Ayr Utd 0 Dunfermline 2

The Honest Men failed to close the gap at the top of the table to 8 points as they were defeated 2-0 at home to Dunfermline. A second half double from striker Faissal El Bakhtaoui was enough to earn the Fifers 3 points and take them one step closer to the League One title.

Ian McCall made one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday’s win over Stenny as Brian Gilmour came in for Andy Graham as Ross McCrorie slotted into the centre of defence.

The first chance of the game fell to Ayr after 10 minutes. Brian Gilmour whipped in a cross from the left and it was met by the head of Jamie Adams who beat keeper Murdoch to the ball however his header looped just wide of the post. Pars responded 5 minutes later and were handed a great chance when Michael Paton sent in a freekick from 30 yards out however defender Brad McKay could only head the ball wide of the post from 10 yards out.

The best chance of the game so far fell to Jamie Adams after 27 minutes. Gilmour floated in a freekick from the right and the ball fell to Jamie Adams but his shot was brilliantly saved by Murdoch from close range to keep the score level.

The Pars almost took the lead just before halftime when Joe Cardle collected the ball on the edge of the box and dinked a cross to the back post and it was met by Josh Falkingham however he could only divert his shot into the side netting as the half drew to a close with the score line at 0-0.

Dunfermline started the brighter of the two sides in the second half and created their first chance after 56 minutes. Paton spread the ball to the left for Ryan Wallace and his fizzing drive was blocked superbly by captain Nicky Devlin from 15 yards out.

The Fifers continued to press and made the breakthrough after 62 minutes. While Ayr were on the attack, Dunfermline cleared the ball from their own box and broke quickly. It was Ryan Wallace who drove into the Ayr half and slid a ball into Bakhtaoui who took one touch before coolly slotting the ball past Fleming into the bottom corner to put Pars ahead.

This goal seemed to rattle Ayr as they struggled to respond and 5 minutes later the lead was doubled by Bakhtaoui again. After good passing between Bakhtaoui, Wallace and Paton, it was Paton who delivered the ball from the right hand side into the box and it was met by the impressive Bakhtaoui who acrobatically volleyed the ball into the top corner with an overhead kick to put Pars further ahead.

Ayr did however try to stage a fight back and had a good chance after 77 minutes as Trouten passed the ball across to Devlin in the box and his powerful low cross was collected well by Murdoch who was doing his best to keep Ayr out.

The final chance of the game fell to Ayr in the 86th minute. Substitute Robbie Crawford dribbled his way into the Dunfermline box and passed the ball to Moore however his speculative overhead kick went over bar from 10 yards.

The defeat means Ayr remain in 3rd place and find themselves 3 points behind Peterhead.

Ayr now travel to Forfar on Saturday as they aim to respond to this defeat.

Ayr United
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, Docherty, Stevenson, McCrorie, Moore, Trouten, Adams, Gilmour Substitutes Preston, Graham, McLauchlan, Donald, Crawford, Forrest, Newman (GK).

Dunfermline Athletic
Murdoch, Reid, Talbot, McKay, Richards-Everton, Geggan, Paton, Falkingham, Wallace, El Bakhtaoui, Cardle Substitutes Hopkirk, Martin, Rooney, Moffat, McCabe, Byrne, Hutton (GK)

Referee: Don Robertson
Attendance: 2190
Match Report: AUmedia

Buy 1 get 1 free extended

Due to the high success of our BUY 1 ITEM GET 1 FREE deal on Saturday we are extending the offer to run throughout this week until Friday at 4pm. The shop is open 12 – 4 every day this week and closed at the weekend.

For more information call 01292 263435 Ext 5 during opening hours.

Dunfermline match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Dunfermline
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 12th March 2016. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, league leaders Dunfermline visit Somerset Park looking to protect their 11 point advantage at the top of the table. The match pitches the division’s best home record against its best away record; Ayr have just lost twice at home in the league this season while Dunfermline have been defeated just once away from home – at Peterhead in August.

While the Honest Men were chalking up a second successive 4-1 home win on Tuesday night, Allan Johnston’s side endured a frustrating night being held 1-1 by Albion Rovers at East End Park, the result ending a run of five wins in a row.

Team News: Everyone in the squad is fit and available.

Ian says:”We are in good form winning four of our last five games. The result and performance at Brechin was disappointing however other than that has been good and we are scoring goals. To try and give ourselves even an outside chance of catching Dunfermline we need to win this game and we will certainly be trying to do that. We have a full squad available and we know that we are capable of winning games so we want to go on a good run. Dunfermline are a good side there’s no doubt about that so it should be a cracking game. Hopefully the fans will get right behind us.”

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 22
Draws – 15
Dunfermline Athletic wins – 20

Saturday will be the 93rd league meeting between the two sides, Dunfermline have won nine of the last 12 matches.
Last Meeting: It is 28 days since United took a two goal lead against the Pars at East End Park but, following Brian Gilmour’s red card, the home side went on to record a 3-2 victory, their third over Ayr this season.

On this day: 22 years ago Dunfermline were 4-0 winners at Somerset Park. Unfortunately for the Pars, they missed out on promotion to the Premier League that season with rivals Falkirk pipping them by just one point. Ayr avoided becoming one of five teams relegated from the league as reconstruction saw the introduction of four divisions of 10 teams, despite taking just two points from their final four games. Most recently in 2011, Ayr beat Alloa Athletic 1-0 also at Somerset Park courtesy of a Ryan McCann goal on the stroke of half-time.

Match Officials:
Referee – Don Robertson
Assistant Referee 1 – Joseph Lawson
Assistant Referee 2 – David Ingram

Admission: £15 adults, £8 concessions, £18 parent and child. Dunfermline supporters (adult only) can gain access for £13 by producing their 2015/16 season ticket.

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FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS
WEEK NUMBER 36

£1000 A2411 M Martin Ayr

MONDAY
£50 A0823 Mrs Mcdougall Ayr
£10 A4642 A Rodger Troon
£10 C0515 M Davidson Maybole
£10 D0512 L Kelly Ayr

TUESDAY
£50 L0441 J Miller Stirling
£10 A4334 C McGowan Ayr
£10 F3444 A Bryden Ayr
£10 C3513 T Houston Ayr

WEDNESDAY
£50 C1413 E Young Tarbolton
£10 A2035 A Maloney Bellsbank
£10 F0614 J Watson Ayr
£10 A2012 Mrs Seaton Girvan

THURSDAY
£50 A1621 W Gallacher Prestwick
£10 C1535 H McFeely Girvan
£10 D0113 L Kolatorowicz Ballantrae
£10 E0224 Mrs Hall Ayr

FRIDAY
£10 F1221 Mr Bogle Mossblown
£10 F3635 L McDonald Muirkirk
£10 C1743 R Mcillwraith Ballantrae

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 or follow us on twitter or facebook.

Buy 1 get 1 free!

BOGOF SATURDAY AT THE CLUB SHOP

The visit of Dunfermline Athletic to Somerset Park this Saturday is sure to bring an extra edge to proceedings around Tryfield Place and the club shop are offering supporters the opportunity to show their colours in a one off BUY ONE GET ONE FREE match day deal.

This Saturday 12th March and for one day only our full range of Ayr United merchandise is available to purchase on a BUY ONE ITEM GET ONE FREE basis (lower priced item free).

There is no limit to how many products can be purchased making this an ideal time to re stock your collection of official Ayr United FC goodies.

The shop will be open from 10am until kick off on Saturday and again after the full time whistle.

For more information call 01292 263435 Ext 5 (Mon – Fri 12pm till 4pm)

Ayr Utd 4 Stenhousemuir 1

Ayr United 4 v 1 Stenhousemuir

Ayr United returned to winning ways running out 4-1 winners at home to Stenhousemuir on a wet Tuesday night. A second half strike from Craig Moore got Ayr’s noses in front before Stenhousemuir responded quickly through Jamie McCormack. However, a sending off for the visitors’ Alan Cook, an own goal from Euan Murray, a wonder strike from Ryan Stevenson and an excellently worked goal from Alan Trouten put Ayr into cruise control as they ran out comfortable winners.

Ian McCall made changes following Saturday’s defeat to Brechin with Craig Moore and Andy Graham coming back into the starting line-up.

Ayr were quickly on the front foot and in three minutes created their first chance of the game. Alan Trouten whipped in a corner from the right hand side and Nicky Devlin flicked the ball on before it fell to Craig Moore from 5 yards out but he couldn’t connect properly with the ball and keeper Barclay saved his tame effort.

Stenhousemuir responded quickly and created a good chance two minutes later. Alan Cook curled in a freekick from the left and it landed to the head of Euan Murray whose flick header at the near post went just wide of the right hand post.

Jamie Barclay was again called into action in the 20th minute when Paddy Boyle hit a freekick from 20 yards out and the Stenny keeper did well to tip it over the bar and keep the score line level.

Ayr immediately responded but Jamie Adams’ effort on goal was easily saved. With 35 minutes gone a Trouten corner was cleared away only for United’s left back Paddy Boyle to hit a powerful strike from 20 yards which looked goal bound but it was palmed away from Barclay who was doing well to keep Ayr out.

Stenhousemuir started the stronger team in the second half and were handed a glorious chance after 50 minutes. Mark Gilhaney played a quick one two on the edge of the box with striker Jason Scotland and found himself 1 on 1 with Fleming but his shot was smothered by the Ayr keeper. From the resultant corner the away side again went close when Euan Murray got his head to the ball but his effort was blocked on the line by his own teammate, Jason Scotland.

Ayr grew into the second half and made the breakthrough after 65 minutes. Ryan Stevenson whipped in a freekick from the left which evaded everyone in the box, catching out keeper Jamie Barclay who failed to collect the ball properly and Moore pounced to smash the ball into the roof of the net from close range and give Ayr the lead.

The away team were quick to respond to this setback and 3 minutes Jason Scotland freekick from 20 yards out was well saved by Greg Fleming. This was only to be temporary relief for Ayr as from the resultant corner the away side found themselves level when Jamie McCormack glanced a free header from 10 yards past Fleming to get his team back into the game.

Ayr almost took the lead again immediately after the restart with Devlin causing Stenhousemuir problems down the right and his powerful low cross being met by Moore who’s shot came back off the post and into Barclay’s hands

The game quickly turned in Ayr’s favour minutes later when Alan Cook was sent off for a second booking after taking out Nicky Devlin with a late challenge, leaving his teammates with an uphill task for the remaining 20 minutes.

Ayr took full advantage of the extra man and got their second of the night on the 76th minute. Trouten collected the ball in the centre of the park, slid Alan Forrest through into the box and he laid it off to Nicky Devlin who’s fizzing low cross was sliced into his own net by defender Euan Murray.

Then came the moment of magic from Ryan Stevenson. Stevenson collected the ball in his own half and was given a free run through middle by the Stenhousemuir defence who were reluctant to come out and from 30 yards he steadied himself before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top corner giving Barclay no chance. A wonder goal and Ayr were 3-1 up.

The Honest Men rounded off a great night with a goal from Alan Trouten in added time. After build-up play which included 18 passes before Trouten combined well with Moore at the edge of the box then coolly finished from 12 yards to complete the scoring for Ayr.

The victory draws Ayr level on points in second place with Peterhead, with the Blue Toon leading on goal difference.

Ayr will now host league leaders Dunfermline on Saturday.

Ayr United
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, Graham, Stevenson, McCrorie, Docherty, Moore, Trouten, Adams Substitutes Preston, Wardrope, McLaughlin, Donald, Gilmour, Forrest, Newman (GK).

Stenhousemuir
Barclay, McCormack, Summers, Malcolm, Murray, Meechan, Gilhaney, Stirling, McMenamin, Scotland, Cook Substitutes McCroary, Marenghi, Robertson, Manzana, Small, Roberston (GK).

Referee: Alan Newlands
Attendance: 889
Match Report: AUmedia

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Stenhousemuir match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Stenhousemuir
Ladbrokes League 1
Tuesday 8th March 2016 – Kick-off 7.45 pm

Ayr United return to action tonight (Tuesday) when Stenhousemuir are the visitors to Somerset Park. It is an opportunity to bounce back from the side’s defeat at Brechin on Saturday and close the gap on second-placed Peterhead.

Stenhousemuir retain aspirations of making the promotion play-offs and occupy seventh place in the League 1 table, four points behind fourth placed Albion Rovers. The Warriors were defeated 5-0 away to Dunfermline on Saturday and had on-loan Celtic goalkeeper Colin McCabe sent-off for conceding the penalty which resulted in the Pars’ fifth goal.

Team News: Everyone is available for the match squad.

Ian says: “We have 9 games left in the league and we want to win as many of those as possible. Saturday was a setback as we had got ourselves back in the position of going on a run of wins so it was a very frustrating performance. There are no easy games in this league though and Saturday showed that. We need to get back to winning ways and start tonights game well, we are strong at home and want to put on another good performance.”

Tonight’s match referee is Alan Newlands

Brechin City 1 Ayr Utd 0

Brechin City 1 v 0 Ayr United

Ian McCall’s 50th game in charge of Ayr wasn’t a happy one as the Honest Men went down 1-0 to Brechin City at Glebe Park. A second half header from striker Robert Thomson was enough to earn Darren Dods’ side their first win over Ayr this campaign and lift them to within 1 point of their Angus rivals Forfar in 9th place.

Ian McCall replace the injured Andy Graham with Gerry McLauchlan while Craig Moore made way for Jordan Preston who came back into the starting line-up to lead the attack.

In what was a dull opening to the game, it took 13 minutes for the first real chance to be created. Brechin’s Willie Dyer skipped past Brian Gilmour on the left hand side, drove into the box but his cross wasn’t met cleanly by Robert Thomson allowing Murphy to step in and clear. Five minutes later it was Dyer who was again causing Ayr problems again crossing to Thomson who this time cushioned the ball to Liam Watt who fired his volley over from 18 yards.

Ayr struggled to create any chances of note in the opening stages of the game and it took them 30 minutes to register their first shot on target. Ryan Stevenson picked up a loose ball on the edge of the Brechin box before getting his shot away however it was tame and caused Graeme Smith no problems.

Player-manager Darren Dods almost gave his team the lead after 39 minutes when he met Liam Watt’s free-kick with a header from 10 yards out but it was straight at keeper Fleming and the score line remained level going into halftime.

Ayr were quickly out of the traps in the second half of the game and it took them only 2 minutes to get their first chance of the half. After good work on the right wing, Ryan Stevenson’s cross was met by Jordan Preston who’s goalward shot was blocked by Dod’s.

Ayr continued to press the home side and almost broke the deadlock when Jamie Adams picked up a loose ball in the box and fired towards goal but keeper Smith did well to knock the ball away. The follow-up by Stevenson was also block by Smith who reacted again to deny Forrest. Ayr were looking the more likely to open the scoring with Forrest adding impetus to the attack.

With Ayr piling on the pressure they were hit by a sucker punch when, in the 74th min the home side scored the first and only goal of the game. A Liam Watt corner from the left was met by Robert Thomson who bulleted home a header from 10 yards giving Fleming no chance.

It wasn’t long before Ayr responded to this setback and two minutes later they were handed a glorious chance. Smith failed to punch away an Ayr corner and the loose ball fell to Stevenson however he fired high and wide from inside the box.

Ayr huffed and puffed in the latter stages of the game but failed to create any chances and lacked a real attacking threat. It was in fact the home side who had the last chance of the game in the 88th minute when Fleming failed to clear a corner allowing Spence to pick up the ball at the far post but he shot into the side netting from close range.

The defeat now puts Ayr 3 points behind second placed Peterhead.

Ayr welcome Stenhousemuir to Somerset Park on Tuesday evening.

Ayr United
Fleming (GK), Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, McLauchlan, Stevenson, McCrorie, Docherty, Preston, Trouten, Gilmour. Subs: Newman (GK), Forrest, Moore, Crawford, Donald, Wardrope, Adams.

Brechin City
Smith, McLean, Dyer, McCormack, Dods, Dale, Tiffoney, Molloy, Spence, Thomson, Watt. Subs: O’Neil (GK), Shepherd, Smith, Culjak, Montgomery, Johnston.

Referee: David Munro
Attendance: 491
Report: AUmedia

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