Match Preview Annan Athletic vs. Ayr United Betfred Cup Group E Saturday 29th July 2017. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, on-form Ayr United travel south to face Annan Athletic looking to make it four wins out of four in the Betfred Cup. Ian McCall’s men need just a point to top the table but victory will put the Honest Men in a strong position to go into Sunday’s second-round draw as one of the eight seeded teams.
There will be a familiar face in the home dugout at Galabank, with Peter Murphy having been appointed Annan manager in the summer following the departure of Jim Chapman to Clyde. The popular Irishman made 81 appearances for the Honest Men during three seasons at Somerset Park. Murphy has added another Ayr favourite Ryan Stevenson, who will be hoping for to lead the line against his boyhood club rather than keep goal as he did for Raith Rovers last season.
Annan picked up their first points of the Betfred Cup on Tuesday night when they earned a bonus point against Dumbarton, former United hero Ryan Stevenson netting the winning goal in the penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 draw. They had previously lost 2-1 away to Clyde and 2-0 at home to Kilmarnock, Kris Boyd netting a double.
Ian says:”Jamie Adams is available however he won’t start due to the type of pitch at Annan. Alan Forrest could possibly have made it however we won’t risk him with the league season starting next week and Michael Rose has started light training so shouldn’t be too far away.
This will be a tough game for us tomorrow. We are all looking forward to seeing Peter again, he is a class act and we know his team will be well organised. We have some momentum built up and we want to keep that going so there won’t be many changes. I am delighted we are taking two buses down there and it just shows our fans will come in numbers if we give them a good product.”
Previous Meetings: Ayr and Annan have met just twice before and never, in a competitive fixture, at Galabank. In September 2011, the Black & Golds shocked the Honest Men at Somerset Park when a David Cox goal knocked newly promoted Ayr out of the Challenge Cup. In 1986, Ayr defeated Annan, then of the South of Scotland League, in the Scottish Cup 3-1.
Ayr have played at Galabank before in pre-season and defeated their hosts 7-0 in the Scottish Brewers Cup in July 2006.
Referee – Steven Reid
Assistant Referee 1 – Paul O’Neill
Assistant Referee 2 – Liam Butler
Adults – £12
Concessions – £6
Annan Athletic – 5/1, Draw 10/3, Ayr United – 1/2