Ayr Utd 0 Dunfermline 2

The Honest Men slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Dunfermline Athletic in their first game of 2017. First half goals from Clark and Geggan were enough to ensure the Pars came away with all 3 points.

It was Ayr who were to have the first chance of the game on 5 mins when Forrest managed to create himself space in the box on the right but his low shot was weak and straight down the throat of Murdoch.

On 18 mins it was the home side on the ascendency again, this time Devlin bursting down the wing and sending in a fizzing cross which was palmed away by Murdoch, Cairney then squirmed an eventual shot wide from the edge of the area.

A moment of genius from Harkins almost broke the deadlock for Ayr on 22 mins. Harkins picked the ball up on the left and weaved past 3 players on the left however his cutback was missed by both Adams and Nisbet and the ball was cleared.

Ayr were made to pay for their missed chances when Pars took the lead through Clark on 25 mins. Moffat picked up the ball on the right and his cross ball was met by Talbot who’s mis-hit shot was met by Clark who had the striker’s instinct to poke the ball home to give his side the lead. 0-1.

One became two only 7 mins later when a bit of magic from Geggan doubled the away side’s lead. A corner came in from the left and McKenna and Geggan fought for the ball and as they both went to ground, Geggan was quickest to get back to his feet to volley home the loose ball into the top corner. Individual brilliance from the ex-Ayr man and it was 0-2.

Pars were rampant for a spell in the first half and Ashcroft tried to increase the lead further however his header from a corner on 35 mins went over the bar. Clark was next to try his luck 2 mins later when he pounced on a Balatoni mistake but he could only shoot over the bar from the edge of the area.

Ayr attempted to claw their way back into the game but were lacking a clinical touch as Nisbet volleyed a ball well over the bar from inside the area on 39 mins. Cairney then sent in a long ball into the Pars’ box which was headed back across by Adams but again it was volleyed over by Nisbet.

Just before halftime Ayr almost halved the deficit when Cairney’s low cross was met by an unmarked Balatoni in the box but the defender scooped his shot over the bar on 44 mins.

Ayr started the second half brightly and Adams had a header tipped over the bar by Murdoch on 49 mins. From the resultant corner, Harkins saw his looping header go harmlessly over the bar.

On 57 mins Dunfermline almost made it three through Ashcroft. The defender met the ball from a low Higginbotham corner and his volley was superbly headed off the line at the back post by Crawford as it looked destined for the net.

60 mins gone and Ayr were still trying to find a way back into the game, this time Nisbet capitalised on a mistake in the Pars defence and passed the ball across to Forrest who turned his marker however curled his shot just wide of the far post from close range.

3 mins later and it was Boyle who was next to have an effort on goal, his volleying the edge of the box from a cleared corner fizzing just wide of the right hand post.

Reilly almost added to the away side’s tally on 82 mins when he received the ball in the box but despite having time and space to compose himself he lifted his first time shot over the bar. Cardle was to have the last effort on goal, finding space on the edge of the box on 87 mins and firing a shot over the bar.

Ayr now travel to Falkirk next week as they aim to put a stop to their winless run.

Ayr United
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Crawford, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Adams, Nisbet, Balatoni, McKenna. Substitutes Hart (GK), Gilmour, Rose, Murphy, Donald, Meggatt, Wardrope.

Dunfermline Athletic
Murdoch, Talbot, Fordyce, Geggan, Wedderburn, Moffat, Ashcroft, McMullan, Higginbotham, Herron, Clark. Substitutes Hutton, Martin, Paton, Cardle, Reilly, McCabe, El Alagui.

Referee: Craig Thompson
Attendance: 2261
Match Report: AUmedia =

Dunfermline match preview

Queen of the South vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 7th January 2017

On Saturday, Ayr United look to start 2017 with a win when Dunfermline Athletic are the visitors to Somerset Park. It is another crucial match in the Championship, with sixth placed Dunfermline just two points ahead of the Honest Men in ninth.

Ayr United have lost just one of their last six games, drawing the last three, but are without in win in the last nine league games.

Dunfermline Athletic are the division’s form team with 12 points from their last six games (three wins and three draws). On Monday, they defeated local rivals Raith Rovers 2-0 at Starks Parks with goals from Nicky Clark and Lee Ashcroft.

Team News: “Ross Docherty is suspended, Craig McGuffie and Craig Moore are out injured.”

Ian McCall says: “First game of 2017 at Somerset Park and it is one we are looking forward to. We are unbeaten in our last 3 however we need to start turning these draws into wins. Last week was probably our poorest performance for a wee while however in difficult conditions we still came out of it with a point. After last season our games with Dunfermline always have that wee bit of spice to them and there always seems to be excitement galore when we play them. They are on a really good run and like every game in this league it will be difficult. Jamie Adams comes back into the squad and Craig Moore is hopefully only a couple of weeks away.”

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 22
Draws – 16
Dunfermline Athletic wins – 21

The Pars are unbeaten in their last 10 visits to Somerset Park.

Last meeting: Both league meetings between the sides this season have ended in draws. It was goalless when the sides met at Somerset Park at the start of October before the sides drew 1-1 in Fife a month ago – a match which saw Greg Fleming save two spot kicks.

On this day: in 2012, Ayr defeated Livingston away from home in the Scottish Cup. Michael McGowan and Andy Geggan netted for the Honest Men in a 2-1 win.

Match Officials:
Referee – Craig Thomson
Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Hodge
Assistant Referee 2 – Kevin McElhinney

Admission:
Adults – £17
Concessions – £10
Under 16 – £5

Managers update

Update from manager Ian McCall

“Within the last week we received a substantial five figure bid from abroad for Conrad Balatoni.

Playing football abroad is something that interests Conrad in the future however after talking to Conrad and the chairman we have decided to turn down the offer.

This could easily have been accepted as it would have been a welcome cash boost as well as lessening the wage bill however Lachlan felt that Conrad’s form has been so good this season that it was more important that we had him for the final half of the season. Conrad is very happy to stay and is looking forward to the rest of the season.

It’s important for the supporters to know that I am trying incredibly hard to get a striker in however I won’t get someone for the sake of it or the wrong type of boy. I am looking for a proven goalscorer at this level and it’s important to get it right. I am also aware of how much money Lachlan has put in and that we can’t just go out and pay crazy wages for someone. This is where the AU500 fund could really help us with the extra money coming in on a monthly basis (www.au500fund.com

I would expect comings and goings over the next few weeks but there won’t be big changes. I have a huge confidence in this team and we don’t need big changes. Tonight Andy O’Connell has left the club after the end of his contract. We wish Andy all the very best for the future and thank him for his efforts.

I have been talking to Derek McInnes about keeping Scott McKenna for the rest of the season and those talks are ongoing but have been very positive so far.

Craig Moore has started taking part in full training at Motherwell and is coming on well. He will return to training with us on Monday 16th January and will be in the squad for the Queens Park game. Moore is a terrific player and we think so highly of him but we can’t expect him to be the player we know he can be the second he steps back on the pitch.

Today marks the two year anniversary of taking over as manager and I feel proud of what we have achieved so far.

Who would have thought after the dreadful first game at Brechin that we’d have beaten Hibs in the league at Easter Road only 18 months later.

When I look at the squad now it’s been vastly improved in that time and we not only have some real quality but a great bunch of boys with the right attitude and potential to keep improving.

In recent times we have lost by a goal at home to Dundee United and drawn away to Raith and Dunfermline and come away gutted every time. It just shows how far we have come in a short space of time.

Which just leaves me to thank the supporters for the backing over this period. I would still like another 3-400 at home matches but we have seen a really good increase since I took over and it’s imperative to keep that on an upward curve.

The fans that have come to the games have been great and the better the atmosphere at Somerset the more difficult it becomes for opposing teams.

Away from home the numbers we have been taking has been stunning. Every week we are taking big noisy supports and it’s important you know just how much that is appreciated by everybody at the club.

We are on a journey just now and there will be plenty of ups and downs. Hopefully you can see what we are trying to do, stay with us, stay patient and we will get there.

Finally I would like to say how sad we all were to hear about the passing of one our young supporters this week. Hopefully we can give him a fitting send off on Saturday. My thoughts are with all of Ciar’s family and friends.”

Ian

Club Shop 50% off Winter Sale

CLUB SHOP WINTER SALE – 50% OFF ALL STOCK

The club shop is welcoming in the New Year with a massive 50% OFF ALL STOCK winter sale.

The sale which includes all remaining 2016/17 Adidas replica stock begins in store on Thursday 5th January at 12pm.
Details of our upcoming online store sale will be published soon.

There are a number of changes to our opening hours throughout January due to staff holidays. These changes are listed below:

Thursday 5th 12pm -3pm
Friday 6th 12pm – 3pm
Saturday 7th v Dunfermline 10 – 5 (closed during the match)
Monday 9th to Friday 13th 12 – 4
Saturday 14th – Friday 20th CLOSED
Saturday 21st v Queens Park 10 – 5 (closed during the match)

Queen of the South 0 Ayr Utd 0

Queen of the South 0 v 0 Ayr United

It was another frustrating draw for The Honest Men as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Palmerston.

The home side started the stronger of the two teams and after only 6 mins they carved out their first chance. Good inter-play on the right by Lyle and Dobbie ended with Dobbie being set through one-on-one with Fleming but the United keeper was there to stop the shot.

After 15 mins Ayr had their first chance of the game as Harkins chested the ball down on the edge of the area but could only volley the ball harmlessly wide of Robinson’s goal.

Forrest was next to try his luck for United on 18 mins when he was sent into the box on the left and fired in a low shot which Robinson superbly flicked around the post. From the resultant corner Meggatt saw his header tipped onto the bar by Robinson and Cairney then half volleyed a shot just over the bar.

Ayr had yet another chance after half an hour when Harkins curled a low freekick from 20 yards out just wide of the right-hand post.

7 mins later and Boyle’s long searching ball was caught in the wind, bounced over the scampering Robinson but just cleared the bar.

On 39 mins Queens had their best chance of the game through Dobbie. Hamill’s low cross was left by Lyle and found an unmarked Dobbie in the penalty area but he rolled the ball just wide of the right-hand post.

Queens had a great chance only 2 mins into the second half when a slip in defence by Balatoni allowed Dobbie through on goal, the striker rounded Fleming but fired his shot into the side netting from a tight angle.

Lyle was next to try and break the deadlock when on 51 mins he managed to get his head on a corner and directed his header straight at Fleming and the United keeper held well.

Dobbie had another good chance for the home side on 61 mins when he got behind the United defence and took a powerful volley from 25 yards out which was well saved by Fleming who palmed the ball away and Dobbie then saw his rebound blocked by Boyle.

The home side were creating the better of the chances in the second half and on 70 mins Brownlie had a header from a corner go just over the bar from close range.

Queens thought they had broken the deadlock on 87 mins when a chipped ball landed for Lyle who rounded Fleming and stroked the ball into the net but he was adjudged to have been in an offside position and the goal didn’t stand.

The last chance of the game fell to Ayr on 90 mins when McGuffie curled a freekick into the box and the ball scraped the outside of the left-hand post just as it looked as it may have sneaked into the net.

Ayr now welcome Dunfermline to Somerset next Saturday in their quest to find that winning feeling again.

Queen of the South
Robinson, Hamill, Marshall, Dowie, Brownlie, Millar, Lyle, Dobbie, Jacobs, Bell, Carmichael. Substitutes Atkinson (GK), Higgins, Anderson, Hooper, Moxon, Nelson, Fergusson.

Ayr United
Fleming, Boyle, Crawford, Gilmour, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Meggatt, Balatoni, Docherty, McKenna. Substitutes Hart (GK), Rose, Nisbet, Murphy, McGuffie, Wardrope, Donald.

Referee: Steven Kirkland
Attendance: 1594
Match Report: AUmedia