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Match Preview - Morton vs Ayr (3rd September)


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Morton v Ayr United Preview

by Russell Gordon

The irresistible force meets the immoveable object this weekend as Morton entertain the league leaders for the second consecutive home game- this time free-scoring, table topping Ayr United are tasked with breaching the division’s meanest defence at Cappielow Park supported by Dalrada Technology UK.

Streaming of the game is available out with the UK and Ireland and the link is available here.

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

Squad News

With manager Dougie Imrie enduring a frustrating transfer deadline day, we’re likely to see an unchanged line up to that which secured three vital points in last weekend’s fine 1-0 victory in Inverness. Imrie will be hoping to see the return of Lewis McGregor and Michael Garrity to the bench, whilst Lewis Strapp will likely have to bide his time until later in the match again, such is the impressive form of Alexander King this season.

Current Connections 

Where do we start? After his inauspicious spell at Cappielow, David Hopkin took a lot of the gang down to Somerset Park for his ill-fated tenure in charge of Ayr. Of his former Morton charges, only Aidan McAdams, now deposed of the number one jersey, and our former Captain Calamity, Sean McGinty remain. Andy Murdoch pre-dated Hopkin’s time in the Cappielow dug out, has been at Ayr for four years, and now captains the club.

In the Morton ranks, Jack Baird has returned to the club he spent a season on loan at from St. Mirren after two years at Ayr, whilst midfield duo Grant Gillespie and Robbie Crawford, and defender Alan Lithgow all had spells in Ayrshire earlier in their careers. Morton Assistant Manager Andy Millen also represented The Honest Men in his playing days.

Tale of the Tape 

After three years of finishing below Ayr United, normal service was resumed last term, as Morton finished a point ahead of this weekend’s visitors. Given how closely the two clubs finished, it will be no surprise that there was little between them over the four fixtures last term.

The first meeting resulted in a goalless stalemate in Ayr, perhaps the worst game of football in the history of the sport, but was followed up by a far more entertaining 2-2 draw at Cappielow in December, a result that finally saw the curtain come down on Gus MacPherson’s reign in the Morton hotseat. A month later, a Gavin Reilly double gave Morton all three points at Somerset Park in the height of the crowd restrictions of last winter, before the clubs finally played out a 1-1 draw at Cappielow in late March.

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

Opposition Analysis 

It’s fair to say that Lee Bullen’s men are taking on the role of Championship surprise packages this season, as they sit perched atop the league table, following away wins against the newly promoted duo of Queen’s Park and Cove Rangers, and last Friday’s fine victory over title favourites Dundee, thanks in no small part to a double from Ayr’s latest talisman, 25-year-old English frontman Dipo Akinyemi.

Having fallen behind early on to the Dens men, Ayr took the game by the scruff of the neck, sending Dundee up the road with only a bruised ego for their troubles. 

I spoke to an optimistic Marc Dunlop (@Marco_Ayr), who is revelling in his team’s early season fortunes.

“Ayr head to Cappielow on Saturday in fine form, and at the summit of the Championship table.

Before the window closed. Lee Bullen managed to add a further two signings in the shape of Josh Mullin and Brad Young on loan from Livingston and Aston Villa respectively to bolster our attacking options.

The Honest Men go into the game high on confidence. The fantastic 3-1 win over Dundee in front of the BBC Scotland cameras last week was United’s third win in four games. The Ayr support will travel in numbers and will be hoping star man Dipo Akinyemi can add to his already impressive tally of six league goals.

I’m expecting Ayr will remain unchanged from last weekend’s win, but we will need to be at our best to leave Greenock with maximum points.”

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Photo - GBR Photographs.

Betting Guide 

All odds are supplied by McBookie. All odds correct as of 7am on 2nd September 2022 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Ayr are the slight favourites ahead of Saturday’s match, given their lofty position at 11/8, whilst Morton come in at 7/4 and the draw is 11/5.

Here at themortonforum.com, we only suggest bets that result in a happy ending, so Morton to repeat their previous two victories by drawing a half time and winning at full time is 11/2 and to win to nil is 15/4.

Match Officials 

Referee- Lloyd Wilson

AR 1-  David McGeachie

AR 2- Scottt Anderson

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