Topps SPFL Sticker Collection

Calling all Honest Men (and women!) – Topps Official SPFL Sticker Collection for 2015 is here!

 

Topps launched their brand new SPFL sticker collection for 2015 today! SPFL Sticker Collection2

 

Ayr United fans of all ages will be able to get ‘stuck in’ to the all-new 2015 Scottish Professional Football League Official Sticker Collection, which is on sale now and features all 42 clubs from all four leagues.

 

A 48-page album accompanies the brand new collection, which is packed with in-depth player stats, team information and all the biggest stars of the Scottish Professional Football League.

 

The Topps 2015 Scottish Professional Football League Official Sticker collection is available from supermarkets and all good local independent newsagents.

 

Rod Pearson, Marketing Director at Topps, adds: “This official collection celebrates the SPFL, players and teams from all four leagues. It’s packed with stars from everyone’s favourite clubs and offers fans a fun-filled and exciting way to support their team.” SPFL Sticker Collection

 

Fans can kick start their collection in style with a Starter Pack (£2.00), which includes a 48-page album and 4 free packets of stickers, giving collectors everything they need to get straight into the action! Packets of stickers will be available for 50p each.

 

For further information about Topps Scottish Professional Football League Stickers, please visit www.toppsfootball.co.uk.

Brechin 2 Ayr United 1

Brechin City 2 V 1 Ayr United

 

The Honest Men took the long journey to the north east on Saturday with hopes that the newly installed management duo of Ian McCall and John Henry could deliver them a much needed win and end their recent run of poor form. The Ian McCall era started with two surprise changes to the starting eleven. New loan signing Morgan Neill and youth development player Craig McCracken, both just 18, were selected to partner each other at the heart of the Ayr defence as Craig Beattie and Sean McKenzie dropped to the bench. United also adopted a different formation with a 4-1-4-1 set up the preferred option as John Paul McGovern sat just in front of the defence with Ryan Donnelly employed as a lone striker.

 

As kick off approached a minor snow storm abated just as the ref blew to start the game and in chilly conditions with blue skies overhead the game started as Ayr entered a new period in the clubs history. However it was Brechin who started the better team in the opening stages as they quickly got in to their stride taking the game to Ayr from the off.

 

United took longer to settle and adapt to the new formation. Although they looked reasonably assured in defence and midfield they couldn’t get bodies forward quickly enough to support Donnelly who began to appear isolated up front.

 

Just as it seemed Ayr were going to weather the early pressure it was former Ayr target Bobby Barr that came back to haunt them. A neat piece of skill on the touchline saw him elude a United defender and get to the by-line. He drove a low cross from the left back across goal and as the Ayr defence were caught flat footed Brechin full-back Paul McLean stole in from the right to drill a first time shot past David Hutton from 16 yards. This goal was made even more special as it also coincided with his 200th appearance for Brechin City.

 

The pace of Barr was a constant worry for Ayr and in 25 minutes he should have made it 2-0 for Brechin. He latched on to a long clearance before outpacing the Ayr defence. It looked like he was certain to score but David Hutton had narrowed the angle sufficiently enough to enable him to block Barr’s shot when clean through on goal.

 

Barr again caused Ayr problems in 32mins when he set up a chance for Andy Jackson, who did well to turn in the box and get a shot off at the Ayr goal. Fortunately for Ayr the angle was too tight and the ball hit the outside of the upright and out for a goal kick.

 

There were further chances for Wighton and Trouten before Ayr managed to get their first shot on target in the 41st min after good work by Crawford but his effort was easily saved by Brechin’s Graeme Smith.

 

Into the second half and Ayr looked a lot livelier at the start as they looked to impose themselves on Brechin. But again it was Brechin and Paul Mclean who were more direct as he flashed a shot across goal from a tight angle on the left in the 54th min.

 

Ian McCall replaced Ryan Donnelly with the experienced Craig Beattie in 57 mins and his presence had an immediate impact as he set up an opening for Alan Forrest. However Graeme Smith was on hand to deny Forrest as he quickly closed the distance between himself and the young forward to save at his feet.

 

The second half was much more evenly matched but Brechin always carried more of a threat going forward.  This threat was then superbly demonstrated in the 79th minute when Robert Thomson, who earlier replaced Wighton, broke through to execute a sublime chip from the edge of the box and put Brechin 2-0 up.

 

Ayr tried to rally and Brian Gilmour had a shot go wide in the 83rd minute. The tremendous travelling Ayr support who sung their hearts out all day were eventually rewarded for their endeavours when right on the stroke of full time Alan Forrest scored a well taken goal from the edge of the box.

 

Over the 90 minutes Brechin deserved their win as they carried more of a threat in front of goal but United can be pleased with the performance of the young central defensive pairing of Neill and McCracken. However Ian McCall can be in no doubt the size of task he has in front of him in order to rebuild this Ayr team and escape the relegation drop zone.

 

Ayr United

Hutton, Devlin, Donald, McGovern, McCracken, Neill, Forrest, McLaughlin, Donnelly, Crawford, McKinlay Subs

Gilmour, Beattie, McKenzie, McGill, Newman

 

Brechin City

Smith, McLean, Hamilton, McCormack, McLauchlan, Fusco, Touten, Molloy, Jackson, Wighton, Barr Subs; Thomson, Ferguson, McNeil, Cameron, Jackson, O’Neil

 

Referee: Mat Northcroft

Attendance: 504

Report: AUmedia

Morgyn Neill signs on loan

We are delighted to announce the loan signing of Morgyn Neill from Motherwell until the end of the season. Morgyn, who will be 19 shortly has already played more than 50 games for Motherwells under 20s team.

New boss Ian McCall said “I am delighted to have secured Morgyn until the end of the season. We need centre backs and he is a hungry, strong, agrressive centre back.”

Morgyn goes straight into the squad for tomorrows match.

Meet the manager full!

After a great response to our meet the manager event we can confirm the event is now completely full. Thanks to everyone who has got in touch so far and unfortunately we cannot accept anyone else. Only those who have applied and have their name on the list will be allowed entry to the event on Wednesday.

Ayr United media will be streaming the event live on YouTube, more details on how to view it will be released nearer the time.

Brechin Match Preview

A new era begins at Ayr United on Saturday as Ian McCall leads the team first time. The Honest Men are on the road and face fifth placed Brechin City at Glebe Park. On-form Brechin became the first side to win at Station Park this season when they beat Angus rivals Forfar Athletic on Saturday. Jamie Masson and Alan Trouten netted for Ray McKinnon’s side. The same duo were on the scoresheet when United visited Glebe Park in September but Masson has since returned to Aberdeen. Read on for our match preview:

Ian says: “I am hugely looking Forward to Saturday, despite managing well over 500 games this feels like my first game again. I am really excited and its a chance for everyone in this squad to impress me. Theres an imbalance to the squad and changes need to be made and that’s something we are working on continuously. We are strong in midfield and will look to make the most of that. Hopefully we will get good vocal backing from the fans up there and although Brechin are on a great run and we know how difficult it will be we are very much going up there for the win.”

Team news: Peter Murphy and Martyn Campbell are both sidelined through injury. Paul Slane is completing the second match of a two game suspension. Craig Beattie is currently 50/50 to make the game and everyone else is available.

Form: Fans will need no reminder of Ayr’s poor run of form: United are without a win in their last 10 matches, drawing two and losing eight. City are on an 11 match unbeaten run. Saturday is their first home game for a month, when they defeated Annan Athletic in Scottish Cup Fourth Round replay. Head-to-Head (all competitions): Ayr United wins – 47 Draws – 15 Brechin City wins – 32 United have won just two of the last 10 fixtures between the sides. Last Meeting: Brechin were 2-0 winners at Somerset Park in October thanks to first-half goals from Robert Thomson and Kyle McAusland. The Honest Men returned victorious from Glebe Park on their last visit, recording a 4-2 win. Scott McLaughlin and Craig Beattie both bagged braces, coming back from 2-1 down after City had Greg Cameron sent-off on the hour mark.

On this day: Alex Williams scored a late equaliser against local rivals Kilmarnock on this date six years ago but United don’t have a good record on January 10th, with just a 15.38% win rate. Their last win came in 1959: a 5-1 away win at Cowdenbeath.

Match Officials: Referee: Mat Northcroft Assistant Referee 1: Graham Stewart Assistant Referee 2: Peter Stuart

Match Info: Admission Adults: £12 Adult Concession (over 65 and u18): £6 Parent & Child: £15 (plus £2 for each additional school-age child)

Meet the Manager Event

MEET THE MANAGER!!

We are delighted to announce a question and answer session with our new manager Ian McCall.

This will be on Wednesday 14th January in the Ally MacLeod hospitality suite with a 7pm kick off. The suite will be open from 5.30 and the bar will be open throughout the night. United legend (and AUmedia pundit) David Kennedy will host the evening and Ayr United Media will film the event.

There will only be 140 spaces available and its first come first served. To apply email info@ayrunitedfc.co.uk or phone 01292 263435 ext 6.

Five Star Winners

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

WEEK NUMBER 26

 

£1000 A1435 K Gerard Prestwick
MONDAY    
£50 M0332 F Wardrop Dalrymple
£10 D4033 G Rogerson Drongan
£10 E0421 K Shek Ayr
£10 K3015 H Gilmour Ayr
TUESDAY    
£50 B4922 F Davidson Maybole
£10 C1334 C Ailsa Ayr
£10 B4811 L Stevely Ayr
£10 D3042 Mrs Bye Girvan
WEDNESDAY    
£50 H3214 R Piper Ayr
£10 A1044 M Boyd Dunure
£10 F0915 I Blain Drongan
£10 B4912 H McIllwraith Ayr
THURSDAY    
£50 B0315 J Kirk Dalrymple
£10 F0622 M Zonfrillo Ayr
£10 H4342 R Liddon Ayr
£10 A2221 J Young Ayr
FRIDAY    
£10 J2635 E Campbell Crosshill
£10 C2724 R Shirra Ayr
£10 F1844 A Todd Girvan

 

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

WEEK NUMBER 25

 

£1000 F2011 M Murray Catrine
MONDAY    
£50 A0934 A Scott Ayr
£10 B2545 A Young Girvan
£10 B2545 T Sharpe Logan
£10 H3438 T Smith Ayr
TUESDAY    
£50 B1824 S Russell Ayr
£10 M1124 M Younie Prestwick
£10 A3833 M Mclean Ayr
£10 H1012 M Hyslop Ayr
WEDNESDAY    
£50 C1511 T Greenshields Ayr
£10 C4741 G Mccreath Catrine
£10 D0141 M Ross Ayr
£10 C2445 R Clowes Ayr
THURSDAY    
£50 B2845 A Mcmorland Dunure
£10 E2231 Mr Shaw Girvan
£10 L2124 C Mcvey Sanquhar
£10 C4514 M Galbraith Ayr
FRIDAY    
£10 R2222 I Mann Nothwood Hills
£10 F0931 Mr O’Keefe Mossblown
£10 I1241 M Dempsey Ayr

 

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

WEEK NUMBER 24

 

£1000 F1145 D McWilliams Lottery Office
MONDAY    
£50 J3613 I Keatings Ayr
£10 A2225 Mrs Hart Ayr
£10 G3323 D Connor Ayr
£10 B0711 M Campbell East Kilbride
TUESDAY    
£50 L0622 M Bell Ayr
£10 M1235 A McCaig Ayr
£10 A4114 W Donnelly Ayr
£10 D2712 T McCormack Troon
WEDNESDAY    
£50 B0925 F Ingram Ayr
£10 E0543 M Currie Logan
£10 H4823 A Noble Girvan
£10 H3133 J Seaton Ayr
THURSDAY    
£50 A2724 J Lottle Logan
£10 F0634 G Julyan Girvan
£10 F1825 E Wilson Drongan
£10 F1713 J Robb Lugar
FRIDAY    
£10 K3413 M McCormack Ayr
£10 C2315 M Johnston Ayr
£10 F3322 C Lee Ayr

 

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

WEEK NUMBER 23

 

£1000 A0232 R Jones Kirkoswald
MONDAY    
£50 F1135 C Johnstone Ayr
£10 B4145 J Riggans Maybole
£10 B4213 M Kennedy Ayr
£10 C1632 J Murray Ayr
TUESDAY    
£50 F3744 M Cochrane Girvan
£10 M4914 P Macfarlane Bridge of Weir
£10 F2245 G Colvan Ayr
£10 L0641 K Noble Maidens
WEDNESDAY    
£50 K0815 W Paton Ayr
£10 B4512 J Sloan Dailly
£10 C2345 S Dick Ayr
£10 D3345 M Todd Lugar
THURSDAY    
£50 D0213 G Gray Maybole
£10 P0111 C Johnston Ayr
£10 D1422 W Cowan Ayr
£10 A3341 J Hair Caithness
FRIDAY    
£10 E0912 R Carruthers Ayr
£10 G3335 P Wells Dailly
£10 C3921 E Gourlay Annbank

 

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

WEEK NUMBER 22

 

£1000 F1645 M Campbell Ayr
MONDAY    
£50 P0244 C Hendry Ayr
£10 H0121 Mrs Lindsay Girvan
£10 F1144 D McWilliams Ayr
£10 J3731 A Chapman Ayr
TUESDAY    
£50 E1435 M McCron Sanquhar
£10 A1325 G Eaglesham Kirkoswald
£10 E0631 A Myers Ayr
£10 B0143 D Parker Kincaidston
WEDNESDAY    
£50 M1242 D Maclean Ayr
£10 C0131 C Bell Sanquhar
£10 E2152 D Greenwood Ayr
£10 T0322 M Mcphall Ayr
THURSDAY    
£50 I2342 G Sargent Ayr
£10 K1042 E Hamilton Ayr
£10 A1541 J Grant Ayr
£10 C3531 J Burdon Ayr
FRIDAY    
£10 A0632 F Murray Ayr
£10 G1545 R McDonald Ayr
£10 D4814 D Rankin Ayr

 

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

WEEK NUMBER 21

 

£1000 J0525 K Laird Prestwick
MONDAY    
£50 C0335 C Christie Ayr
£10 J0513 Mrs Downie Kincaidston
£10 A4642 A Rodger Troon
£10 B4525 J Miller Girvan
TUESDAY    
£50 A1915 M Whyte Ayr
£10 H2224 W McRonald Ayr
£10 B3521 D Martin Ayr
£10 B2814 M Brown Ayr
WEDNESDAY    
£50 G2321 J Gaw Fairlie
£10 C0324 M Ferguston Ayr
£10 E1511 N Gilchrist Innerleithen
£10 H2811 G Lowthian Ayr
THURSDAY    
£50 K4045 S Blake Ayr
£10 G4925 Mrs Fitzsimmons Ayr
£10 B0444 A Currie Ayr
£10 H0921 B Tweedie Ayr
FRIDAY    
£10 C3614 J Smillie Ayr
£10 D4812 T McKenna Ayr
£10 C2413 M Hill Ayr

New Assistant Manager

New manager Ian McCall has moved quickly to secure his first signing. John Henry will be the new assistant manager and has started work immediately.

John said “when Ian called it was an easy decision for me. Once he told me his vision for the club I knew it was something I could buy into. There is room for a huge improvement with this club and we will aim to bring that quickly. I will be working full time and involved with all the training sessions.”

Ian said “John was with me as a player and from there I had him as first team coach with Partick Thistle. He coached at the academies at Bolton and at Wigan and has great contacts at numerous academies in England. John is a great lad and nobody has a bad word to say about him.”

John had a long playing career which included Clydebank, Kilmarnock, Falkirk, Airdrie, St.Johnstone, queen of the South and Dumbarton.

Since retiring as as a player John was the first team coach with Partick Thistle before being taken South to join Owen Coyle working with the reserve team at Burnley. John followed Owen to Bolton Wanderers in 2010 as reserve team coach but left the club shortly after Coyles dismissal in October 2012.

Most recently John was working with the academy at Wigan.

 

Ian McCall new Ayr Manager!

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ian McCall as the new Ayr United manager. After a rigorous interview process Ian was chosen as the outstanding candidate with the board hugely impressed by his hunger for the challenge, passion and professionalism.

Ian said “This last two years I have really missed the day to day working of football management. Ayr United is still a big name in Scottish football and it should not be a hard sell to bring players to this club. The club is under achieving and my initial aim is a simple one – to start winning matches. My philosophy is always about taking each game on its merits, one week we may be able to play some great football and score a few goals and the next it’s about grinding out a victory.

“We need to stay in this league and in then think about promotion to the Championship and establishing ourselves there. This is a clean slate for all the players, they will have the chance to show me what they can do however I will be looking to bring players in quickly to improve the squad. One of the things I remember as a player and a manager coming to Somerset Park is that it was such a difficult place to come and get a result. The fans behind the home goal made a huge effect on the Ayr players and we need to try and get that back. We need two to three thousand people in this ground.”

 Delighted chairman Lachlan Cameron said “ We had three main criteria in our minds, Experience at our level, Working with a budget with financial constraints and working and developing youth. Ian scored very highly in all three areas and combined with his obvious passion for the game we are delighted to welcome him to the club. Ian has been reinvigorated and has a proven ability to work at our level and take control of the club. He also has a huge passion for players and will make a big difference in the dressing room. His enthusiasm is infectious and said to me he is wanting to take us on a ride!”

 

Ian started his playing career with Queens Park in 1983. From there he moved to Dunfermline, Rangers and then signed for Bradford City for £200,000 before rejoining Dunfermline. His playing career also included spells with Dundee, Falkirk, Hamilton, Happy Valley in Hong Kong and Partick Thistle. His final club as a player was at Clydebank where he was player- manager during the 1997-98 season.

 Following the spell at Clydebank Ian moved to become the Morton manager followed by a spell with Airdrieonians where they challenged for promotion to the premier league before the clubs extinction in 2002. A successful spell with Falkirk followed where he was twice offered the Dundee United job, accepting it the second time in 2003. Most recently Ian was the manager at Partick Thistle between 2007 and 2011. In total he has won 17 manager of the month trophies.

 Since leaving Partick Thistle Ian has continually worked with the media as a pundit with Radio Clyde as well as writing weekly for the Daily Express. He has also been coaching kids in Glasgow with a variety of coaching schools.

 

Ayr United 0 Stranraer 2

Ayr United 0 v 2 Stranraer

 

Ayr’s home support turned up at Somerset Park more in hope than expectation of a result as league leaders Stranraer first footed United in the opening league game of 2015.

 

United were hoping for their first win at home since August 23rd when they defeated Forfar 2-0. However injury to key personnel, lack of confidence and a change of manager has resulted in a horrendous run of form that has seen United plunge to second bottom of the division.

 

There was a surprise inclusion in Ayr’s back four as Craig Beattie stood in for the injured Peter Murphy in central defence. After last week’s poor display at Airdrie, there were further changes to the United formation with Sean McKenzie making his debut full start partnering Ryan Donnelly upfront as Ayr began the game with a 4-4-2 formation.

 

It was United however that survived an early scare as former United youngster Jackson Longridge went close after just 3mins. His late run from deep almost caught out the Ayr defence when he slid in at the back post. Fortunately for United he could only direct Sean Winter’s low cross wide of the back post.

 

Ayr were not without their own opportunities early on and in 13mins Sean McKenzie had a header that went just wide after good work on the right by Devlin.

 

There were early bookings for Ayr’s McKinlay and Stranraer’s Stirling when both players squared up to one another after becoming embroiled in a tussle in 20mins.

 

Stranraer carried more of a threat going forward as their pace caused Ayr’s defence problems but United were not letting Stranraer have it all their own way. A dogged display by Robbie Crawford in midfield saw him snapping at the heels of any Stranraer player with the ball which resulted in United having good spells of possession and forcing a number of corners.

 

By the half hour mark the game was beginning to open up slightly. Barry Russell took the opportunity of some space in midfield to wander forward from the left back position. He composed himself before letting go with a 30 yard screamer which whistled just past Ayr keeper Hutton’s right hand post.

 

2mins later it was former United striker Craig Malcom who showed his team mate how it should be done when he held up the ball and turned the Ayr defence then showed good composure to guide the ball past Hutton from 15 yards and put Stranraer one ahead.

 

There was yet another setback for Ayr just before half-time as Craig Beattie was replaced by young Josh McArthur following a groin injury, as United went in at the interval 0-1 down.

 

Ayr started the second half like a team on a mission, forcing Stranraer back in to their own penalty box and winning a number of corners in the early stages but again Stranraer always looked threatening in their forays forward.

 

In the 54thmin a last gasp challenge by Stranraer’s Rumsby denied Allan Forrest as his goal bound shot was deflected wide for another corner.

 

The game had really opened up on the hour mark as was being played more like a cup tie as both teams went toe to toe with each other.

 

Mikey Donald forced Starnraer’s goalkeeper Mitchell into a great one handed save in 64mins which preceded a penalty claim for Ayr in 68mins. Nicky Devlin forced his way to the penalty box seemingly getting the better of Longridge. The former United player slid in for the ball upending Devlin in the process. The Somerset Road end screamed penalty as Devlin crashed to the turf but the referee Newlands and his assistant waived play on, much to the dismay of the home fans.

 

United at this point seemed to be in the ascendency as they searched for the elusive equaliser. However with 73mins on the clock Ayr’s defence was posted missing. A deep free kick was floated to the far post where the unmarked Longworth had time to direct his header beyond David Hutton and in to the Ayr goal to make it 2-0 for Stranraer.

 

United didn’t give up in the last quarter and again forced a number of corners but just didn’t seem to have the ability to unlock the Stranraer defence that held on for a 2-0 win.

 

Although this was a much improved performance from the previous game against Airdrie it didn’t disguise the fact that Ayr have still a lot of work to do to get that elusive home win.

 

Attendance: 1235

 

Ayr United

Hutton, Devlin, Crawford, McKinlay, McKenzie, Donald, Forrest, McLaughlin, Beattie, McGovern, Donnelly Subs Newman, McGill, Muir, McArthur, Shirkie

 

Stranraer

Mitchell, Pettigrew, Russell, Rumsby, McKeown, Aitken, Winter, Gallacher, Malcom, Stirling, Longridge Subs Tobin, Longworth, Gibson, Marenghi, Stoney, Forde, McCluskey

 

Match report: AUmedia