Football Remembers

SPFL clubs to support ‘Moment in History’ this weekend

 

All 42 SPFL clubs will join forces with teams across the UK this weekend (5-8 December) to commemorate the 1914 Christmas Truce football matches.

 

As part of ‘Football Remembers Week’, a series of programmes and events to mark the 100th anniversary of the iconic matches from the First World War, Scottish clubs will show their support and create their own ‘Moment in History’ by holding a mixed team photograph before kick-off.

 

At each of the 21 SPFL fixtures across this weekend, all 22 starting players will pose together for a group photograph to celebrate the spirit of the unofficial ceasefire matches which took place during the first Christmas of the Great War.

 

Images from across the country will be uploaded to social media using the hashtag #FootballRemembers and fans will also be able to see all photographs at the official website FootballRemembers.com. As well as SPFL clubs, teams from all levels of the Scottish game are being encouraged to create their own ‘Moment in History’ and can find more details on how to take part on the Football Remembers Week website (URL above).

 

Speaking of the initiative, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “The 1914 Christmas Truce matches demonstrated the unifying power of football and it’s important we use this opportunity to acknowledge and remember the spirit and humanity of those involved.

 

“Despite what was happening, these young people were able to put differences aside to enjoy a game of football and it’s pleasing to see clubs across the country coming together to commemorate one of the few bright moments in what was a very dark chapter of history.”

 

‘Football Remembers’ is a series of programmes and events being delivered jointly by the Premier League, The FA and the Football League, in partnership with the British Council, to commemorate the First World War. The SPFL has been asked to participate and give its support to the ‘Moment in History’ mixed team photograph activity across the weekend of 5-8 December 2014.

 

East Stirling match report

After a nervy first half Ayr got back to winning ways with what turned out to be a comfortable victory in the first round of the Scottish Communities League cup.

The first 10mins saw Ayr dominate possession forcing East Stirlingshire back into their own half and limiting them to the occasional foray forward. However a mix up between Devlin and goalkeeper Hutton at a throw-in, almost let East Stirlingshire in on goal and this seemed to instil some confidence and belief into Shire’s play.

A flurry of chances followed this new found confidence with a rasping free kick from all of 30 yards, by East Stirlingshire’s Greenhill, fizzing inches wide of Hutton’s left hand post. This was quickly followed by a stinging shot from the edge of the box by McGregor which Hutton did well to parry for a corner. Diminutive forward Max Wright caused the Ayr defence problems with some intuitive play while left back Nathan Shepherd’s probing runs down the left flank were a constant source of irritation for the United defence.

It took time for Ayr to come to grips with this lively East Stirling side but by the half hour mark Ayr started to reassert themselves. Driven on by the impressive Peter Murphy, Ayr began to exploit the space East Stirlingshire were leaving at the back.  The final 10mins of the half saw Ayr dominating. Mikey Donald went close when he broke free on the left hand side but unfortunately for Ayr, East Stirling keeper Barnard was quick to spot the danger and sprinted out of his goals to make a fine save at the feet of the onrushing winger.

In the 40th minute Mikey Donald fell awkwardly and had to be replaced by Peter McGill with the youngster slotting in well no doubt benefitting from his outing against Clyde last week.

Ayr continued to pile on the pressure but couldn’t make the all-important break through and as referee Greg Aitken finally blew for half-time it was the East Stirling players who looked to be the more relieved to be going in at the break still level.

Ayr began the second half with renewed impetus and within just four minutes took the lead. John Paul McGovern, looking much more comfortable playing a deeper role than in the first half, drove Ayr forward.  In the 49th minute he latched on to a loose ball in midfield and drove straight for the heart of the defence. The East Stirlingshire defenders attempted to close ranks but McGovern slipped the ball to Donnelly in the right hand channel who adjusted his feet before curling a sublime left foot shot past keeper Barnard.

East Stirlingshire’s woes were further compounded in the 57th minute. Following a corner for the home side, referee Greg Aitken showed no hesitation in flashing a straight red card to former Stranraer player David McKenna for an off the ball incident. The player, head in hands, offered no remonstration as he swiftly departed the field of play.

 

In the 61st minute things got even better for Ayr when Scott McLaughlin struck a superbly hit penalty high into the net after Connor Greene’s foul halted Nicky Devlin’s mazy run in the box.

United were cruising at this point but got a bit of a wakeup call in the 72nd minute when Greenhill picked up the ball on the right. He cut into the box past a struggling McKinlay with a darting run and crashed a terrific left foot shot off the angle of post and bar. Manager Mark Roberts was immediately forced into action and replaced McKinlay, handing Andrew Muir his debut in the process.  Nicky Devlin moved to left back for the remainder of the game and Andrew Muir slotted in at right back, with the youngster looking composed and comfortable on the right hand side of the defence, even finding time to get himself involved in a couple of Ayr attacks.

Ayr stepped up the pressure with the extra man advantage and in the 76th minute should have put the game beyond doubt when first McGill, then Forrest and finally Donnelly all had attempts blocked or saved in a goal mouth scramble. However the travelling Ayr support, stoically braving the torrential wind and rain, didn’t have to wait much longer as Ryan Donnelly notched his second and Ayr’s third with a low drive past Barnard in the 77th minute.

Ayr began to relax and turn on the style and in the 86th minute Scott McLaughlin almost tricked home keeper Barnard with a well taken free kick. As Gilmour, McGovern and McLaughlin all hovered over the ball, seemingly undecided who was taking the free kick, Scott McLaughlin suddenly sprung into life and curled a tremendous left foot shot over the East Stirlingshire wall. The ball cannoned off the inside of the upright and back across the face of the goal, behind the flat footed Barnard, before being cleared to safety.

The game became a ‘stroll in the downpour’ as Ayr, three goals to the good, wrapped up the game in the 90th minute. Brian Gilmour broke free for a one on one with Barnard and, as the keeper rushed out to meet him, Gilmour composed himself before calmly passing the ball into the net to give Ayr a convincing 4-0 win.

Following the match manager Mark Roberts was pleased with the performance of the team and the improvement shown from the previous week. He was able to confirm that Mikey Donald and Kevin McKinlay’s injuries didn’t appear to be too serious and he expected them both to be fit for next week’s crucial opening league fixture against Morton at Somerset Park.

Ayr United team:

Hutton; Murphy; McKinlay (Muir – 75’); Campbell; Devlin; Donald(McGill – 40’) McLaughlin; Gilmour; Forrest; McGovern; Donnelly

Subs:

McArthur; McKenzie; Roberts; Muir; McGill; Newman

 

Bookings:

None

East Stirlingshire team:

Barnard; Bolochoweckyj; Greene; Kinnaird; Shepherd; MacGregor (Shields – 84’); Greenhill; Wright; Brisbane (Doyle-68’); Vidler(McMullan-66’); McKenna

Subs:

Doyle; McMullan; Glasgow; Shields; Deans; Shaw; Kay

 

Bookings:

Bolochoweckyj; Greene; MacGregor

 

Sendings Off:

McKenna

 

Attendance: 295

First Signing of the Summer

photo (2)Ayr United are please to announce that Kevin McKinlay today finalised his signing with the club for the 14/15 season. Kevin is 28 years old and has played for Stenhousemuir for the last 3 seasons. Kevin was a product of Chelsea youth system before moving to  Ross County and has also played with Partick Thistle, Dundalk, Morton and most recently Stenhousemuir.

Kevin spoke to our official website and said that the major factor in signing for Ayr was the manager as he shares his ambition and feels that Ayr are a big club in this division. He stated that he will bring some grit to the defence, experience of many games in this division and likes to play football instead of launching the ball up the park. We asked Kevin what he thought of Somerset Park and the Ayr fans, he said  ‘the fans have made me feel really welcome so far on twitter. Although Stenhousemuir are in the same league I feel this is a step up for me as Ayr are a bigger club with huge potential. I love playing at Somerset Park and cant wait to get started’.

Mark Roberts was delighted to be able to confirm the signing and said ‘Kevin is someone ive known for a long time and he has improved a lot over the years. Hes good on the ball as well as being a good defender and we needed someone with a mixture of both. Kevins a very aggressive player and a very difficult opponent for opposing teams. Primarily he will be a left back however he can slot into other postions. Kevin had other offers and we are delighted to have him on board’.

 

New Strips

new stripsWe are pleased to announce that this seasons home top will be available for sale in the club shop from Monday 7th July between 12 and 4pm. The tops, this year made by adidas, are exactly the same price as last year at £45 for adults and £36 for kids. Wearing the new tops are new signing Jon Paul McGovern,  captain Scott McLaughlin and last seasons young player of the year Alan Forrest.

Hugh Cameron

Hugh Cameron has stepped down from his role as a director of the club.

Hugh has been a director for over 10 years and has served in many capacities during his time here including Managing Director and Commercial Director

He came into the club at its darkest hour and along with the other directors at that time, started to put the pieces back together in an extremely tough environment when the club was under severe financial pressure.

Hugh successfully launched and has managed our shirt sponsorship draw since 2005 which continues to provide vital income to the club every season.

Hugh was instrumental in securing BODOG as our main club as well as countless other individuals and companies that provide significant support to Ayr United.

Hugh’s involvement at the club as a volunteer goes way back before becoming a director. There are many stood on the terracing today that are there as a direct result of the Big A Club formed by Hughie in the late eighties and ran well into the nineties.

The club would like to take this opportunity to wish him the best of luck going forward and thank him for all of the time and effort he has put into this club.

MATCH PREVIEW v East Stirling

Ayr United are in cup action and on the road again this weekend when we travel to Ochilview to face East Stirlingshire in the first round of the League Cup. Mark Roberts’s men will be looking to bounce back after the disappointment of losing to Clyde in the Petrofac Training Cup as they gear up for the start of the League 1 campaign.

The Shire were defeated 7-1 by neighbours Falkirk on Saturday at Ochilview, the first match in charge for new manager Craig Tully. Six of the Bairns’ goals were scored in the second-half.

 

Read on for our preview of Saturday’s game:

 

Team News: United hope to be at full strength for the trip to Ochilview.

Kevin McKinlay had painkilling injections earlier this week to combat an ongoing back problem and should be fit to play.

Martyn Campbell is also expected to line up in defence after putting pen to paper on a new deal with the club on Thursday.

Peter McGill is also in contention to start again after his impressive second half display at Broadwood.

 

Marko says: “We know this is a very important tie in terms of our confidence levels ahead of the first league game.

“We need a kick start for the season and I’ll be using our run to the semis of this competition a couple of years ago as a good example of what can happen.

“Last Saturday was a big warning for us and the senior players especially are all looking to remedy that.

“We had a great training session on Tuesday night, there was a big reaction from Saturday and we’re looking to put things right.”

 

 

Head-to-Head:

Ayr United wins: 31

Draws: 10

East Stirlingshire wins: 16

Ayr United have played East Stirlingshire five times in the League Cup. The sides were drawn in together in the group stages of the competition in 1962/63 (1-4 and 2-1) and 1969/70 (0-0 and 1-0). More recently Ayr were 3-0 winners at Ochilview in the first round of the competition in Season 2011/12.

 

Last Meeting:

East Stirlingshire knocked Ayr United out of the Challenge Cup with a 3-1 win at Ochilview the last time the sides met, on 28 July 2012. The game was Mark Roberts’s first in charge.  United’s starting line-up on the day was: Brown; Tiffoney, McCann, Brownlie, J. Robertson; Marenghi, Sinclair, McStay, Shankland; Moffat, R. Robertson.

Stats:

–          In nine matches on Ochilview’s artificial surface, Ayr have recorded just one win: against East Stirlingshire in the first round of the League Cup in 2011. The pitch has been relaid this summer.

–          East Stirlingshire finished eighth in League 2 last season, 20 points ahead of tenth placed Queen’s Park.

–          Ayr have been knocked out of the League Cup by a Premier League/Premiership club in five of the past six seasons.

 

On this day:

Ayr United have played four competitive fixtures on 2nd August, all of them at SomersetPark. Our only win came against Falkirk in an Anglo-Scottish Cup qualifier in 1975.  United went on to face Mansfield in the next round of the competition.

 

Match Officials:

Referee:  Greg Aitken

Assistant: Graeme Stewart

Assistant: Steven Strang

 

Match Info:

Admission:

Adults: £12

Concessions: £6

Ayr United fans will occupy the Tryst Road terracing behind the goal at Ochilview.

 

Travel:

The River Cottage Travel Club bus departs from the pub at 12.30pm. Seats cost £10. Phone Tam on 07585 328685 or Jamie on 07792 747354 for details.

The RCTC are having a buffet with karoeke/disco on return from the game starting around 7pm. There will be a raffle to help raise funds to subsidise some away games to try and ensure the bus runs to every away match for a second season in a row. The raffle has some excellent prizes already including a season ticket and 2 months membership for two at the Fairfield house hotel leisure club. All supporters are welcome.

 

By Car

From M9, travel to Kincardine Bridge then follow sign posts to Stenhousemuir via A905 and A88 along the Bellsdyke Road. Turn left into Tryst Road and then left at the end into Gladstone Road.

By Train

Nearest train station is Larbert, approx half a mile away.