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MATCH PREVIEW: Forfar Athletic v Ayr United

Thursday, 19 October 2017 09:57

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Jim Weir heads into his home debut as Manager of the ‘Loons’ on the back of a 1-1 draw at Hampden last weekend in a match where for the third time in five weeks, a last minute goal cost the Station Park side dearly.

However the new Manager took great heart from the performance at the National Stadium following on from what was possibly the best home showing of the season against Stranraer in late September.

The Athies will however have to be at their best as we entertain Ayr United on Saturday.

The ‘Honest Men’ sit in second place in the table, albeit five points adrift of leaders Raith Rovers and they did drop two points at home to Airdrieonians last Saturday, this on the back of victories in their previous two outings against East Fife and Queens Park.

Forfar will go into the game with Simon Mensing and Jim Lister definitely ruled out while Eddie Malone is also a major doubt, stretching the player pool to the limit.

However the defence in particular has looked much more secure in recent games with young on loan defender Darren Whyte fitting in to some effect in the central area, Marc McCallum in sensational form at times at Hampden between the sticks.

The Somerset Park outfit have taken the gamble of going full-time this term, following their one season stint in the Championship and this has allowed manager Ian McCall to attract players of the calibre of Andy Geggan scorer of both goals last week, Michael Moffat, Craig Moore, Chris Higgins and Lawrence Shankland to the club.

Ayr won the early season fixture between the sides 3-0, but all concerned admitted the score line on the day flattered the hosts.

There is little doubt however that the home side will have to be at their best and there is no reason why that will not be the case, if the second quarter of the league campaign is to start off as the first did with a victory.

That three point haul against Airdrie seems a long time ago and there has certainly a ‘fair bit of water has flowed under the brig’ since!

The referee for Saturday’s clash is Steven Kirkland making a rare Station Park appearance.

The match is sponsored by Dundee based George Malcolm & Son Ltd, while as ever all five hospitality packages are fully subscribed.

Admission charges are £13/7 for the stand, £12/6 for the terracing.

Ayr usually bring a reasonable travelling support considering the distance involved, so hopefully a reasonable number of locals will turn up to welcome the new man at the helm and give the ‘Loons’ their full backing.

The 1984 Lounge will be open as usual from 12.30p.m. till kick-off and on the final whistle until approximately 7.30p.m.

Why not pop in and enjoy either a pre or après match refreshment.

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