Manager wins award

We are delighted to announce that manager Mark Roberts won the SPFL League One manager of the month award for August.

After a month that saw us start the season with a hard fought 1-0 home win over Morton we then went to Stirling Albion and comfortably won 3-1. Another win followed with a 2-0 home win over Forfar and the month ended unbeaten with a 1-1 draw away to Stenhousemuir and sitting 3 points clear at the top of the league.

The award is Mark’s first as manager.

Match report v Stranraer

Ayr United 0 v 2 Stranraer
Gallacher 65’
Longworth 81mins

Ayr United lost their unbeaten league record to a doggedly determined and well-organised Stranraer team in the blazing sunshine at Somerset Park. It had been expected that Ayr would return from the international break refreshed and back to their peak and so it seemed in the early exchanges of this match.

After only two minutes tricky Alan Forrest made the best of some confusion in the Stranraer back four inside the box and played the ball to Brian Gilmour who saw his flick goal-ward from four yards instinctively, and brilliantly saved by David Mitchell in the Stranraer goal.

Three minutes later Peter Murphy rose to meet a corner from the right and, although seeming certain to end in the back of the net, the ball was blocked and scrambled from the line by the Stranraer defence.

In the 13th minute Donnelly found space in the box and rose to meet a long cross, his perfectly timed header beating Mitchell hands up but as he turned to celebrate the far side linesman raised his flag as he had just strayed offside.

Stranraer were beginning to come into the game with some probing passes from Gibson, Gallagher and former Ayr player Anthony Marenghi causing some concern for the United defence as Longworth and Stoney attempted to get behind Ayr’s back four.

In the 15th minute Ayr raced forward down the left hand side, Devlin’s pass reaching McGill who flicked the ball around Stranraer’s right back Scott Robertson and span past him as he’s made his way towards the penalty area. Unfortunately for the defender he turned sharply as he tried to match McGill’s run and collapsed on the ground in some pain having dislocated his knee. This forced Stranraer into substitution, bringing on former Ayr youngster Jackson Longridge who moved into the left back position while Craig Pettigrew moved from his central defensive role to cover the right back slot.

The game settled into a lacklustre spell while, with both teams trying to press forward, lack of control and accuracy of passing let both sides down. Though Ayr had more possession, Stranraer’s players harried and chased for every ball in midfield, not letting Ayr settle to their usual passing style of play, while their deep and well-disciplined 4-4-2 formation denied Ayr much space or chances.

In the 38th minute Alan Forrest picked up the ball wide on the right and drove towards the Stranraer penalty area, cutting inside, turning the defenders on their heels and creating space for himself. With the ball on his left foot, Forrest saw space opening up and slammed the ball towards the goal only to watch it slide past Mitchell’s right-hand post.

The referee’s whistle for half-time couldn’t come quick enough for both teams as they had the chance to take on much-needed fluids and give their managers the opportunity to come up with a plan to break the deadlock. For fans it was a chance to applaud local hero, and Commonwealth games gold medallist, Paul Foster and to be amazed by the ball juggling skills of Scotland’s ‘keepy-uppy’ king Graeme Lightbody.

In the second half Ayr came firing out of the traps winning two corners in quick succession and having a Michael Donald flicked header from the centre of the box going close. But then Stranraer posted a warning with a quick breakaway resulting in a cross into the box finding Jamie Longworth un-marked in the centre but his header just strayed right. Stranraer’s speed on the break should have acted as a warning to Ayr and it acted as a precursor of what was to come.

Ayr continued to press forward and were awarded a freekick in a dangerous position just outside the box. In an attempt to confuse keeper Mitchell, three possible freekick takers stood around the ball, McGovern, Murphy and McLaughlin. It was McLaughlin who struck the ball sweetly lifting and curling it towards the top corner but Stranraer keeper Mitchell saved acrobatically.

In the 54th minute Peter McGill was replaced by the trialist, Paul Slane in attempt to freshen things up and find a way through the Stranraer rearguard.

The game started to open up and Stranraer’s speedy breaks were causing more and more problems for the United defence with, yet again, Jamie Longworth going close with a flicked header from inside the 6 yard box, scraping the post to the keeper’s right.

Ayr’s attacking intent was signalled with a substitution in the 64th minute when Brian Gilmour was replaced by new signing Craig Beattie who moved into the forward line. The addition of Beattie was to have little time to influence the match is within 40 seconds Stranraer pushed down the left-hand side with the ball reaching midfielder Grant Gallagher who cut inside, into what seemed like acres of space, and moved unchallenged towards the United penalty box. With the Ayr defence backing off he released a screamer of a drive from 20 yards, past the despairing Hutton and in to the bottom left corner.

The game then became frenetic with a cut and thrust of forward and backward movements. Stranraer’s Scott Rumsby was booked in the 68th minutes for a tackle from behind on Donnelly. A couple of minutes later Peter Murphy went in the book for a similar offence against Stoney.

Ayr’s captain Scott McLaughlin was left holding his head in disbelief as a neat pass by Beattie played him in behind the Stranraer defence and saw him clear in the box, but somehow he managed lose control and mistime a shot at the same time and the opportunity was lost.

Both teams started to change things around with Stranraer appearing to attempt to prevent Ayr winning the ball in midfield or scoring an equaliser with Sean Winter replacing Marenghi in midfield and Barry Russell coming on for the influential midfielder Willie Gibson, then slipping in to defensive possession. Ayr went out for the equaliser bringing Dale Shirkie on to partner Beattie up front with the tiring Ryan Donnelly replaced.

Things didn’t go to plan for Ayr as it was Stranraer who pushed forward with Stephen Stirling hitting a left-footed shot from the edge of the box but it rose high and wide. But Stranraer were only going to be denied for one more minute. With Ayr pushing forward they were caught on the break and Daniel Stoney released the ball to Jamie Longworth who had beaten the offside trap and was left one-on-one with keeper Hutton. Longworth expertly sidestepped Hutton, ran past him and stroked the ball into the net much to the joy of the travelling Stranraer support. With 80 minutes gone and only 10 minutes remaining Stranraer were not going to let this slip.

Jackson Longridge found his name in the book, as following Stranraer’s celebration in front of their fans, he did not heed the referee’s instruction to cross back across the halfway line but instead decided to over casually tie his shoelaces.

Although Ayr did not give up and continued to press, this game was well and truly over and as the full-time whistle sounded the Ayr team left the pitch disappointed men.

Hugh Clarke, director of Restoraroof.co.uk chose JP McGovern as the man of the match. image

Ayr United
1 Hutton
2 Devlin
3 Donald
4 Campbell
5 Murphy
6 Gilmour
7 Forrest
8 McLaughlin
9 Donnelly
10 McGovern
11 McGill

Substitutes
12 McKenzie
14 McArthur
15 Shirkie
16 Beattie
17 Muir
18 Trialist
19 Newman

Stranraer
1 Mitchell
2 Robertson
3 Rumsby
4 Pettigrew
5 McKeown
6 Gallagher
7 Gibson
8 Stirling
9 Stoney
10 Longworth
11 Marenghi

Substitutes
12 Longridge
14 Aitken
15 Winter
16 Forde
17 Russell
18 Tobin
19 McCloskey

Referee: Calum Murray
Attendance: 1,414
Report by AUmedia

CLUB SHOP MATCHDAY OFFERS

AYR UNITED V STRANRAER CLUB SHOP MATCH DAY OFFERS

1. DOUBLE 6 CHALLENGE
Spend £20 or more on shop merchandise in store on Saturday 13th September then roll the dice for a chance of a full refund on your purchased goods. Roll a double 6 and we will refund the full cost of your purchase.

2. FREE MUG WITH EVERY BOOK
Buy Gerry Ferrara`s new book `A season with Ayr United` priced £14.99 and get a FREE Ayr United FC mug (value £6.99). gerry mug

*These offer / promotions are for one day only (Saturday 13th September).

We are open from 10am on Saturday.

The Official Ayr United FC Club Shop
Somerset Park
AYR
Phone: 01292 263435 Ext 5
Email: shop@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

Match Preview v Stranraer

Ayr United welcome Stranraer to Somerset Park on Saturday as the League 1 campaign resumes after the international break. The Honest Men will remain top of the table if they can extend their unbeaten start to the league campaign to five games.

Stranraer sit ninth in League 1 with two points from four games. Former Ayr United striker Craig Malcolm will sit out Saturday’s game through suspension after being sent off in the Blue’s last league game, a 2-1 defeat at home to Dunfermline Athletic in which Malcolm’s ex-strike partner Michael Moffat scored the winner.

The Stair Park side were in action on Saturday, wining through to the semi-finals of the Petrofac Training Cup with a 1-0 victory over Championship side Falkirk. Anthony Marenghi scored the only goal in the first-half, one of six former Ayr United players to feature for the home side.

Read on for our match preview:

Marko says: Stranraer had a great result last weekend which will give them confidence after a poor start however after the start we have made our boys are very confident. Our games with Stranraer always have a wee edge to them and this one will be no different with a few of our ex players in their team. We want to make Somerset Park a difficult place to come and we have done that so far this season with not conceding a goal. I have been delighted with the support we have had this season and last time out at Stenhousemuir our fans really got behind us with 20 minutes to go. We were disappointed not to get the win but that shows how far we have come.

Team news: Martyn Campbell and Kevin McKinlay are both doubtful for the match however they are the only injury doubts in the squad.

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 27
Draws – 7
Stranraer wins – 6

The last six fixtures between the sides at Somerset Park have averaged 4.83 goals per game.

Last Meeting: Ayr gained some revenge for two heavy defeats earlier in the season with a 5-0 win over the Blues the last time the sides met, which was in March. Michael Moffat (2), Craig Malcolm, Michael Donald and Alan Forrest were on the score sheet at Somerset Park while the visitors had captain Frank McKeown sent off.

Stats:
– Stranraer have played 9 matches this season but only one away from home: a 4-0 defeat at Greenock Morton;
– The Blues had a similarly slow start to last season, drawing one and losing four of their first five league games before going on to secure their highest league position since 2006;

On this day: Saturday will be the 20th fixture Ayr have played on the 13th September. Stranraer were also the opponents the last time United played on this date when Chris Aitken, Ryan Borris and Bryan Prunty scored in a 3-1 win at Stair Park which saw Stranraer’s Gregory Tade sent off for two bookings in quick succession. The sides also played out a 0-0 draw on 13th September 1986.

Match Officials:
Referee: Calum Murray
Assistant Referee 1: Steven Reid
Assistant Referee 2: Liam Butler

Match Info:
Adults £15
Concessions £8 (OAPs, students and under16s)
Parent and child gate £18

Forthcoming Issues in Health Care Organization

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Dunfermline game rescheduled

We are delighted to announce that our game at home to Dunfermline, initially meant for Saturday 11th October has now been moved to a 7.45pm kick off on Friday 10th October.

We felt that with Scotland playing at home to Georgia at 5pm on Saturday 11th that this would be the best solution for our fans and ensure that no one has to choose between club and country.

Development League game rescheduled.

The first home game in the Development League West is now tomorrow night at Somerset Park, Tuesday the 9th of September at 7.45pm v Airdrie. Entry to the game is free.

Five Star Winners Week 7 & 8

TREBLE CHANCE
The last home match was on 23 Aug against Forfar and the winners of the half time draw were as follows.

£200 Tkt no 1581 S Taylor
£ 50 Tkt no 439 D Watson
£ 25 Tkt no 1519 S McCulloch

We would like to thank the sponsors of this draw Helens Resturant for their kind support.

The next home game is on Sat 13 Sept against Stranraer and we are delighted to have Ayrshire and Galloway Hotel sponsor our half time draw. They are also offering everyone who purchases a half time draw ticket the opportunity to get a free starter or sweet for every main course you buy on presentation of your ticket. So please retain your ticket to take advantage of this great special offer.

We would also like let you know that Paul Foster who recently won Gold in Bowling at the recent commonwealth games in Glasgow will be at the match on Saturday. Paul who has been a member of the 5 Star Lottery for many years will be assisting Dougie Morton from the lottery office and the Ayrshire and Galloway Hotel with the half time draw. We would like to say thank you to Paul for his support over the years.

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS
WEEK NUMBER 07

£1000 C3042 A Rogerson (Pictured) AGENT C McRonald Ayr

MONDAY
£50 D0521 W Mclaughlin AGENT J Mitchell Muirkirk
£10 A2342 A Milligan AGENT M Irvine Ayr
£10 B2023 A Mcroberts AGENT Mr Hough Ayr
£10 H1542 R Hamilton AGENT Mr Brodie Ayr

TUESDAY
£50 E2521 M Stewart AGENT J Stewart Ayr
£10 B3919 D Stephenson AGENT J Stewart Prestwick
£10 B4221 E Nelson AGENT E Nelson Ayr
£10 B1822 S Russell AGENT Ayr Car Wash Ayr

WEDNESDAY
£50 K2044 I Duff AGENT L Brodie Annbank
£10 F3743 J Robertson AGENT R Todd Girvan
£10 E0111 K Robertson AGENT C McRonald Ayr
£10 B3114 M Lang AGENT D Morton Drongan

THURSDAY
£50 K0123 A Gibson AGENT J Ferguson Rankinston
£10 F1032 A Wilson AGENT Lottery Office Dumfries
£10 E0114 G Robertson AGENT C McRonald Ayr
£10 F0331 C Mcgowan AGENT J Stewart Ayr

FRIDAY
£10 B3344 M Treadwell AGENT R Hannah Coylton
£10 F0815 G Dunlop AGENT L Brodie Mossblown
£10 F1444 J Dunlop AGENT K Dickson Kirkoswald

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS
WEEK NUMBER 08

£1000 A4631 A McAnespie AGENT Lottery Office Ayr

MONDAY
£50 F1023 H Towers AGENT Lottery Office Hamilton
£10 A4024 J Grant AGENT J Lee Ayr
£10 L2044 H Mcvey AGENT D McGeoch Sanquhar
£10 J3521 I Anderson AGENT C McRonald Ayr

TUESDAY
£50 F1933 R Thomson AGENT C McRonald Ayr
£10 J0145 J Runciman AGENT Lottery Office Ayr
£10 A1515 A Callaghan AGENT J Stewart Ayr
£10 E1531 M McConnell AGENT J Anderson Dunure

WEDNESDAY
£50 B3115 G Porter AGENT M Rowan Ayr
£10 C1245 J Mitchell AGENT Lottery Office Drongan
£10 B1632 A Henderson AGENT Darvel Lottery Office
£10 B2234 M Hutchison AGENT R Todd Girvan

THURSDAY
£50 L0614 J Cuthbert AGENT J Loch Maybole
£10 H0931 J Stewart AGENT J Stewart Ayr
£10 A2422 R Anderson AGENT J Anderson Alloway
£10 A5041 C Pringle AGENT J Stewart Ayr

FRIDAY
£10 A1323 C McCutcheon AGENT J P Telfer Ayr
£10 C0945 D McGeoch AGENT D McGeoch Sanquhar
£10 A0331 D Mckeating AGENT B Nixon Troon

Don’t miss any more chances to win,

To join the Lottery please call the office on 01292 263435 (option 1) or go online at www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk

Deadline day signings!

Today we are delighted to announce two big deals for the club. Firstly the signing of former Scotland internationalist Craig Beattie. 30 year old Beattie has signed for this season and boasts an Outstanding pedigree. He has played in the champions league, uefa cup, the Premiership on both sides of the border and has 7 caps for the Scotland national side. Craig has won 3 premier league titles, 4 Scottish cup medals and a championship play off winner with Swansea city. image

Last season he helped Dundee gain promotion to the Premiership. Craig has a record of scoring goals everywhere he has been and will be a huge asset to us this season.

Delighted manager Mark Roberts said “Craig is exactly the type of striker I’ve been looking to get in. He has so much experience of playing at a much higher level than we are currently at. Craig has played with some top clubs and even went to west brom from Celtic for 1.2 million. That shows the quality he will bring. He will give us a presence and a physical edge and everybody knows the ability he has. He has won titles and is hungry for more and at 30 years old he has a lot of football in him. He wants to bring success to Ayr United and we are delighted to have him.”

Secondly we are delighted to announce the extension of Alan Forrests contract on improved terms until the end of season 2015/2016. Alan is one of the top prospects this club has produced for a long time and last season became the clubs youngest ever goalscorer. He scored 8 league goals last season and scored a double at Stirling earlier this season with the finish for his second absolutely top class. image

Manager Mark Roberts said “I’m delighted to get wee Forrest signed up for another year. We had a chat last week and we both felt it was the best thing for him and his development to sign an extension. He is a pleasure to work with and he is the type of lad who just wants to play football every week,learn and get better. He is getting stronger and fitter and we know he is going to benefit and improve by playing first team football at Ayr United.”