Match Preview | Ayr United



Ayr United versus MORTON 

Saturday 14 July 2018
Somerset Park, Ayr
Kick-off 3pm

Scene Setter

After a summer of excitement and a hat-trick of friendlies, Ray McKinnon gets down to business tomorrow when his side raise the curtain on the 2018/19 campaign with a Betfred Cup Group E fixture away at Ayr United.

The revamped League Cup enters its third season, and the early return to action means managers across the country invariably enter the competition with a playing squad that is, more often than not, a work in progress.

Ton boss McKinnon is no different, with the Greenock gaffer making it clear that he is still learning about his squad and working on systems whilst also looking to add to the group they have at their disposal.

There has, however, been significant buzz generated by the signings made to date, proving to be one of the factors that has stimulated record season card sales this summer.

Returning favourites Chris Millar, Jim McAlister and Denny Johnstone have been supplemented by solid additions such as Charlie Telfer and Gregor Buchanan, adding up to a mood of real optimism on Sinclair Street.

Ray’s revolution is still very much in its infancy, though, and so a sense of realism should surround tomorrow’s fixture against the reigning League One champions.

But there can be no doubt that a positive result would be as welcome with an expectant travelling support as it would a new management team looking to make a favourable first impression and progress in the tournament.

Gaffer’s Thoughts

Team News

Denny Johnstone (knee) and Robert Thomson (hernia) are out until August, while Kerr Waddell (ankle) and Lee Kilday (thigh) are rated doubtful.

However, Charlie Telfer, who went over his ankle and was forced off in the friendly at Forfar, and Derek Gaston will be available for selection.

Morton Milestones

1 – Ray McKinnon takes charge of his first match in charge of the club.

1 – Ryan Scully, Gregor Buchanan, Kerr Waddell, Charlie Telfer, and Ross MacLean could all make their first appearances for Morton.

10 – Ben Armour could make his 10th appearance for the club.

15 – Jack Iredale could make his 15th appearance for the club.

80 – Gary Oliver could make his 80th appearance for the club.

Current Connections

Dunoon native Declan McDaid came through the youth ranks at Cappielow and made one first-team appearance before electing to move to Partick Thistle in the summer of 2013.

Striker Lawrence Shankland fired the Honest Men to the League One title last term with 29 goals and is well known to Ton fans having spent the second half of 2016/17 on loan here, scoring four times in 18 appearances.

Ian McCall’s most recent signing is ex-Morton midfielder Andy Murdoch. The former Rangers man spent two seasons in Greenock, making 75 appearances and scoring four goals before departing at the end of last term.

At the same time as former Greenock gaffer McCall brought Murdoch on board, he also secured the loan signing of goalkeeper Ross Doohan. Doohan was brought in as cover for Derek Gaston last term but did not feature.

Head to Head

Sat 10 Sep 2016: Ayr United 2-1 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 29 Oct 2016: Morton 2-1 Ayr United (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 28 Jan 2017: Ayr United 1-4 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 22 Apr 2017: Morton 1-1 Ayr United (Ladbrokes Championship)

Last Time Round

Morton booked their place in the promotion play-offs with a 1-1 draw against Ayr United on an afternoon when the lives of community coach Kris Juszczak and supporter Jim MacVicar were celebrated pre-match.

Lawrence Shankland, who is now on the books at Somerset Park, gave Ton the lead but Craig Moore levelled right on the cusp of half-time to earn the struggling Honest Men a share of the spoils.

The point, though, proved enough to guarantee Jim Duffy’s men a top-four finish after both Dunfermline Athletic and Queen of the South lost their respective fixtures at home to Falkirk and Dumbarton.


Referee: Willie Collum

Assistant one: Ralph Gordon

Assistant two: Richard Murray

Fan File

Entry is pay at the gate. Admission prices are:

Adults: £13
Concession (Over 65, Student, and Under 21s): £6

Morton fans will be housed the Railway End and West Stand and enter the ground using turnstiles 2, 3, 5, 9 and 10.

Fans under the influence of alcohol will not be admitted to the stadium and are liable to arrest. All bags will be searched, with random persons searching undertaken.

Surfing flags are not permitted, while other flags will be checked to ensure that they are not offensive. They cannot be draped over any advertising boards. If anyone intends bringing a drum they must enter at the Railway End.


By Road: Ayr United Football Club, Somerset Park, Tryfield Place, Ayr, KA8 9NB.

Inverkip Road A78 – A77 – High Road A719 (journey time around 1 hour 14 minutes)


A78 – A8 – M8 – M77 (journey time around 1 hour 18 minutes)

By Rail: Greenock – Gilmour Street, Paisley – Ayr (journey time around 1 hpur 30 minutes)

Ayr Railway Station is a 10-minute walk away from Somerset Park. Exit the station through the back entrance (to the left as you come off the platform, over the footbridge) and turn left once outside. Walk up to the roundabout at the fire station and go straight ahead at the roundabout, past the left-hand side of the Civic Theatre. Continue up Craigie Road to the traffic lights at the top. Go straight across the road at this junction then take a left and a right.


Car parking: Available in Craigie Park. Turn left at traffic lights after racecourse on to Craigie Road. Car park is on the right. Barrier is in place to prevent high-sided vehicles entering.

Coach parking: Coaches can drop off in Craigie Street and park at the Ayrshire College, Dam Park. Pick up in Craigie Street.

Travel Club Info


Image: David Bell