Ross County match preview

Match Preview

Ross County vs. Ayr United

Ladbrokes Championship

Tuesday 26th February 2019. Kick-off 7.45pm

Tomorrow, Ayr United travel north to take on Ross County in a top-of-the-table clash in the Championship. It is a quick opportunity for Ian McCall’s men to reign back league leaders County, who capitalised on the Honest Men’s poor result at home to Dunfermline to open up a five point gap at the weekend.

Elsewhere in the Championship on Tuesday night, Dundee United – who are now level on points and behind Ayr only on goal difference – host fourth place Inverness at Tannadice. 

The Opposition: Ross County bounced back from the disappointment of being knocked out the Scottish Cup on penalties by near neighbours Inverness last week to take all three points from a tricky looking assignment at Firhill on Saturday. Indeed, Partick Thistle took a two goal lead into half-time only for County to come roaring back with four unanswered second-half goals to ensure the points returned to Dingwall.

Striker Ross Stewart helped himself to two goals in Glasgow, making it four goals in four games for the former Alloa and St. Mirren front man, while Billy McKay took his tally for the season to 17.

League Form:

Ayr United – WLWDL

Ross County – LLWWW

Team News:  Alan Forrest , Andy Geggan and Craig Moore miss out with injury

Ian says: “We are delighted to have a game so quickly after Saturday, it was a poor display

and something we didn’t expect. We didn’t show the urgency that we needed to and never played at a tempo that I would expect from us. Of course it is going to be a tough game but we showed in the second half up there the last time that we can cause them plenty of problems. It is a game we are really looking forward to.”

Head to Head:

Ayr United wins – 7

Draws – 9

Ross County wins – 18

United are without a win in the last 12 meetings between the sides, drawing three and losing nine.

Last Match: Josh Mullin put County ahead in the 12th minute at Somerset Park in mid-December the last time the sides met only for a Lawrence Shankland double and goal from Andy Geggan to give the Honest Men the advantage at the break. A second-half onslaught from the visitors and the conditions denied United all three points, however, with a Billy McKay penalty and Don Cowie strike earning County a point.

Earlier in the season, the Staggies won an equally narrow encounter 2-1 at the Global Energy Stadium; Billy McKay and Mullin gave the home side the advantage at half-time with United only able to reply with a second-half Shankland effort.

On this day: Nineteen years ago, Ayr defeated Motherwell 4-3 in an all-time classic Scottish Cup tie at Fir Park. A frantic first half saw six goals and two penalties.  Gary Teale opened the scoring in the 8th minute only for Lee McCulloch and Don Goodman to put Well 2-1 ahead. Two penalties within the space of 5 minutes made it 3-2 – Teale beating Andy Goram from the spot – before Neil Tarrant ensured the sides went into the break level. Just one second-half goal, Tarrant’s second, was enough to give the Honest Men the victory despite Mickey Reynolds seeing red in the 63rd minute for a crude challenge on Pat Nevin. Defender John Robertson also had a spell between the posts as keeper Craig Nelson was forced off for treatment in a game that will live long in the memory. 

Match Officials:

Referee – Nick Walsh

Assistant Referee 1 – Graham Chambers

Assistant Referee 2 – Steven Traynor

Fourth Official – John McKendrick

Admission:

Adults – £20

Concessions (Over 65s & Students) – £15

Under 18s – £5