Match Preview | Ayr United


 MORTON versus Ayr United

Saturday 29 September 2018
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Kick-off 3pm

Scene Setter

Morton host league leaders Ayr United at Cappielow tomorrow as they go head to head with the Honest Men for the second time this term and look to reverse the 3-1 loss at Somerset Park in Group E of the Betfred Cup.

Ian McCall’s newly-promoted side have taken to the second tier like a duck to water and top the table with six matches played as well reaching the quarter-finals of the League Cup, in which they lost to Rangers.

A major factor in that success has been the form of ex-Ton loan striker Lawrence Shankland, who has already netted an incredible 15 goals in 13 appearances in all competitions.

The Greenock men were on the receiving end of a Shankland hat-trick on the opening day and will be well aware that they will need to keep Ayr’s dangerman quiet if they are to succeed tomorrow.

New manager Jonatan Johansson will hope that his team defend their box in a similar fashion to how they did for the majority of last week’s 1-1 draw with Dunfermline Athletic.

However, the Cappielow gaffer has also made clear that a significant improvement upon their all-round display, particularly their shape and possession play, is required.

If the players reach the levels they have proven they are capable of by beating Ross County and coming within seconds of victory at Tannadice, Johansson could well be enjoying his first win come 4.45pm tomorrow.

Gaffer’s Thoughts

Team News

Forwards Robert Thomson and Connor Bell miss out, but manager Johansson is hoping to have Jack Iredale, who discovered he had not suffered a break in his hand after an X-ray, and Chris Millar (groin) available for selection.

Morton Milestones and Significant Stats

2 – Morton play their second consecutive home match.

2 – Morton are two matches unbeaten having drawn 1-1 with Dundee United and Dunfermline Athletic.

3 – Morton have gone three matches since winning following a loss at Partick Thistle followed by two draws.

5 – Morton are unbeaten at Cappielow this season, winning three and drawing two in five competitive fixtures.

6 – Michael Tidser is Ton’s top scorer this term, with six goals in 10 starts.

6 – Tidser is also Ton’s top creator with six assists, taking it to a half dozen with his pass for Scott Tiffoney.

50 – Bob McHugh made his 50th appearance for the club in last week’s draw with Dunfermline Athletic.

65 – Derek Gaston could record his 65th clean sheet should he start and keep Ayr out.

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 added midfielder Andy Murdoch to his squad in the summer. The former Rangers man spent two seasons at Cappielow, 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 year but did not feature.

Head to Head

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)

Sat 14 Jul 2018: Ayr United 3-1 Morton (Betfred Cup, Group E)

Last Time Round

One-time Morton loan striker Lawrence Shankland put his former club to the sword at Somerset Park back in July by helping himself to a second-half hat-trick in a 3-1 win in the first fixture of the 2018/19 campaign.

The team wore black armbands as a tribute to late former chairman Douglas Rae OBE while new captain Jim McAlister also emerged for the warm-up in specially created kit in support of the family of Alesha MacPhail.

Ton got off to a bright start when Michael Tidser fired them into an early lead direct from a free-kick, but Shankland hit back with a treble after the break to claim three points in Betfred Cup Group E fixture.


Referee: Steven McLean

Assistant one: Alan Mulvanny

Assistant two: Willie Ferguson

Fan File

Admission prices are:

Adult | Fan Card: £18, Ticket: £20
Concession (Over 65, Student, and Under 21s) | Fan Card: £13, Ticket: £15
Child (12 – 17)^ | Fan Card: £5, Ticket: £5
Child (Under-12)* | Fan Card: £0, Ticket: £1

^Proof of entitlement must be provided for concessionary tickets, while proof of age is required for children between 12 and 17 and those between 18 and 20.
*Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Please note, prices apply irrespective of the day or time of purchase.

Supporters are asked to purchase in advance where possible in order to avoid excessive queues at the ticket office on a matchday.

Briefs can still be bought from the following outlets:

Smiths of Greenock – During opening hours, 9am – 5.30pm

Sinclair Street ticket office – Saturday matchdays from 11am to 3pm

Tickets can also be purchased in advance online at or by calling the club on 01475 723571. These can be collected at the ticket office on matchday.

All home fixtures are also available to be pre-loaded onto fan cards via Interstadia’s dedicated club website,

Children Under-12 Go Free With Season Card and Fan Card

Children Under-12 in possession of a season card or fan card attend all home league fixtures free of charge, and parents are encouraged to sign their kids up for the campaign if they have not already done so.

Those children without a season card or fan card will be required to purchase a physical match ticket with scannable barcode at a cost of £1.

You can order or renew your child’s season ticket online by CLICKING HERE or by contacting club secretary Brendan McEleny on or calling 01475 723571.


Image: Gary Bradley