By Jenna Thomson

Ayr United sit top of Premier Sports Cup Group E after a 1-0 win against Hamilton Accies in South Lanarkshire.

Cameron Salkeld’s goal in the first half sealed a win for David Hopkin’s Ayr in an all-cinch Championship affair.

Sunderland v Bradford City - Sky Bet League One

Hopkin’s side won the game. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Ayr United opened the scoring after Tomi Adeloye’s attempt at goal was deflected out of the box and then volleyed into the bottom corner by Salkeld. A free-kick awarded to Ayr shortly after their first goal almost doubled their lead but it eventually hit the post.

Hamilton struggled to find a goal despite holding the majority of possession and chances throughout the game. Accies created some good chances in the second half with efforts from Lewis Smith and several attempts by Kyle Munro but ultimately none were powerful enough or on target.

Group E has four potential group winners heading into the final set of matches on Saturday, with Ayr United, Hamilton, Albion Rovers and Falkirk all mathematically capable of topping the section.  Here are three things we learned.

Rangers v Hamilton Academical - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Rice’s side suffered defeat. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ayr’s attack

Salkeld was Hopkin’s first signing of the summer and has already started to work well for Ayr. He and his fellow forward players fashioned some great chances. Salkeld could be a vital player for the Honest Men’s attacking play in this form.

Hamilton improvement

Some minor defensive mistakes are what resulted in Hamilton going 1-0 down. Their midfield and attacking options never managed to find a breakthrough and will need to find the solution they didn’t against Ayr, if they are to make a strong Championship start.

The cup run isn’t finished

Ayr have performed well in this group and will be pleased to be in with a shout of winning it. But given how tight the margins are, it really is hard to predict who could win it. Hopkin’s side host Falkirk in a pivotal clash this weekend.

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