A TOUGH tie is in prospect when Ayr United make the trip to North Ayrshire for a derby of a different kind on Saturday.

Boss Ian McCall and players Robbie Crawford and Alan Forrest will leave no stone unturned in their preparations as the Ladbrokes Championship leaders face junior Premier Division champions Beith in the third round of the Scottish Cup.

The SFA have declared the match as the featured Tie of the Round. There will be a Fanzone set up on the Astroturf from 11.30am until 1pm, featuring bouncy castles, face painting, football drills.

Crawford and Forrest were at Beith Primary School on Thursday to meet excited kids and promote the event.

Midfielder Crawford said: "It's a good tie for us and obviously a big tie for Beith. It's good that junior clubs are allowed into the cup. This is a big tie, especially for Beith and they will have a go at us. They did well winning the league last season. It will be a potentially tricky tie but we won't treat them lightly.

"We played Rangers in the League Cup this season but if you want games like that you have to win these kind of ties. We will prepare for it just like we would every other game."

Added Prestwick man Forrest, whose brother James scored a double for Scotland in their 4-0 thumping of Albania: "I think it will be a tough game as do all the boys and we won't treat it differently. I look forward to it and hopefully we can get through."

McCall is relishing the tie and said: "Beith have done brilliantly to get there - there's always a shock in the cup but we don't want to be it. I know some of the people at the club from Partick Thistle Under-20s and 21s games over the years. There should be a great atmosphere and hopefully we will get through."

The boss could take some positives despite Saturday's goalless draw with Morton

He said: "I wasn't that happy with how we played but we increase our lead to five points and will take the point and move on. Craig Moore put his hands up after the sending off but the other boys worked hard to get us out of jail."

Meanwhile United defender Steven Bell was disappointed not to take all three points at home to Morton following the 0-0 draw.

He said: "We have to work out more how to break teams down and have dropped four points in our last two home games and drew with Queen of the South the previous week after conceding a poor goal."


McCall said: "