Wrexham vs. Ayr United
Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup 3rd Round
Saturday 7th September 2019. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United take a step into the unknown when they take on Wrexham in the third round of the Challenge Cup. Ian McCall’s threadbare squad will travel to North Wales today (Friday) ahead of the historic tie.
The Honest Men make the long journey south on the back of a third win in four Championship fixtures, away to Partick Thistle last weekend.
Opponents: Wrexham were invited to participate in this season’s Challenge Cup after finishing fourth in the National League last season. The Dragons’ hopes of promotion to the English Football League, however, were scuppered at the quarter-final stage of the play-offs with defeat at the hands of Eastleigh, in front of a crowd of 6,723 at the Racecourse.
The new campaign has seen Wrexham get off to a sluggish start, with 10 points from their opening nine games in English football’s sixth tier, leaving them in 16th place. Bryan Hughes’ team are without a win in their last five games, most recently dropping two points at home to Maidenhead in a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night.
Former Dundee, Peterheand and Airdrie striker Leighton McIntosh is one the sole Scot in the Wrexham squad, although midfielder Adam Barton recently had a spell in the SPFL with Partick Thistle and Dundee United. Topscorers for the Dragons this season are Mark Harris, on loan from Cardiff City, and Bobby Grant.
Team News: Ian McCall is without nine first teamers for the match at the Racecourse Ground – Ross Doohan, Daniel Harvie and Stephen Kelly are on international duty with the Scotland U21s; Jordan Houston is cup-tied and Jamie Adams, Frank Ross, Craig McGuffie, Craig Moore and Andy Murdoch are sidelined through injury.
Ian says: “Of course this is a completely different occasion to what we are used to, not only are we playing in Wales but we are missing numerous players due partly to the international weekend. All that said it gives other players an opportunity, it’s a big chance for them. We will give it a good go and try and win the game. It’s going to be a great day out for our supporters who are always fantastic away from home. ”
Head to head: 20 years ago, Wrexham travelled to Somerset Park for a pre-season friendly – the only previous meeting between the sides. Ayr ran out comfortable winners, with Danny Lennon, John Bradford and Alex Bone on the scoresheet.
Ayr United: Gill (Garden); Prenderville, Rogers, Duffy (Kelly), Campbell (Traynor); Wilson, Lennon, Davies (Reynolds), Lyons; Bradford (Bone), Lindau.
Wrexham: Deardon; McGregor, Hardy (Cooper), Phillips, Rider; Carey (Spink), Lowe (Williams) Russell (Falconbridge), Thomas (Ryan); Connolly, Stevens.
On this day: in 1996, United overcame Stenhousemuir 2-1 at Ochilview. Jim Mercer scored a late winner for the Honest Men after Paul Smith’s opener was cancelled out by Paul Hunter.
Referee – Steven Gregg
Assistant Referee 1 – Blake Antrobus
Assistant Referee 2 – Alan Hull
Adults – £10
Seniors and Juveniles – £5
Under 12s – Free
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We are all looking forward to the occasion and we are sure that our supporters will do us proud representing Ayr United in another country. For ground regulations in Wrexham please click here