Ayr United vs. Arbroath
William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Saturday 20th January 2018. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, the oldest association football trophy in the world takes centre stage when Arbroath are the visitors to Somerset Park in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. Both clubs will see the tie as a good opportunity to progress in the competition, with Arbroath hoping they can leave Ayrshire with a victory for the third time this season.
Having lost to Arbroath in their last match at Somerset Park, United put in a professional performance at Raith Rovers seven days ago and were perhaps unlucky to leave Starks Park without taking all three points in a hard fought and entertaining top-of-the-table clash.
The Honest Men reached the fourth round with an, ultimately, comprehensive 6-2 away win over Aberdeen-based Juniors Banks O’Dee in December. Ayr reached the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup last season, eventually succumbing to Hibernian at Easter Road, despite Craig McGuffie’s ‘Goal of the Tournament’ strike.
Dick Campbell’s side followed up their victory at Somerset Park a fortnight ago with a 2-1 home win over Queen’s Park last weekend. The Spiders opened the scoring but goals either side of half-time from Gavin Swankie and David Gold gave the Red Lichties a third win in three matches and lifted them into third place in the League 1 table.
Arbroath reached this stage of the competition with a 3-0 win over Berwick Rangers after two consecutive seasons of falling at the third round. Their last fourth round appearance saw them defeat Junior side Bo’ness 5-0 in November 2014, with Simon Murray netting a hat-trick. They would eventually go out to Hibernian in the next round.
Team News: Andy Geggan, Ross Docherty, Robbie Crawford, Chris Higgins and Brian Gilmour are out with injuries. Steven Bell is cup tied.
Ian says: “It is always good to get a break from the league and the Scottish Cup is a great competition that can give all kinds of opportunities the further you go. Once again we have key players out with injuries however we showed last week that we can still perform to a very high level despite the injuries. Arbroath have won twice at Somerset this season and we will be doing everything to make sure that doesn’t happen again. The supporters were incredible at Kirkcaldy last week and it would make a huge difference to the players to have that kind of support at home.”
Head to head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 34
Draws – 4
Arbroath wins – 13
On this day: in 1968, United defeated Albion Rovers 5-2 at Somerset Park in Division 2. Seven days later, however, the Honest Men were knocked out the Scottish Cup at home to today’s opponents Arbroath – the only meeting between the sides in the competition.
Referee – Mike Roncone
Assistant Referee 1 – Jordan Stokoe
Assistant Referee 2 – Derek Crothers
Adult – £14
Concessions – £7