It’s a break in league action for the Spiders on Tuesday night as Ian McCall’s high-flying Ayr United provide the opposition in our Irn-Bru Cup first round tie. The Honest Men have made a great start to life in the Championship, sitting third in the table with four points out of a possible six from their opening two matches and with star striker Lawrence Shankland in top form.

Those stats will come as no surprise to the Spiders faithful who are well acquainted with the Ayrshire side after four league meetings between the sides last year, but as the media team spoke to gaffer Gus MacPherson on the eve of the clash, he made it clear that it was a challenge his squad would relish.

Previewing the match Gus said: “It will undoubtedly be another very difficult test for the players, but we’ve already become accustomed to these types of challenges despite only being a handful of games into the season.

The boys have had to step up to the mark early on with the ties against Kilmarnock, St Mirren and Dumbarton in the Betfred Cup and then a tricky opening league match away to Peterhead, but I feel that they done that well and the experiences from these games will equip us well for what lies ahead.

Since the players reported for preseason training mid-June they’ve worked extremely hard and every one of them has a proper understanding of what we’re looking to achieve. They know the Ayr United game will be a difficult one but it’s a game that we will go into looking to keep doing what we’ve done well so far, and keep that positive momentum going.

It’s been frustrating that we’ve picked up a number of injuries so early on in the season and some players have still to play competitively but that’s something which we need to deal with. We’ll be limited in terms of options against Ayr and it’s likely that there will be a few changes to the starting XI but that presents those coming into the squad with a challenge to make their mark.

We have a couple of players close to full fitness in that of Dom McLaren and Josh Peters, but I think this game will come too early for them. We need to be sensible and manage the players back properly and I don’t believe rushing them back to play in the fixtures would do them or ourselves any favours in that regard”.

Stats Life

The opposition: The Honest Men go into the game on the back of a very impressive start to life in the Championship, sitting third after their first two matches. An opening day 2-0 victory over Partick Thistle, courtesy of a Lawrence Shankland double, was followed up with a goalless draw away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the weekend. Ian McCall’s men are no strangers to Gus MacPherson having won all four of the league meetings between this sides last season.

Head to head: Played 136; Queen’s Park 39; Drawn 26; Ayr United 71.

Last meeting of the sides: 24/03/2018 Ayr United 4-0 Queen’s Park.

Last matches: 11/08/2018 Queen’s Park 1-0 Berwick Rangers; Inverness CT 0-0 Ayr United.

Match officials: Referee – Greg Aitken. Assistants – Gordon Crawford and Iain Snedden.

Admission prices: Adults £10; Concessions (65+/Student/Unemployed/U16) £5.00.

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Our next match: 18/08/2018 v Annan Athletic at Galabank. Kick off 3.00pm.