Brechin match preview

Match Preview
Brechin City vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 5th March 2016. Kick-off 3pm

Ian McCall takes charge of his 50th match as Ayr United manager on Saturday – at the same venue as his first game in January 2015. United make the trip to Brechin looking for four consecutive league wins in a single season for the first time since 2008. It is a sign of the progress made under McCall that the Honest Men’s points total this season (49) is almost double that at the same stage last year (26).

Tenth placed Brechin City gave their survival hopes a huge boost on Tuesday night when they thumped Angus rivals Forfar Athletic 4-0, ending a run of eight games without a win. The home win closed the gap on the ninth placed Loons to four points, albeit Gary Bollan’s side have a game in hand.

Among the goals in midweek was Liam Watt, signed on loan from Airdrie in January. The forward has three goals in two games for the Hedgemen and scored against Ayr for the Diamonds in September. Also on scoresheet was 40 year old player-manager Darren Dods.

Team News: Andy Graham took a knock in Tuesdays game so he will sit this one out however he will be fine for Tuesday night. Jamie Adams is back in the squad. Everyone else is fit and available.

Ian says: “The league table is irrelevant for this match. The fact that Brechin are bottom doesn’t make it an easy game. Every single game up there is tough and Saturday will be no different. They had a great result midweek and will have their tails up. We have won 3 games in a row and we want to keep winning to put pressure on the teams above us, all we can do is win our games and see what happens.”

Head-to-Head (Glebe Park):
Ayr United wins – 22
Draws – 8
Brechin City wins – 20

The Honest Men have scored in each of their last eight visits to Glebe Park but have picked up just two wins.
Last Meeting: Saturday will be the fifth meeting of the sides this season. United have three wins over Brechin at Somerset Park, 2-0 in the League Cup and 2-1 in both league fixtures, most recently on Boxing Day when Alan Forrest and Craig Moore scored early goals. United’s last trip to the Hedge in November ended in a 1-1 draw, Jamie Adams scoring the Ayr goal.

On this day: in 2013, Ayr faced Brechin at Somerset Park. Liam Buchanan for the home side cancelled out Ewan Moyes opener but Graham Hay’s 75th minute goal earned City all three points. Two years previously, United travelled to the Excelsior Stadium on 5th March and thumped Airdrie 5-0 with goals from Paul Willis, Mark Roberts, Michael Moffatt (his first for the club), Scott McLaughlin and Andy Rodgers.

Match Officials:
Referee – David Munro
Assistant Referee 1 – Willie Conquer
Assistant Referee 2 – Chris Phillips

Admission:
Adults: £12
Parent & Child: £15 (plus £2 for each additional school-age child)
ConcessionS (over 65’s and under-18’s): £6

Mothers Day shop deals

CLUB SHOP MOTHERS DAY SPECIALS

We have some fabulous last minute Mothers Day deals available in the club shop this coming Saturday (5th March).

Ayr United charm bracelets are ½ price at only £25..Mug & sweets gift packs are £5 … our giant Bigsy Bear is a giveaway at £15 … embroidered aprons reduced to only £15 … onesies are £20 from £34.99 and pink/purple hat & scarf sets are available at £15!!

The shop is open 10am – 1pm on Saturday.

Player of the year Awards

We are pleased to announce that the annual Player of the Year Awards will take place on 9th April 2016 in the Ally MacLeod hospitality suite at Somerset Park. The awards will kick off at 7.30pm.

Tickets are on sale from Friday 4th March at 12 noon in the club shop and will be priced at £25 each. The ticket allows entry to the Awards and there will be a buffet served during the event.

AU Media will be running the event and club legend David Kennedy will be MC for the evening.

Club captain Nicky Devlin had a near clean sweep of the awards at last years event after a great season.

Voting for the awards will open after our home game with Dunfermline and Voting can be done via email, nominating the player(s) under each category to commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk or by using the forms in the Club Shop. Voting will finish on Monday April 4th at 9pm.

The criteria for the Young Player of the Year is that the player be under 23 on 9th April 2016 and have made at least one first team start during the season. The players that meet the criteria are Nicky Devlin, Craig McCracken, Alan Forrest, Robbie Crawford, Jordan Preston, Andrew Muir, Mick Wardrope and Craig Moore

There is no age limit on the Player of the Year.

AU media will very shortly be releasing the shortlist for the Goal of the Season on their facebook page so make sure you get your votes in for that.

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Ayr Utd 4 Cowdenbeath 1

Ayr United 4 v 1 Cowdenbeath

Ayr United made it three wins out of three with a thumping 4-1 victory over Cowdenbeath at Somerset Park on Tuesday night. First half strikes from Ross McCrorie, Ryan Stevenson and Craig Moore got Ayr off to a flyer. Cowdenbeath then pulled one back after the break through Declan Hughes before Stevenson scored again to round off a fine win for Ayr.

Ian McCall reintroduced Ross Docherty to the starting line-up following a long spell out injured. Alan Trouten also took to the field with Alan Forrest and Michael Donald dropping out.

United raced out of the traps and after just two minutes Ryan Stevenson sent a header crashing off the post.
Gilmour and Moore then both had shots saved before McCrorie gave Ayr the lead. Brian Gilmour whipped the ball into the box from a corner. The ball fell to teenager McCrorie who beat his man to head past the helpless Alin Roman with fifteen minutes gone.

Just a minute later Ayr doubled their lead as Stevenson found the net. Nicky Devlin started a terrific move with an inch perfect cross field pass to Gilmour. Gilmour sent an effort goal-wards which was parried by the diving Roman, leaving Stevenson an open goal to fire home. Ayr were two goals to the good after just sixteen minutes and hungry for more.

A thirty yard rocket from Stevenson almost provided Ayr with a third but Roman did well to tip the ball over the bar.

The traveling side then had a chance to get themselves back into the game. Ross Caldwell found himself bearing down on goal only to be stopped by Paddy Boyle’s last ditch tackle.

Declan McDaid then came close with a free kick but only the post prevented him pulling one back for Cowdenbeath.
Colin Nish’s men were then made to rue their missed opportunities as Ayr stretched their advantage. With 36 minutes on the clock Gilmour picked up the ball on the left before exchanging a quick one-two with Stevenson. Gilmour whipped a pinpoint cross into the box where striker Craig Moore was on hand to head home – rounding off an excellent move.

Just before the break Cowden should have narrowed the score-line but Ross Caldwell fired his shot into the side netting after rounding Greg Fleming.

United went into the break three goals to the good but with just two minutes of the second half gone, that was reduced to two. Kenneth Adamson’s shot was blocked but the ball fell to Hughes on the edge of the box. The midfielder sent his shot flying past Fleming and into the net giving his team a route back into the game.

Cowdenbeath probed for another goal but it was Ayr who were to add to their tally. With 60 minutes gone Stevenson controlled a Ross Docherty pass before volleying home from 25 yards. A stunning strike to make it 4-1.
Nine minutes later Cowdenbeath’s Dean Brett found himself in acres of space inside the box but he sent his shot high over the bar.

United’s Jordan Preston then had a chance to get his name on the scoresheet. The striker latched onto a Stevenson through ball but his first touch let him down and he blazed his shot well over the bar.
4-1 was how it finished as Ayr narrowed the gap on Peterhead to just two points. They travel to face Brechin on Saturday.

Ayr United: Fleming (GK), Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, Graham, Stevenson, McCrorie, Docherty, Moore, Trouten, Gilmour Subs: Newman (GK), Forrest, Preston, Crawford, Donald, McLauchlan, Wardrope
Cowdenbeath: Roman (GK), Kerr, Kane, Scullion, Brett, Hughes, Beaumont, Adamson, Byrne, Caldwell, McDaid Subs: Adam (GK), Donaldson, Gibbons, Milne, Johnston, Spence, Swann

Referee: Gavin Ross
Attendance: 856
Report: AUmedia

Cowdenbeath match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Forfar Athletic
Ladbrokes League 1
Tuesday 1st March 2016. Kick-off 7.45pm.

Ayr United will look to make it three wins in succession tonight (Tuesday) when Cowdenbeath are the visitors to Somerset Park. Craig Moore’s ninth goal of the season earned Ian McCall’s side the win at Airdrie at the weekend while a professional defensive display ensured the Honest Men kept their first clean sheet since mid-November.

Striker Ross Caldwell opened the scoring for Cowdenbeath against Stenhousemuir at Ochilview on Saturday with his first goal for the club since switching from the Honest Men in January. Declan Byrne doubled Cowdenbeath’s advantage only for a quick-fire Colin McMenamin double to level the scores – all four goals coming in a 10 minute second-half spell. Colin Nish’s side weren’t to be denied their first league win in since beating Ayr in December, however, and Lewis Milne made it 3-2 in the 79th minutes.

Prior to Saturday, Cowden had taken just one point from a possible 21. They occupy 8th spot in the League 1 table, three ahead of Forfar in the relegation play-off spot. The Loons take on bottom side and Angus rivals Brechin City tonight.

Team News: Jamie Adams remains sidelined though is close to a return. Everyone else is fit. Ross Docherty is in line to start his first match since the 12th of December.

Ian says:”Saturday certainly wasn’t our best performance this season although we should have won more comfortably than we did. Again we didn’t make the most of certain good situations. Cowdenbeath were on a poor run however they had a great result on Saturday and they will come here full of confidence now. They comfortably beat us in our last match and back at Somerset we want to make it three wins in a row in front of our own supporters.”

Head-to-Head:

Ayr United wins – 50
Draws – 17
Cowdenbeath wins – 33

Only two of the 41 league matches between the sides at Somerset Park have ended in a draw. It was 0-0 in October 1950 and more recently, in March 2008, it ended 1-1 courtesy of a last minute Willie Easton equaliser.
Last Meeting: Both meetings between the sides this season have ended in comprehensive victories for the home side. Ayr’s biggest win of the campaign came against the FIfers in October, when Jordan Preston’s first minute goal paved the way for a 5-0 home win.
Between Christmas and New Year, another early goal for the Honest Men at Central Park put them ahead but Ross Caldwell’s goal was cancelled out minutes later by Dean Brett. The Blue Brazil were 3-1 up at the break and went on to win 4-2.
On this day: have drawn their last 3 games 1-1, in 2002, 1985 and 1974. The most recent of those three fixtures was away to Inverness when Scott Crabbe scored a second-half equaliser. The game was current United first-team coach Neil Scally’s last starting appearance for the club before moving to Dumbarton.
Match Officials:
Referee – Gavin Ross
Assistant Referee 1 – Frank Connor
Assistant Referee 2 – Steven Strang

Admission: £15 adults, £8 concessions & £18 parent and child

Airdrie 0 Ayr Utd 1

Airdrieonians 0 v 1 Ayr United

On Saturday Ayr travelled to the usually formidable Excelsior Stadium and returned with three points in a narrow but well-deserved victory over the Diamonds.

Airdrieonians were the fastest out of the traps and for the opening 25 mins had the majority of the play and created a number of chances but the United defence stood solid as the team adapted and slowly but surely took control of the game.

In the 5th min an Alan Lithgow long throw into the box caused some problems and target man Jim Lister flicked the ball on to Jamie Bain who failed to fully connect and the ball went wide of target.
In the 7th min a Jordan Thompson drive from the left-hand side of the box was blocked and less than a minute later a Jamie Bain shot called Greg Fleming into action but he saved comfortably.

It took Ayr until the 16th min to truly test the Airdrieonians defence. Good interplay between Forrest Moore and Donald led to the ball being deflected to Brian Gilmour whose volley was well saved by Neil Parry.

Just as Ayr were showing greater confidence and forward movement Airdrieonians missed a gilt-edged chance to take the lead. A freekick from the right was played into the box, bypassing all the United players and landing at the feet of the unmarked Lister standing on the penalty spot and given what seemed like an eon of time. The big striker turned but failed get much meaningful contact on the ball and hit it off Ayr debutant Ross McCrorie and the chance came to nothing.

The first half settled into a pattern with both teams pushing forward but with both defences seeming comfortable and few clear-cut chances created.

In the 41st min captain Nicky Devlin stayed high up field and put pressure on Airdrie’s Kieran MacDonald forcing the defender into a slack pass which Craig Moore took from Airdrie captain Marc Fitzpatrick before driving the ball over the bar.

Ayr were beginning to show much more control, exhibiting a neat passing style of football, with sweeping moves from end to end and side to side stretching the Airdrieonians defence.

With the clock having passed 45 mins Nicky Devlin recovered the ball in his own penalty area after a breakaway attack by Jamie Bain. He passed the ball to Andy Graham who strolled forward before flicking the ball further right to Alan Forrest on the halfway line. Forrest played the ball inside towards McCrorie who was caught late by centre half Sean Creighton but the youngster had managed to do enough touching the ball to Brian Gilmour who slid it further left to Paddy Boyle. Boyle pushed the ball forward along the line to Mikey Donald who did well under pressure from David Ferguson to reach the goal line and cut the ball back to Alan Forrest who had made his way into the box. Forrest turned and found the onrushing Paddy Boyle whose drive was diverted into the net by Craig Moore.

The second half saw a much more composed Ayr United having the majority of the play but frustratingly not converting the chances that they created making this a much tighter game than it need have been. The diamonds also had some luck with drives from both Gilmour and Forrest unconsciously diverted wide by shell-shocked defenders.

In the 68th min Ryan Stevenson collected the ball in the centre circle before releasing Moore who found Gilmour at the edge of the box but his curling effort went just over. Just a few minutes later Forrest found space on the left and played the ball into the penalty area where Moore’s volley brought out a good save from Parry.

As both teams made multiple substitutions United fans applauded former favourite Brian Prunty as he entered the field for Airdrieonians but the largest cheer was reserved for the return of Ross Docherty after his lengthy absence through injury.

In the 82nd min substitute Jordan Preston sent Alan Forrest through and as Forrest reached the edge of the penalty area he turned the defence before dragging his shot inches wide.

Shortly after Ayr did have the ball in the net but Jordan Preston’s effort was ruled offside.
As the clock ran down Ayr nearly suffered from their inability to add to their total when Airdrie’s Cadden whipped the ball into the middle for Lister whose header pulled out and acrobatic save from Greg Fleming.

A good three points for Ayr which keeps them comfortably in third place as they await the arrival of Cowdenbeath on Tuesday night.

Airdrieonians
Parry, Ferguson, MacDonald, Fitzpatrick, Crighton, Lithgow, Bain, Faria, Lister, Thompson, Cadden Substitutes O’Neill, Brown, Stewart, Mackin, Ferguson (GK), Esposito, Prunty

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

Referee: Mike Roncone
Attendance: 1,000
Match Report: AUmedia