Higgins first signing of Summer

Chris Higgins has today penned a one year deal with United for the 2017/18 season.

31 year old Higgins, who was previously captain with Queen of the South for many years, is a left sided centre back.

Manager Ian McCall said :”I was desperate to get this deal done as Chris has been made significant offers by other clubs in our league and above. He has been captain for years and is a winner.

Chris is here almost entirely as a player however he is a fully qualified PT instructor so he will working on programmes to help our younger players with fitness, nutrition, speed etc.

He is exactly the type of boy we want at this club, top class on and off the field and this is the perfect way to start the plans for the new season.”

Chris said :”I haven’t worked with him before however I know the managers pedigree and he really sold this opportunity to me. The club going full time was key in the decision as was the fact we are aiming for promotion and really want the title.

I know most of the boys in the squad, either personally or having played with them before so I know we have some really top players.

I have played at Somerset Park many times and the one thing I always notice is the fans behind the goal, they can be intimidating when they are in full voice and I am really looking forward to playing in front of them.

The main reason I am here is as a player however I am also going to be working with some of the younger players on fitness and nutrition. In this day and age that side of the game is absolutely crucial and its imperative players look after themselves.”

Higgins started his career with Motherwell and since then has played for Clyde, Dunfermline and has been with Queen of the South since July 2011.

Nicky Devlin

Club captain Nicky Devlin has now left the club and is considering several options regarding his next move.

Manager Ian McCall said :” I know fans get angry when they see a player they love leave however in this case after watching Nicky for the last 3 seasons I am sure there is a realisation that Nicky has the ability to play for big clubs at a higher level. Even if we had stayed in the Championship it would have been extremely difficult to keep him. Many clubs have been keeping tabs on him for a long time now, he could easily have gone at the end of last season. He became the clubs youngest every captain at 21 and we couldn’t have asked anymore of him. Nicky has a great affinity for the club so who knows, he may well end up back at Somerset in the future. In the meantime we wish him all the very best for the future.”

Nicky signed for United in July 2014 and in his 3 seasons at the club missed less than a handful of matches and made over 100 appearances.

He was made club captain in May 2015 and led the club to promotion in his first season as captain which culminated in an incredible penalty shoot out victory over Stranraer in front of close to 5000 at Somerset Park.

Nicky started coaching with the Ayr United Football Academy at the end of his first season with the club and in the last two years has coached hundreds of local children between the ages of 3 and 12.

He very quickly became a fans favourite for his performances on the pitch and his attacking style however Nicky was equally as popular off the pitch as he got to know our supporters and made time for them wherever he went.

Nicky was a fantastic ambassador for the club, a young captain who embraced his position with pride and enthusiasm. It was only a matter of time before he had to take the opportunity with a bigger club and leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Ayr United for all his efforts at the club, on and off the field.

Nicky gave a message for the fans before leaving :”Unfortunately the time has come to move on from Ayr United. I’ve had 3 great years at the club and I would like to thank Mark Roberts for giving me the opportunity to come here and of course to The Gaffer for giving me the honour of captaining this fantastic club. I would also like to thank everyone at the academy for all they have done for me as well and to allow me to coach with them for the last two years. We’ve had ups and downs but I will always look back at my time with fond memories. As I have said its a great club that I’m sure will bounce straight back to the Championship next year.  Big thank you to all the supporters, you’ve been fantastic with me since I arrived at the club and I will never forget our play off final. Thanks for the memories. Nicky”

5 star lottery winners wk 45

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

WEEK NUMBER 45  9/5/17

 

 

£1000 A0443 R Murray Drongan
MONDAY    
£50 C4933 J Muir Paisley
£10 B3924 J Coulter Ayr
£10 A1943 K Holmes Drongan
£10 B2131 D Millar Ayr
TUESDAY    
£50 A1512 H McCowie Prestwick
£10 B4534 B Mackie Ayr
£10 A0114 P Devlin Cumnock
£10 G0222 M Kerr Ayr
WEDNESDAY    
£50 K1931 Mr Lewis Ayr
£10 C4611 J Court Drongan
£10 B0533 E Glover Ayr
£10 E2643 J Anderson Ayr
THURSDAY    
£50 D0121 Mrs Fulton Ayr
£10 B4314 S McMath Troon
£10 A3341 J Hair Caithness
£10 B3941 L Connor Ayr
FRIDAY    
£10 C3541 J Ferguson Ayr
£10 C2432 H Connelly Ayr
£10 D1832 A McBride Ayr

 

 

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.

Players leaving

Peter Murphy, Farid El Alagui and Conrad Balatoni have all left the club.

Farid signed for the club in February, scoring 3 times including important winners against Raith and Dumbarton. Unfortunately injuries curtailed his appearances in his time at the club.

Conrad signed for the club in September, playing nearly every match in his time with the club. He played 120 minutes on his debut against Airdrie and scored in the same match. Conrad was near the top of the voting for the majority of the player of the year awards and did an excellent job in his time at the club.

Peter Murphy signed for the club in July 2014 and played an integral part in the promotion season 2015/16. In the last 3 years at the club Peter has became very much a favourite with the fans, especially anyone who has enjoyed his company at the club events. On and off the park he oozed class and will be missed by everyone at Ayr United. Peter signs off by winning the goal of the season award for his stunning strike at Livingston early in the season.

We would like to wish Farid, Conrad and Peter all the very best for the future and thank them all for their efforts at Ayr United.

5 star lottery winners wk 44

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

WEEK NUMBER 44  2/5/17

 

 

£1000 C0325 C Christie Ayr
       
MONDAY    
£50 H4824 T McCreadie Girvan
£10 B1425 D Holland Johnstone
£10 B3315 B White Mauchline
£10 F2425 G Crossan Girvan
       
TUESDAY    
£50 B4644 M O’Connell Ayr
£10 G3031 H Mills Kirkoswald
£10 C2541 R McDonald Ayr
£10 A2912 H Greenwood Ayr
       
WEDNESDAY    
£50 E1021 J Wardrope Ayr
£10 G0241 G Bell Ayr
£10 H0612 A Courtney Ayr
£10 E1623 J Miller Ayr
       
THURSDAY    
£50 B3622 J Morrison Ayr
£10 E1513 H Reid Ayr
£10 F0422 F Tudhope Girvan
£10 F2041 I McKay Ayr
       
FRIDAY    
£10 F4544 S Anderson Ayr
£10 B1033 M Wallace Tarbolton
£10 B3444 M O’Neil Ayr
       

 

 

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.

Raith Rovers 2 Ayr Utd 1

Raith Rovers 2 v 1 Ayr United

The Honest Men were consigned to League One as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Raith Rovers at Starks Park.  An early sending off for Raith keeper Pavol Penska was not capitalised upon by Ayr and strikes from Jonny Court and Declan McManus earned the home side the win with Ross Docherty netting in between.

The first incident of the match came on 3 mins when Penska was sent off for a rash challenge on Moore.  The keeper attempted to clear a through ball outside of the area however missed the ball and as a result went straight through Moore who was straight through Moore who was treated on the pitch for some 3 mins before the match could continue.  The resultant freekick was fired into the wall by Harkins from 20 yards out.

8 mins gone and Meggatt was next to try his luck and this time from distance as he took a strike from 35 yards that was comfortably saved by substitute keeper Brennan. The home side’s first chance of the match fell to M’Voto on 21 mins.  A curling ball into the box from the left was met by the big defender however his header went over the bar. Ayr were pushing for an opener and on 23 mins Harkins had an effort on goal.  Forrest laid the ball off to Harkins on the right and his curling volley from 25 yards out flashed just wide of the far post with Brennan scrambling.

United failed to take control of the game even with a man advantage and were made to pay when Raith went ahead through Court on 37 mins.  A simple through ball split the Ayr defence in two and Court raced through on goal to coolly finish beyond Fleming and put his side ahead.  It almost went from bad to worse for Ayr when a volley from Handling inside the box found the back of the net however he was adjudged to have been in an offside position and the goal was disallowed.

Ayr were forced into an early change in the second half. On 52 mins, play was held up for 5 mins when Ayr keeper Greg Fleming landed badly after an aerial challenge, appearing to injure his neck and head, and was stretchered off and taken to hospital.  Substitute keeper, Jordan Hart replaced the United’s number 1 stopper.

Despite being a man down, the home side pushed for a second goal and almost found it on 63 mins when McManus met the ball in the box but his first-time strike was blocked by Boyle.  A minute later McManus turned provider on the right and his cross was met by Benedictus who saw his header flash wide of the left-hand post.

After their best period of pressure, Ayr found their leveller on 70 mins through Docherty.  A one two between Docherty and Boyle gave the midfielder space on the edge of the box to curl the ball into the bottom right corner with the aid of a slight deflection.  In the following 5 mins, Gilmour and Forrest had efforts of their own but both strikes sailed over the bar and caused no problems for keeper Brennan.

Ayr were handed a glorious chance to take the lead on 77 mins when referee McLean pointed to the spot after Davidson handled a McDaid cross inside the area.  Forrest stepped up and saw his low effort to the right palmed away by Brennan and the score remained level.

85 mins gone and McDaid had a chance of his own to give Ayr the lead, cutting in from the right and shooting but Brennan got down well to turn the ball wide.

It was, however, Raith who were to take all three points. On 90 mins, a long ball into the box was met at the back post by McManus who made no mistake and fired high into the net from close range.

The last effort of the match fell to McDaid on 94 mins when his speculative overhead kick inside a crowded box went just over the bar.

Failure to beat Raith by 5 clear goals means that Ayr’s relegation to League One has been confirmed.  The club now aims to bounce back for next season and return to the Championship.

Raith Rovers Penska, Thomson, M’Voto, Benedictus, Matthews, Davidson, Skacel, McManus, Handling, Court, Barr.  Substitutes Brennan (GK), McHattie, Johnston, Stewart, Barr, Thompson, Hardie.  Ayr United Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Gilmour, Moore, Forrest, Harkins, Meggatt, McGuffie, Docherty, Balatoni.  Substitutes Hart (GK), Murphy, McDaid, Cairney, El Alagui, Adams.

Referee:  Steven McLean Attendance:  3064 Match Report:  AUmedia

Raith match preview

Match Preview Raith Rovers vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes Championship Saturday 6th May 2017

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Kirkcaldy to face Raith Rovers knowing only a five-goal victory will save the Honest Men from finishing 10th in the Championship and an immediate return to League 1.

United failed to capitalise on Rovers’ 5-0 defeat away to St. Mirren last Saturday and former Ayr skipper John Hughes’s side go into this game needing a win, coupled with a defeat for the Buddies away to Hibernian, to avoid the relegation play-offs.

Despite Rovers’ poor run of form they have remained resolute at home and are unbeaten at Starks Park in their last five games, picking up wins against St. Mirren, Dundee United and Morton while drawing with Queen of the South and Hibernian.

Team News: Michael Rose is suspended. Robbie Crawford is out injured and everyone else is available.

Ian says: “We know what we have to do so we are going there to attack and score goals. Of course it is unlikely to win by 5 goals but football can produce strange results at this time of the season. While we still have a chance we will be doing everything we can to get the goals we need. I would also like to thank those supporters that have followed us away from this season, the numbers and noise have been fantastic and it is hugely appreciated.”

Head-to-Head (League): Ayr United wins – 49 Draws – 44 Raith Rovers wins – 48

 

Saturday will be the 150th meeting between Ayr United and Raith Rovers in all competitions.

 

The Honest Men have lost in just one of their last 10 visits to Starks Park, winning five and drawing four.

 

Last meeting: Farid El Alagui scored the only goal in the last meeting between the sides at the end of February, a match notable for the fact Rovers selected Ryan Stevenson between the posts. Rovers won 2-0 at Somerset Park on the opening weekend of the league campaign back in August with goals from Ross Callachan and Ross Matthews while a late Gary Harkins free-kick earned United a draw in the return fixture at Starks Park. Joel Coustrain had opened the scoring and Kyle Benedictus and Paul Cairney were both sent off.

 

On this day: United are unbeaten in the four league games they have played on this date, winning 3 and drawing 1. Our biggest win was a 4-1 victory over Berwick Rangers in 1963.

 

Match Officials: Referee – Steven McLean, Assistant Referee 1 – Alastair Mather,  Assistant Referee 2 – Alan Macfadyen

 

Admission:

£5 for adults. £2 for up to two children accompanied by an adult.

Our supporters will be housed in the North stand (the away stand) and fans can pay at the turnstiles however if you are taking children then £2 tickets need to be purchased from the ticket pod outside the away stand.

Shop clearance sale extended

SHOP CLEARANCE SALE EXTENDED!!!

 The club shop BADGE CLEARANCE SALE has been extended and will now run in store throughout May.

Not only that but we have added OVER 30 NEW LINES to those already slashed in price.

 This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all Ayr United supporters and of course football fans in general to purchase a piece of our history at giveaway prices.

 Shop opening hours this week:

Monday to Friday  12pm – 4pm

Saturday  9.30am – 12.30pm

 

ADDED LINES

3/ STICKER PACK  £1

4/ PHONE COVERS (pack of 2) £1

5/ HOME DRESSING ROOM SIGN  £2

6/ SOMERSET ROAD STREET SIGN  £3

7/ NOTEPADS  £1

8/ AUTOGRAPH BOOKS  £1

9/ PACKS 4 PENCILS £1

10/ CERAMIC MONEY BOX  £2

11/ ALL OCCASION CARDS  50p

12/ DRAWSTRING BAG  £1

13/ GIFT BAGS  £1

14/ PACK 10 XMAS CARDS   £1

15/ PERU HATS  2 FOR £5

16/ PACK OF 4 COASTERS £1

17/ MOUSEMATS  £1

18/ CAR SCARVES £2

19/ XMAS TREE DECORATIONS  £1

20/ BOXED PARKER PENS  £2

21/ BEER MATS  2 FOR £1

22/ PRINTED BADGE SHORTS  £2

23/ ITS MY BIRTHDAY BADGE  £1

24/ CAR DICE  £2

25/ NUMBER PLATE CAR SIGN  £1

26 / WRISTBANDS 50p EACH OR 3 FOR £1

27/ LANYARDS £1

28/ CUFFLINKS  SET (match official club tie)  £1

29/ LEATHER KEY RING  £2

30/ SPINNING KEY RING  £2

31/ SPORTS BAG  £5

32/ LADIES CHARM BRACELET (collectors item)  £10

33/ GOLD CUFFLINK SET  £5

34/ SCOTLAND ACCESSORIES £1

35/ SOMERSET BOAB BOTTLE OPENER  4 FOR £1

 

Ayr Utd 0 Hibernian 4

Ayr United 0 v 4 Hibernian

The Honest Men slumped to a heavy defeat at home to champions-elect Hibernian as they were defeated 4 – 0.

Goals in the first half from Cummings and Boyle gave Hibs a commanding lead before Keatings and from Cummings rounded off the scoring in the second half.  Hibernian started the stronger of the two sides and had their first effort on goal through Cummings on 3 mins.  A high ball was headed back poorly by Meggatt and it was pounced upon by Cummings who saw his shot in the box rattle against the post.

Ayr’s first attempt on goal came on 10 mins when Cairney found space on the left on the edge of the area however he was closed down quickly by the Hibs defence and prevented from causing keeper Laidlaw any problems. On 12 mins Hibs’ Boyle picked the ball up in midfield and drove forward, skipping numerous challenges, then found Holt on the edge of the box. Holt adjusted then hit a powerful strike into the side netting from a promising position.

Hibernian continued to push for the opening goal and McGinn was next to try his luck on 22 mins.  His shot from just outside the penalty area went wide and caused Fleming no problems.  Ayr had a chance two mins later when Cairney won a freekick 20 yards out from goal.  Harkins stepped up but disappointingly curled his shot against the wall and the deflected ball was cleared from the box.

Hibs were to get their first goal of the game on 26 mins.  McGinn broke down the left and his cross met Cummings in the box and from 6 yards out had the simplest of tasks of directing the ball into the net.

It went from bad to worse for Ayr on 29 mins when Hibs doubled their lead.  Rose frivolously gave the ball away and Fyvie took advantage and found Holt whose low cross into the box was met by the onrushing Boyle who fired high into the net for 0-2. Ayr had an opportunity to halve the deficit on 34 mins when a Harkins header from a Cairney corner went harmlessly over the bar.

41 mins gone and Ayr had another chance from a set piece.  Rose tried his luck with a freekick from 20 yards and his powerful low shot was spilled by Laidlaw but nobody was there to follow up the rebound. The first chance of the second half fell to McGinn on 51 mins.  The Scotland International took a powerful drive from 30 yards out which had to be well saved by Fleming in goal.

6 mins later and McGinn turned provider with his pass in the box finding Holt who had his shot saved by Fleming. The away side deservedly got their third on 65 mins through Keatings.  McGinn’s long ball was met by Cummings who passed to Keatings and he coolly finished with a low shot into the net to kill the game.  United’s Meggatt attempted to take matters into his own hands and took a powerful drive from 35 yards which had to be tipped over the bar by Laidlaw on 70 mins.

Hibernian were in merciless form, however, and made it four on 71 mins.  A ball into the box was met by Cummings on the right and his low drive found the left-hand corner for 0-4 and a brace for the Hibs man.

The final chance of the match fell to McGuffie on 88 mins.  Devlin’s pass found McGuffie and his shot from 25 yards went just over the bar.

The result now means that Ayr need to win 5-0 or better to secure 9th place when they visit Starks Park to play Raith Rovers on Saturday.

Ayr United Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Rose, Moore, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Meggatt, Balatoni, Docherty.  Substitutes Hart (GK), Gilmour, Murphy, McDaid, El Alagui, McGuffie.

Hibernian Laidlaw, Gray, McGinn, Fyvie, Holt, Stevenson, Boyle, Forster, McGregor, Humphrey, Cummings.  Substitutes Martin (GK), Keatings, Shinnie, Ambrose, Graham, Martin, Murray.  Referee:  Stephen Finnie

Attendance:  2152

Match Report:  AUmedia