Ready for the cup challenge

Omar Kader in action against Queen's Park.
Omar Kader in action against Queen's Park.

Forfar Athletic will not go into Saturday’s fourth round tie at home to Ayr United in the William Hill Scottish Cup high on confidence after shipping nine goals in four days against Queen of the South and Brechin City.

However, Loons’ boss Dick Campbell will hope that the move to cup tie action might freshen the mood and certainly all will be hoping that the injury crisis gripping the club will continue to clear up.

Goalkeeper Derek Soutar was rated still doubtful with his back injury earlier in the week, while Danny Denholm survived only 14 minutes of his comeback at the Glebe.

The Loons will, however, go into the game free of suspension with Michael Dunlop having missed Saturday’s trip to Brechin following his one-match ban for his red card against Queens, while Mark McCulloch’s one match ban following his similar offence at Glebe Park only applies to league matches, which means he will sit out the journey to Albion Rovers on Saturday week.

Ayr, whom the Loons beat 3-2 down at Somerset Park in the league in August thanks to late counters from Gavin Swankie and Martyn Fotheringham, will be minus influential midfield player Ryan McStay through suspension.

Meanwhile, there will be a familiar face between the sticks in former Station Park custodian Ally Brown.

Despite the home side’s indifferent form it is hoped that with it being the only senior game on in Tayside on Saturday that a larger than average crowd will turn up as the sides battle for what could well be a financially lucrative place in round five.

Alastair Donald, Forfar Athletic chairman, is keen for as many home fans as possible to support the team.

“Obviously the preparation could have been better and on the face of it we have had two bad results in a row but the performances tell a different story to the results.

“Both sendings off were turning points in the games.

“We have had a run of bad luck with injuries and suspensions but we can’t lose sight of the fact players had good form at the start of the season.

“Hopefully if we get a good result against Ayr United in the cup it will be a good restart for our league season.

“A win in the Scottish Cup to take us to the fifth round is exactly what we need and it would be financially lucrative for the club.

“We are hoping to get a good crowd and that the home fans will all come out to support their team.

“Ayr are always well supported so we also hope to see our fans stick by their team and show their support on Saturday.”

Round five is scheduled to take place after the SPL winter break on February 2.