Clyde match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Clyde
William Hill Scottish Cup – Round 5
Saturday 11th February 2017

On Saturday, attentions turn to the Scottish Cup when Clyde are the visitors to the Somerset Park with a place in the quarter-finals at stake. For both clubs it is a welcome diversion from the league: Ayr are without a win in their last 13 Championship games, while Clyde’s recent League 2 form comprises two draws and six defeats.

Both clubs were in the capital last weekend, United earning a creditable draw against the Scottish Cup holders Hibs at Easter Road and Clyde played out a goalless draw with SPFL new boys Edinburgh City.

Ayr have reached the fifth round of the competition with wins over Brechin City and Queen’s Park but needed a replay and penalty shoot out to overcome the Spiders. Clyde beat Brora Rangers in the Highlands in the second round then thumped Arbroath 5-0 at home. The Bully Wee also needed a replay to overcome Stirling Albion in the previous round, David Gormley netting a 39 minute hat-trick to see off the Binos in a match that saw Clyde keeper John Gibson sent off.

Clyde are three-times winners of the Scottish Cup, lifting the trophy in 1939, 1955 and 1958. They last reached the quarter-finals in 2005. United, meanwhile, are looking for a first last-eight appearance since 2012.

The Opposition: Clyde include a number of familiar faces amongst their ranks, with no fewer than five former Ayr United players. Striker David Gormley scored 7 goals in 53 appearances for United between 2008-2009 after being signed from Glenafton. Scott McLaughlin and Chris Smith were both part of the squad that won promotion with the club in 2011; Jon-Paul McGovern took over the captain’s armband from Scott midway through season 14/15 and scored the equalising goal in the match against Forfar Athletic that saw the Honest Men avoid relegation from League 1. Sean Higgins’s Ayr career lasted just 8 minutes: the forward’s loan spell from Falkirk in 2012 was curtailed through injury.

Former St. Johnstone and Morton striker Peter MacDonald will be one to watch. ‘Peaso’ is Clyde’s top goalscorer this season with 12 goals;

Team News: Farid El Alagui is cup tied and there are doubts over Craig Moore and Robbie Crawford.

Ian McCall says: “It’s a huge game for us. We have to be at our best right from the start and make sure we have a pace and tempo to our game from the off. There is potentially a big prize waiting in the next round for both teams so its a massive game and we want to make sure we are in that Quarter Final draw. I have watched Clyde and they are a good side with experienced players, a lot of ex Ayr players which always adds an extra spice to a match. We need our fans to get behind us like they did at Easter Road.”

Head-to-Head:
Ayr United wins – 50
Draws – 33
Clyde wins – 53

There have been five meetings between the sides in the Scottish Cup, with Clyde winning through on four occasions – in 1953, 1960, 1962 and 1997. United’s win came in 1972. In 1953, a crowd estimated at 20,000 (with 7,000 travelling supporters) were entertained by a eleven-goal thriller as Clyde beat Ayr 8-3.

Last meeting: Clyde were 2-0 winners at Broadwood in July 2014, the last time the side met. The Challenge Cup match was Barry Ferguson’s first in charge of the Bully Wee. Scott McLaughlin and Jon-Paul McGovern both lined up for the Honest Men in the fixture. Scott McManus and John Sweeney were goalscorers in the first 30 minutes.

Clyde’s last trip to Somerset Park was in the League Cup in 2012. After a goalless first half there were seven goals after the break six of which were in favour of the home side.

Match Officials:
Referee – Stephen Finnie
Assistant Referee 1 – Sean Carr
Assistant Referee 2 – Michael Banks
Fourth Official – David Munro

Admission:
Adults – £12
Concessions – £6

Clyde supporters will be housed in West Stand and West Enclosure, entering via turnstiles 9 and 10.