Match Preview Queen of the South vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes Championship Saturday 13th August 2016. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United are on the road once more when they travel to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South. United will take encouragement from a spirited performance against a strong Aberdeen side on Wednesday night and with a couple of potential debutants will be looking to pick up their first Championship points.
Queen of the South have enjoyed a positive start to the season, qualifying from their League Cup section as one of the four best runners-up, beating Queen’s Park, Airdrie and Stenhousemuir and only narrowly losing to Partick Thistle after conceding in the last minute.
Last weekend, the Doonhamers earned a credible point at Tannadice in their Championship opener before knocking Hibernian out of the Betfred Cup with a 3-1 win at Easter Road on Tuesday night.
Team News: Craig Moore is still unavailable. Gary Harkins and Kevin Nisbet go straight into the squad.
Ian says:”It is always a very difficult place to go, something we will be saying a lot this season. They had a great result last weekend away to Dundee United and an even better result away to Hibs during the week which gives an idea of how good a side they are. We will be at the strongest we have been so far this season with only Craig Moore on the sidelines so we are really looking forward to it.”
The Opposition: Former Gretna and Kilmarnock midfielder Gavin Skelton was appointed Queen of the South manager on a permanent basis at the end of last season after replacing James Fowler on a caretaker basis for the final two games of the season.
Skelton and Queen’s pulled off something of a transfer coup in recently, signing striker Stephen Dobbie following his departure from Bolton Wanderers. 33-year old Dobbie was a sensation in his first spell at Palmerston Park when Ian McCall signed the Glasgow-born player from St. Johnstone in January 2007, scoring 54 goals in 98 appearances in a spell which saw the Dumfries side reach the Scottish Cup final under McCall’s successor, Gordon Chisholm.
Other notable figures in the Queen of the South squad include former Kilmarnock and Hearts utility man Jamie Hamill, striker Derek Lyle and defender Darren Brownlie, who made 16 appearances for Ayr in Season 2012/13.
Head-to-Head: Ayr United wins – 36 Draws – 14 Raith wins – 34
The Doonhamers are unbeaten in the last 7 meetings between the sides.
The last meeting between Ayr United and Queen of the South was in March 2013 at Palmerston Park and it was the home side who picked up all three points with a 2-0 win courtesy of a Derek Lyle strike just before half-time and Gavin Reilly. It was the Doonhamers’ fourth win over Mark Roberts’s side that season as they stormed to the Second Division title with 92 points, 25 points ahead of second-placed Alloa Athletic.
The Dumfries club’s two trips to Somerset Park that season ended in 5-1 and 4-2 defeats for the Honest Men.
On this Day: in 1952 Ayr recorded their record victory, defeating Dumbarton 11-1 at Somerset Park in the League Cup group stages.The game was preceded by grumbles amongst the home support when United’s starting line-up was read out as Archie Anderson went with the same XI who had been easily brushed aside by Stirling Albion in the previous game.
Referee – Stephen Finnie
Assistant Referee 1 – Graham McNeillie
Assistant Referee 2 – David Doig
Adults – £16
Concessions – £9
U16s – £5
IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION
The A76 High Street, Sanquhar will be closed from 12:30 hours to 13:30 hours and 17:15 hours to 17:45 hours on Saturday 13 August 2016 due to the Sanquhar Riding of the Marches.