Ross County vs. Ayr United
Saturday 20th October 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United travel north to Dingwall to take on Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium. Its first versus second in the Ladbrokes Championship, with the Honest Men looking to protect – and extent – their two point advantage at the top of the table as the first quarter of fixtures comes to an end.
Ian McCall’s side make the journey to the Highlands buoyed by four consecutive league wins, including a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Dundee United at Somerset Park last time out a fortnight ago.
The Opposition: Ross County are unbeaten in their three home matches in the league so far but goals have been scarce, with just three strikes enough to overcome Alloa Athletic (1-0), Falkirk (2-0) while the first Highland derby of the season finished goalless.
Last weekend they progressed to the quarter-finals of the Irn-Bru Cup with a routine 3-1 victory at home to League 1 strugglers Montrose. The Gable Endies did become the first side to score at Victoria Park this season but it was to prove nothing more than a consolation as former Alloa and St. Mirren striker Ross Stewart plus a double from Davis Keillor-Dunn gave the joint management duo of Stuart Kettlewell and Stevie Ferguson, who played 16 games for United in an injury-hit spell between 2003 and 2005, the win.
Northern Irish striker Billy McKay didn’t feature against Montrose but has seven goals to his name this season, including a hat-trick at Tannadice. Josh Mullin has also impressed this season following his summer switch from Livingston. Behind these attacking options – which also include Declan McManus – County have a wealth of experience in the likes of defenders Liam Fontaine and Callum Morris plus midfielder Don Cowie. Ross Draper misses out through suspension while Michael Gardyne is out with a broken bone in his left foot.
Team News: Everyone is fit and available.
Ian says: ” We are heading to Dingwall to play the way that we like to play and that is to go and try to score goals. We certainly won’t change that because of who we are playing. We are in a great position to have everyone fit and have so many players doing well however it does leave us with a few big decisions to make. The one thing we do know is that whoever we go with they won’t let us down. Despite it being so far away it sounds like we are taking another great away support and I am sure they will get right behind us.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 7
Draws – 8
Ross County wins – 17
United have just one victory in nine against the Staggies, a remarkable midweek away victory in March 2008. Goals from Gareth Wardlaw, Alex Williams and Ryan Stevenson goals had the hardy travelling support in raptures at half-time and Stevo made it 4-0 before goals from Sean Higgins and Michael Gardyne for the home side.
Last Meeting: The last meeting between the sides was in the League Cup in 2015. An early strike from Liam Boyce followed by a second-half goal by Michael Gardyne saw the Staggies into the next round.
On this date: The Honest Men will be looking to make it third time lucky against Ross County on 20th October. In 2001, County were 3-2 winners at Victoria Park and six years later they hammered United 4-1 at Somerset Park, all four goals coming in the first 30 minutes.
Referee – Steven McLean
Assistant Referee 1 – Michael Banks
Assistant Referee 2 – Jonathan Bell
Adults – £20
Over 65s and Students – £10
Under 18s – £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.