayr faced Queen’s Park twice in 2013 – in both the Challenge Cup and Scottish Cup. Alan Forrest became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer, aged 16 years 321 days, when he came off the bench to net a 89th minute winner at Hampden Park in the Challenge Cup when the sides met in July. Tony Quinn had put the home side ahead from the penalty spot, with Michael Moffat equalising halfway through the second-half.

Three months later, Queen’s Park were the visitors to Somerset Park for a third round tie in the Scottish Cup. Jamie Brough put the Spiders ahead in the 27th, a lead that lasted 12 minutes when Anthony Marenghi equalised. Alan Lithgow gave Ayr the lead in the 50th minute but Queen’s Park equalised through Blair Spittal but they couldn’t hold out for a replay, Craig Malcolm grabbing the winner in the 60th minute.

On this day: in 2012, United drew 2-2 at home to Hamilton Accies. Adam Dodd and Eddie Malone had put the Honest Men ahead before half-time, but the Accies hot back through goals from Greig Spence and Danny Redmond.

Match Officials:
Referee – Barry Cook
Assistant Referee 1 – Kylie McMullan
Assistant Referee 2 – David Doig

Admission: £12 adults, £6 concessions