By Jan Spaans
Monday’s Scottish Cup draw grabbed the interest of football fans all over the country. Whereas some ties seem inevitable by now, Hearts v Hibernian a good example, the draw provided some fresher pairings. Ayr United got drawn against Arbroath for what is only their second ever cup meeting. UWS News spoke to Ayr’s club historian Duncan Carmichael.
On Saturday, a convincing 6-2 win away to Banks o’ Dee, a junior side from Aberdeen, secured Ayr’s spot in the fourth round of the tournament. Carmichael revealed he had hoped for Ayr to be drawn against East Fife, as they are the only side out of Ayr’s 41 fellow SPFL teams they have never played in the Scottish Cup. The pairing against Arbroath is almost as rare, as the 4th round tie between Honest Men and the Lichties will be their second cup meeting. Carmichael, naturally, has a vivid memory of the previous encounter, played in 1968.
“It was Ayr United 0, Arbroath 2 and I actually do remember it well. The recollection I have got is because Arbroath took a 2-0 lead with ten minutes to go with a goal at the Railway End. I remember two Arbroath fans jumping on the track in celebration and they got arrested. Something else that stands out from that game is that a young Dick Malone scored an own-goal for Ayr. His cup fortunes improved later on though, because in 1973 he lifted the FA Cup with Sunderland”, Carmichael recollects with the sharpness as if it was all yesterday.
Nearly fifty years on, both Ayr and Arbroath play in the Scottish League One. With the draw including all the top-flight sides, it appears Ian McCall’s team have avoided the tougher names in the hat, yet Carmichael does not rest assured. “Arbroath are the best team to visit Somerset Park this season, without a doubt. They won that game 2-1 and they were value for it”, he explains.
By Jan Spaans