Ayr United vs. Stranraer
Betfred Cup Group G
Saturday 27th July 2019. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Group G comes to a conclusion in the Betfred Cup, with Stranraer standing between the Honest Men and an almost certain place in the last 16 of the competition for a fourth consecutive season.
United currently lie in third place in the table but with a superior goal difference need just a point to usurp second place Falkirk’s final point tally of seven points from four games, following the Bairns’ 3-0 win at Berwick on Tuesday; three points against Stranraer should see us qualify as one of the four best group runners-up, assuming Group G leaders Livingston see off Berwick Rangers at the Tony Macaroni Arena and go on to top the standings.
Opponents: Stranraer have picked up three points from their three games in Group G so far – but were only narrowly defeated by Falkirk and Livingston. An early Declan McManus goal was the only thing that separated the Blues and the Bairns on match day one, while the League 1 club were edged out by Livingston at Stair Park on Tuesday night. Livi struck twice before half-time but Cameron Elliot pulled one back in the second-half to make it a nervy finish for Gary Holt’s men.
In their other group game, Stevie Farrell’s side put six past hapless Berwick, with former United forward James Hilton grabbing his first senior goal. Farrell has added a number of experienced heads to his squad over the summer, including Scott Robertson, Grant Gallagher and Ryan Thomson, who all return to Stair Park after stints elsewhere.
Team News: Craig Moore and Jamie Adams are out with injuries.
Ian says: “This is certainly not a game we will be taking lightly. After last season we are well aware of cup shocks and when you factor in the likelihood that a win will put us in the second round it then we will be approaching it as the extremely important game that it is. We had a good result last week even if the performance overall wasn’t great. It was never going to be an easy game but we had some good backing from the crowd and got there eventually. We are still deliberating over the starting 11 as we now have a few different options we can use.”
Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 55
Draws – 12
Stranraer wins – 26
The sides have met seven times in the League Cup, most recently in 2001. James Grady, Gary Teale, Lee Sharp and Eddie Annand were all on the scoresheet in a comfortable win for the Honest Men.
A late Scott Agnew penalty gave Stranraer all three points when the sides last met, at Somerset Park in April 2018. The Honest Men were homing in on League 1 title but got off to a shaky start when Grant Anderson’s looping head opened the scoring for the visitors in just the 3rd minute. United hit back with a Jamie Adams header in front of the Railway End but then top scorer Lawrence Shankland hit out – and was sent-off for a clash with Morgyn Neill.
Despite the one-man disadvantage, Ayr dominated the second half until Adams trip on Kyle Turner in the box saw referee Euan Anderson point to the spot and ex-Ayr midfielder Agnew made no mistake from 12 yards, resulting in the Honest Men’s advantage at the top of the table being cut to two points with two games to play.
Referee – Grant Irvine
Assistant Referee 1 – Gary Hilland
Assistant Referee 2 – Craig King
Adults – £12
Concessions – £6
(OAPs, students and under 21s)
Under 12s – Free
Home fans can buy tickets online at https://tickets.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/packages/221/e/59.
Alternatively, the club shop will be open from 9am.
And for more information about tomorrows game click here