Ayr United vs. Falkirk
Saturday 5th January 2019. Kick-off 3pm
On Saturday, Ayr United open up 2019 with a visit from bottom side Falkirk to Somerset Park. United are looking to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 11 games and get back to winning ways after three consecutive draws.
No side the in SPFL lost fewer games in all competitions than the Honest Men in 2018, but a sequence of draws in recent weeks has seen Ross County take advantage at the top of the Championship table. The Staggies currently hold a three point advantage while Dundee United are four points behind Ayr, with both clubs having played a game more.
Opponents:Ray McKinnon’s re-building job at Falkirk began in earnest with the opening of the January transfer window, with as many as five players in line to make their debut on Saturday. Among the new signings are former Scotland international full back Paul Dixon, midfielder Ian McShane who has moved from St. Mirren and Abdul Osman, who returns to Scottish football after a spell in Greece.
Last Saturday saw the Bairns go down to a 4-2 defeat at home to local rivals Dunfermline Athletic, despite going ahead through Joe McKee’s 2nd minute opener. Three of the starting line-up against the Pars plus two of the substitutes have left the club this week.
The Bairns remain bottom of the table, a point behind ninth place Partick Thistle and now six adrift of Alloa Athletic in eighth. All of Falkirk’s three league wins this season have come away from home.
Ayr United – DWDDD
Falkirk – WDDLL
Team News: Lawrence Shankland, Alan Forrest, Andy Geggan and Jamie Adams are all out. Mark Kerr comes back into the squad.
Ian says: “We were terrific last week in Dumfries, I thoroughly enjoyed watching us play and the only thing missing was the three points. I would love us to repeat that kind of performance tomorrow but of course with a different result. We know the goals will come, look at how many we have scored in the last 18 months. It is important to stay patient and get behind the boys as teams will now tend to sit in against us. Lawrence misses out with a slight knock so it is a huge chance for Craig Moore who has a great goalscoring record “
Head to head (League):
Ayr United wins – 45
Draws – 28
Falkirk wins – 52
1981/82 is the last time Ayr United have beaten Falkirk more than twice in a single season.
Last Meeting: Craig Moore netted the only goal for the game when the two sides met at the Falkirk Stadium at the start of November.
Earlier in the season, the Honest Men fought back from a two goal deficit at half-time to win 3-2 with second-half goals from Lawrence Shankland, Andy Geggan and an own goal from Bairns keeper Leonardo Fasan.
On this day: in 2002, Ayr defeated Deveronvale 6-0 in the Scottish Cup. Eddie Annand (2), Paul Sheerin, Pat McGinlay, Scott Crabbe and James Grady were all on the scoresheet at Princess Royal Park in Banff at the start of a cup run that would go all the way to the semi-finals.
Referee – John Beaton
Assistant Referee 1 – Kylie Cockburn
Assistant Referee 2 – Andy Taylor
Adults – £17
Concessions – £11
Under 16s – £6
The Somerset Road End turnstiles 15, 16, 17 and 18 will all be open tomorrow.