Queens Park 0 Ayr Utd 2

QUEENS PARK 0 v 2 AYR UNITED
by AUmedia
The first real chance of the game fell to the home side after only 5 mins. Midfielder David Galt found space and time in the box and his curling effort smacked off the post as Ayr scrambled the ball to safety. On 14 mins, with the Spiders continuing their early pressure, Luke Donnelly was next to try his luck, this time with a header that flew over the top of Hart’s goal.

Despite a flurry of chances for the home side, the opening goal of the game came for United on 23 mins through Adams. Gilmour picked the ball up midway through the Queen’s Park half and primed himself to shoot before disguising a clipped ball to the back post for Adams to head back across goal and into the bottom right corner. 0-1 Ayr. Ayr hadn’t been at their best in the opening stages with Queen’s Park dominating possession but the quality of the goal’s construction, and not a little relief, brought the 500 plus travelling supporters to their feet.

Ayr began to grow in confidence and almost picked up a second just minutes later. Defender Ciaran Summer’s attempted headed clearance from a Geggan throw in fell to Michael Moffat in the box and the striker pounced, adjusting his body before firing towards goal on the volley. Just as Ayr fans were preparing to celebrate, keeper Willie Muir (a former Honest Man) got down well to save.

On 32 mins, Ayr’s stopper, Jordan Hart was called into action with a double save. First, at full stretch, he palmed away a close-range header from striker Luke Donnelly before recovering swiftly to stop Dominic Docherty’s follow-up drive at the front post.

Into the second half and Queens Park found themselves a glorious chance to get back into the game. On 55 mins, they were awarded a penalty after Rose was adjudged to have fouled Donnelly in the box. This seemed a harsh decision with Rose appearing to have made contact with the ball and not the man and, for the second week in a row, United feared the worst.

Ross Millen stepped up but saw his effort saved by Hart who dived to his left then reacted at pace to keep out the rebound attempt and ensure that Ayr maintained their lead.

Ayr were looking to try and kill the game off and on 59 mins almost did so when Moffat passed the ball to Shankland who from 20 yards out curled a shot just wide.

With 68 mins gone, Ayr gave finally themselves a two-goal cushion thanks to Lawrence Shankland. A through ball from Geggan reached Shankland, back to goal some 35 yards out, who delightfully stepped away and turned leaving midfielder Fotheringham bemused and trailing in his wake. The striker then veered left, creating space for himself, and moved just inside the penalty area before directing a low shot, through the narrow slot to keeper Muir’s right, and into the back of the net. This was no less than the industrious Shankland deserved and Ayr were two up.

The home side were not giving up in this game and continued to press for a route back into the game. On 77 mins Orr saw his shot from close range blocked by Rose. On 86 mins, centre half, Adam Cummins thought he had headed Queens Park back into the game from an in-swinging free kick but his effort was ruled out for offside.

2 mins later it was United defender Chris Higgins who was called into action when he had to clear the ball off the line to ensure that Ayr finished the game with a clean sheet and 3 points.
Ayr now welcome East Fife to Somerset Park on Saturday.

QUEENS PARK – Muir, Millen, Cummins, Iredale, Summers, Docherty, Fotheringham, Brady, Bailey, Donnelly, Galt. Substitutes Orr, Duff, Green, Gibson, Burns, McVey, White (GK).
AYR UNITED – Hart, Geggan, Higgins, Rose, Reid, McDaid, Adams, Docherty, Gilmour, Moffat, Shankland. Substitutes McGuffie, Ferguson, Murphy, McCowan, Avci (GK).
Referee: Gavin Ross
Attendance: 821

Queens Park match preview

Match Preview Queen’s Park vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 23rd September 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Hampden Park to face Queen’s Park. The Honest Men remain in second place in the table after former Queen’s Park striker Lawrence Shankland’s late strike against Alloa last weekend rescued a point and are one of three teams who are six points behind leaders Raith Rovers. Another high-scoring match involving Ian McCall’s men means United’s six league games this season have averaged 4.67 goals.

Queen’s Park picked up their first league win of the season a fortnight ago when Ross Millen’s penalty earned the Spiders all three points at East Fife. Last Saturday, however, they were brought back down to earth when Raith put five goals past them with no reply at the National Stadium. Gus McPherson’s side occupy ninth place in League 1, a point ahead of bottom side Forfar, who dispensed with manager Gary Bollan this week.

Team News: Chris Higgins comes back into the squad. Craig Moore, Paddy Boyle, Robbie Crawford and Alan Forrest are still out.

Ian says: “We were hoping to have at least a couple of the injured boys back however we do have Chris Higgins back and Jamie & Doc have both had an  extra weeks training. We need to defend better and stop conceding goals as we do look very dangerous going forward. It is extremely frustrating to have taken 1 point from the last two games when I felt it should have been a lot more. Queens Park haven’t been in the best of form however they are a good side and it will be a difficult match. Hopefully we take a good number of fans through to Glasgow and they get right behind us.”

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 42

Draws – 23

Queen’s Park wins – 31

 

United have lost just one of the last 23 meetings between the sides, a record stretching back to 1982.

 

Last Meeting: Ayr United and Queen’s Park met last season in the Scottish Cup. After a goalless draw at Somerset Park in January, United edged through to the Fifth Round at Hampden Park in the replay. Paul Woods put the Spiders ahead in the 4th minute and Gus McPherson’s side scored again before half-time through Bryan Wharton after had Craig Moore equalised. A Conrad Balatoni goal in the 83rd minute forced the game into extra-time during which Sean Burns was sent-off for the home side. Greg Fleming then once again showed his penalty saving prowess, denying Wharton and Gregor Fotheringham from the spot to send the Honest Men through on penalties.

 

The last league game between the sides was at Somerset Park in 2009 and ended 1-1 after Ryan Borris equalised Steven Odenewo’s goal.

 

On this day: in history Ayr have a 55.56% win rate and have won their last four matches played on this date, most recently away to Brechin in 2006 when Paul Weaver and Jerome Vareille netted for the Honest Men at Glebe Park.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Gavin Ross

Assistant Referee 1 – Andrew McWilliam

Assistant Referee 2 – Gordon McCabe

 

Admission:

Adult – £14

Senior Citizen (over 65)- £5

Child (under 16) – £3

Student/Unemployed – £3

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day returns to Ayr United

After the success of last years Armed Forces Day we have agreed to make it an annual event and this seasons will be held on Saturday 30th September.

All serving personnel, regular and reserves. Cadets and veterans welcome. Entry is free and through gate H.

All serving personnel and cadets should wear MTP uniform.

All veterans in suitable Veterans Day attire with medals.

As with last year the point of contact for the event will be Capt Michael Green 6 SCOTS. If you would like to attend please contact Captain Green by phone (07739997964) or by email michael.green786@mod.uk

 

 

 

 

Ayr Utd 3 Alloa Athletic 3

Ayr United 3 v 3 Alloa Athletic

Match report by AUmedia

A double from Lawrence Shankland on his home debut helped Ayr rescue a point at home to Alloa in a match marred by yet another poor refereeing decision when in the 84th min Alloa were awarded a penalty after United midfielder Jamie Adams clearly headed the ball.

Ayr had gone ahead early in the game through Shankland before being pegged back by goals from McKeown and Cawley.  Adams equalised late into the second half before Alloa took the lead through that controversial penalty. Ayr dug deep as the game moved into added time when Shankland salvaged a point for Ayr though with a solo effort.

On 4 mins, the first chance of the game resulted in the opener for United.  An Adams shot was blocked by a sliding tackle from Alloa player manager Jim Goodwin and spun upwards towards the keeper’s right-hand post. Michael Moffat was first to react and flicked the ball over the keeper into the goalmouth and Lawrence Shankland headed in from close range to make it 1-0.

Ayr almost doubled their lead on 10 mins.  A dangerous cross, whipped in by McDaid from the right, was flicked on by Moffat and scraped just wide of the far post.   Alloa’s first effort came on 13 mins.  From a corner, defender McKeown, in acres of space in the box, saw his powerful header flash wide of the right-hand post.  After United’s early dominance, Alloa were growing into the game and had another chance on 28 mins when Robertson took a drive from the edge of the area that went just wide of the target.

Alloa’s increased and sustained pressure was to pay off when they levelled on 35 mins albeit with a touch of good fortune.  A corner was cleared by the Ayr defence and fell to Robertson whose off target shot from 20 yards deflected off the grounded McKeown and rolled into the net for 1-1.

Ayr’s next best chance came on 55 mins. Moffat picked the ball up and drove into the Alloa box before lifting the ball towards the back post where McDaid who slid in and directed the ball onto the bar from no more than 3 yards.  3 mins later Shankland saw his header from a corner superbly saved by Alloa keeper Parry at point blank range.

Despite the promising start to the second half, it was Alloa who were to go ahead through ex-Ayr man Cawley on 61 mins.  One of the smallest men on the pitch, Cawley won a ball in from a corner on the right and managed to head into the top right-hand corner to give Hart and Docherty, on the line, no chance, 1-2.

One minute later and Ayr almost responded. Shankland held off then turned defender Frank McKeown in the box before seeing his stinging drive palmed away by Parry.  McDaid then fired well over the bar from the edge of the area.   The visitors almost doubled their advantage on 69 mins through another ex-Ayr player when Meggatt’s header from a corner had to be well saved by Hart in goal.

Alloa were made to pay for this missed chance as Ayr equalised through Adams on 79 mins.  McDaid passed the ball to Moffat on the right and his hanging cross was met by Adams at the back post and his shot went back across goal and into the bottom right corner for 2-2.  The big midfielder’s momentum carried him onwards and he had to jump over the wall and land in amongst the fans.

Hart was once again called into action, this time to deny yet another ex-Ayr man, Craig Malcolm, who made himself space in the box and curled a shot towards goal that was palmed away with expert agility by Hart on 83 mins.

From the resultant corner, Alloa were awarded a controversial penalty when Adams was deemed to have blocked a header with his hand despite the ball smacking off the side of the midfielder’s head.  Taggart stepped up and tucked away the penalty to hand the advantage back to Alloa at 2-3.

Ayr desperately tried to get themselves a leveller and it looked like it just ‘wouldn’t be their day’ when Moffat saw a shot in the box cleared off the line before Rose fired over at the back post in the dying minutes.   The Honest Men were to get the last say when Shankland, with an superb piece of individual play, struck his second goal of the game on 94 mins making it 3-3.  The striker picked the ball up on the left and cut into the box, evading a number of challenges before smashing the ball into the bottom corner to salvage a point for the home side.   United now travel to Hampden Park on Saturday to play Queens Park.

Ayr United  Hart, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, McDaid, McGuffie, Ferguson, Adams, Shankland, Docherty, Reid.  Substitutes Avci (GK), Gilmour, Waite, Murphy, McCowan.

Alloa Athletic Parry, Taggart, Meggatt, McKeown, Goodwin, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Renton, Fleming, Flannigan.  Substitutes Cook, Malcolm, Martin, Crane, Wilson (GK).   Referee:  Euan Anderson  Attendance:  1306

Raith match preview

Match Preview
Raith Rovers vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 9th September 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to the Kingdom of Fife looking to wrestle top spot in League 1 back from high-flying Raith Rovers. United’s unbeaten start to the league campaign ended at home to Arbroath at fortnight ago will be looking to return to winning ways in this clash between the League 1 favourites.

Former Dundee, Alloa and East Fife manager Barry Smith was the man Raith Rovers turned to in the summer to lead them back to the Championship after their eight year stint in Scottish football’s second tier came to an end in May. A strong start to the season sees Rovers sit top of the table with 10 points from 4 games, a record which saw Smith collect the Manager of the Month award for August this week.

Raith have won their last five games in league and cup, scoring 18 goals and conceding just once. Lewis Vaughan – who spent last season on loan at Dumbarton – has scored in each of his last nine appearances, 13 goals in total for the season, and was unsurprisingly named August’s League 1 Player of the Month. Vaughan along with strikers Greig Spence and Liam Buchanan – both summer signings – and Bobby Barr make for an impressive attacking line-up which United will do well to keep quiet on Saturday.

Team News: Jamie Adams, Ross Docherty, Paddy Boyle and Craig Moore are all definitely out. Robbie Crawford and Alan Forrest have a 50/50 chance of making it. Lawrence Shankland goes straight into the squad.

Ian says: “We have had a break since our last match and it’s unfortunate that we have picked up some crucial injuries however it gives an opportunity to some of the other players that have been knocking on the door. We will still have a strong team out there and it’s a game we are really looking to. Raith are flying just now so it will be a very tough match however we had started the season very strongly until a couple of poor results last week and we go there with confidence.”

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

United have a decent record in recent years at Starks Park, losing just twice in their last 11 visits.

Last Meeting: There was no lack of drama in the four Championship matches between Ayr United and Raith Rovers last season, with both clubs battling against each other to avoid relegation. The sides met on the opening and final games of the campaign, with Rovers winning both. A 2-0 victory at Somerset Park in August 2016 kick started a positive start for Gary Locke’s side it wasn’t to endure much longer than a month and while the Kirkcaldy side’s 2-1 win in May 2017 – a match which saw their Slovak keeper Pavol Penska sent off in just the fourth minute – ensured it was the Honest Men who would finish the season bottom of the league, Rovers, under the direction of John Hughes would quickly follow into League 1, losing to Brechin in the play-offs.

The other two fixtures between the sides were both played on a Tuesday night; it was 1-1 at Starks Park in November, with both sides finishing with 10 men while Ayr picked up all three points at Somerset Park in February.

In total Rovers fielded five different goalkeepers in four games against Ayr, including midfielder Ryan Stevenson in the 1-0 reverse at Somerset Park.

On this day: in 1978 Ayr United and Raith Rovers played out a goalless draw at Starks Park. Six years earlier The Honest Men defeated Kilmarnock 1-0 at Rugby Park.

Match Officials:
Referee – Alan Muir
Assistant Referee 1 – Brian Templeton
Assistant Referee 2 – Craig King

Admission:
Adult – £15
Concession (12-16, Over 65) – £8
Junior (Under 16, accompanied by full paying adult) – £5
Full Time Student & Jobseekers – £10 (must be purchased at ticket office)
Disability & Carer Concession – £8

Shankland signs & Higgins extends deal

Lawrence Shankland this morning penned a deal until January with the Honest Men.

Manager Ian McCall said ” We may have quite a few injuries for tomorrow however this is not a signing that is down to the injuries. I have said for some time I was looking for another attacking player. Lawrence is a boy I’ve tried to sign 3 times previously. He is a goal scorer and just needs to find his way again. There is no doubting he has ability he just needs some game time. This also means there is potential for Moffat Moore and Shankland all to play together.”

Chris Higgins has signed a one year extension to his current deal keeping him at Somerset Park to the Summer of 2019. Manager Ian McCall has been delighted with what he has seen so far from the ex Queen of the South captain and wanted the deal done as quickly as possible.

Ayr Utd 1 Arbroath 2

Ayr United 1 v 2 Arbroath

by AUmedia

The Honest Men’s 100% start to the league campaign came to an end as Arbroath left Somerset Park with all 3 points thanks to goals from Kadar and Whatley after Higgins had opened the scoring for United.   The first chance of the match came for the away side after only 4 mins when striker Swankie met a free kick at the front post and his header fell just beyond the back post.  Ayr then had a chance 2 mins later when Forrest had a pop at goal however the shot was tame and easily saved by ex-Honest Man Hutton in goal.

Arbroath were causing Ayr problems early on and almost went ahead on 10 mins when O’Brien’s header was superbly saved by Hart at the bottom right corner and cleared off the line to safety by Docherty.  It was then Ayr’s turn to have a header cleared off the line when Geggan met a McDaid in swinger and saw his header cleared away by a defender on 21 mins.

The Red Lichties were playing a very effective counter attacking game and it almost earned them the lead on 37 mins.  Arbroath won the ball and broke quickly before setting Swankie through on goal however his shot was well saved by Hart from a one-on-one position.

Ayr were to take the lead on 41 mins through defined Higgins.  A corner from McDaid fell kindly to Moore at the back post whose shot was palmed away by Hutton but Higgins was there to sweep home the rebound to give Ayr the lead, 1-0.   Ayr upped the tempo in search for a second before halftime and almost doubled their lead on 43 mins.  Moore met the ball at the back post and his ambitious bicycle kick was well saved by Hutton from close range.

Ayr were preparing to go into halftime with a slender lead however the visitors got themselves on level terms right before the break.  Ayr failed to clear the ball in the box and Kader was lurking at the back post to fire home the equaliser, 1-1 on 45 mins.   Kadar almost netted his second of the match on 46 mins when his in-swinging corner almost crossed the line if it weren’t for Hart who did well to claw the ball away to prevent a potential freak goal for the away side.

Ayr were struggling to break down the well organised Arbroath who were creating more chances and this time Swankie had another glorious chance to score.  The Arbroath striker found himself with time and space in the box and his half volley had to be palmed away by Hart on 50 mins to ensure that the score line remained level.

Moffat then had a shot on the edge of the area on 53 mins that was tame and caused Hutton no problems at all as it rolled wide of the post.

Arbroath were to take a deserved lead on 59 mins through Whatley.  Doris the collected the ball on the edge of the area and lay the ball off for Whatley who sent in a high curling shot from 20 yards that Hart couldn’t keep out, 1-2.

Ayr struggled to apply any real pressure to the away side and Geggan had the only shot of note in the remaining half hour, one which went straight down the throat of Hutton on 69 mins.   Ayr slip down to 2nd place after this defeat and now take a break from league action as they welcome Montrose to Somerset on Tuesday evening in the second round of the Irn Bru Cup.

Ayr United  Hart, Higgins, Boyle, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, Crawford, Moore, Forrest, McDaid, Docherty.  Substitutes Avci (GK), Gilmour, McGuffie, Ferguson, Murphy, McGowan, Reid.   Arbroath  Hutton, Gold, Hamilton, Little, O’Brien, Whatley, Kader, Yule, Doris, Swankie, Denholm.  Substitutes Prunty, Linn, Henry, McCord, Skelly, Gomes.   Referee:  Mike Roncome Attendance:  1569

Arbroath match preview

Match Preview Ayr United vs. Arbroath Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 26th August 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United face Arbroath looking to make it four wins out of four in League 1 and to consolidate their position at the top of the table. The Honest Men continued their goalscoring form last weekend, netting four times against Stranraer to take the season’s tally to 32 in 9 games but three goals conceded made for a less straightforward victory than Ian McCall would have hoped for.

League 2 Champions Arbroath have started life in League 1 with four points from their three games. Dick Campbell’s men opened their account with a 2-0 win over fellow promoted side Queen’s Park at Gayfield and then picked up a point away to Airdrieonians. Last weekend they were on the reverse of a 3-2 defeat at home to East Fife.

Familiar faces in the Arbroath squad include striker Bryan Prunty and goalkeeper David Hutton, who joined the club from Dunfermline Athletic. Dick Campbell raided former club Forfar Athletic over the summer, adding Thomas O’Brien, Danny Denholm and Gavin Swankie. Forward Swankie joins his hometown club for a fourth spell after the Red Lichties reportedly paid a fee of £8000 for the 33-year-old.

Team News: Jamie Adams is out, everyone else is fit and available.

Ian says: “Its a very important game for us, we want to have an outstanding home record and make teams hate coming here. We will look to attack from the off as we have in every game however we need our fans to be patient and get behind us. Having that support from the terraces at home this season could be absolutely crucial. Away from home we have the best backing in the league by a long way, no question about that.

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 53

Draws – 19

Arbroath wins – 26

 

Ayr have outscored Arbroath 202 goals to 131 in the 98 meetings between the sides, the first a 5-0 victory in August 1925.

 

Last Meeting: United completed the clean sweep over the the Red Lichties in Season 2013/14 with 12 points out of 12. The last meeting between the sides was at Somerset Park in March 2014. Craig Malcolm opened the scoring in the 4th minute but the home side saw Michael Donald sent off before half-an-hour on the clock. Kenny Deuchar levelled things for Arbroath in the 38th minute but Michael Moffat scored what proved to be the winner for 10-men Ayr just two minutes later.

 

On this day: Ayr have a poor record in recent years on August 26th, losing seven of the last eight matches played on this date to nil, a run stretching back to 1989. The Honest Men’s only win during that period was a 5-2 victory over Falkirk in 2000; Glynn Hurst netting a hat-trick at Somerset Park.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Mike Roncome

Assistant Referee 1 – David Roome

Assistant Referee 2 – Chris McTiernan

 

Admission:

Adults – £16 Concessions (18-21, 65+, Students) – £10 U18s – £5

Stranraer 3 Ayr Utd 4

Stranraer 3 v 4 Ayr United

by AUmedia

Ayr were on the front foot from the start and had early control. On 10 mins, after showing good skill in the box, McDaid came close to giving Ayr yet another early lead with a strike that smacked off the post.   Ayr’s large travelling support (567 out of the 1070 present) were left shell-shocked when Stranraer took the lead against the run of play on 15 mins.  A long ball wasn’t dealt with properly by Reid allowing Wallace to take possession and fire home to make it 1-0 Stranraer.

United got themselves on level terms on 41 mins when McDaid made amends for his miss earlier in the half with a superb strike.  Moffat laid ball off to the winger who dribbled his way into the box before unleashing a powerful left-footed drive in off the crossbar.

Ayr have become famous this season for their quick starts and had yet another one in the second half when they got their noses in front through Moore.  On 48 mins captain Docherty won the ball in midfield and slipped it through to Moore on the right who fired underneath Belford into the bottom left corner to give Ayr a 2-1 lead.   Ayr increased their lead on 58 mins. Reid lifted the ball to Moore who neatly chested it to Moffat. Moffat returned the favour with a header into the bath of Moore who drove into the box and to the right before cutting it back to the on-rushing Moffat who slammed the ball home.

Stranraer continued to plug away and almost reduced the deficit with a Wallace free kick that flashed just over on 62 mins.  Ayr almost punished this missed chance too as Moffat raced through one on one on 71 mins but blasted the ball wide of the post when it seemed easier to score.   Just as Ayr looked to be easing to another win, a horror 4 mins saw the home side haul themselves back on level terms.

On 79 mins striker Thomson met a ball from a corner and his header was too powerful for Hart and it hit the back of the net for 2-3.

4 mins later and Thomson was there again getting beyond the Ayr defence to chip the ball over Hart for 3-3.  The Ayr defence felt hard done by as Thomson appeared to have come back from an offside position then push Higgins before scoring but referee Charleston was not having any of it and the goal stood.

3 mins later, Higgins played the ball forward from his own half to Moore who tapped the ball back to Crawford. Crawford moved forward purposefully before threading the ball between defenders Robinson and Lang into the box where Boyle ended a lung-bursting 50 yard overlapping run by collecting then slamming the ball home. Cue delirium and spark wild celebrations from the United team and support, 3-4 on 84 mins.

Moore had the last chance of the game but saw his one-on-one effort saved by Belford as Ayr claimed all three points. Ayr now welcome Arbroath to Somerset Park on Saturday as they look to continue their impressive start.

STRANRAER – Belford, Robertson, Dick, Lang, Bell, Hamill, Thomson, Agnew, Anderson, Wallace, Okoh.  Substitutes Currie (GK), Neill, Woods, Turner, McKinlay, McLaughlin, Stoney.

AYR UNITED – Hart, Higgins, Boyle, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, Crawford, Moore, McDaid, Docherty, Reid.  Substitutes Avci (GK), Gilmour, Forrest, McGuffie, Ferguson.

 

Referee: Craig Charleston

Attendance: 1070

Stranraer match preview

Match Preview Stranraer vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 19th August 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel down the A77 to take on Stranraer at Stair Park. Ian McCall’s men will be looking to continue the form which has seen them score 28 goals in eight games in all competitions this season and retain the only 100% record in League 1.

Stranraer defeated Clyde in their Irn-Bru Cup tie on Tuesday night at Broadwood but needed extra-time to edge past the Bully Wee. The Blues came back from two-goals down thanks to a Scott Agnew penalty and an own goal during 90 minutes before Ryan Wallace’s extra-time winner.  The Blues started their league campaign with a 1-0 home victory over East Fife – their first win of the season after losing all four games in a tough Betfred Cup group – but were vanquished 3-0 by Raith Rovers at Starks Park last weekend.

Boss Stephen Farrell, who took over from Brian Reid in January with the Blues struggling at the foot of League 1, has added former Kilmarnock and Hearts midfielder Jamie Hamill to squad this summer along with winger Grant Anderson and striker Stephen Okoh, who scored 14 goals in 23 appearances for English Isthmian League side Lewes last season. Departures from Stair Park in the summer included Willie Gibson and ex-Ayr men Craig Malcolm and Craig Pettigrew.

Team News: Jamie Adams is out and everyone else is available.

Ian says: “Every game provides a different test and going to Stranraer is never easy. It is an extremely tough place to go and it will be a battle from start to finish. We have confidence just now however the players keep working even harder week on week and training is top class every day. We want to keep this run going and stay at the top of the league. This is one of these games where I am sure we will take a huge away support and when they get right behind us it makes a huge difference.”

Head to head (at Stair Park):

Ayr United wins – 22

Draws – 5

Stranraer wins – 17

 

Last Meeting:

Few Ayr United fans will forget the last meeting between the sides, although in truth it was not a classic. With the sides level after the first leg of the Championship play-off in May 2016, courtesy of Ross Docherty’s last minute equaliser at Stair Park, a nervy and goalless 120 minutes at Somerset Park meant the tie went to extra-time. Three Greg Fleming saves and an Andy Graham penalty later and United had clinched promotion on a scorching afternoon at Somerset Park.

 

On this day:

Seventeen years ago, United defeated Airdrieonians 3-1 at Somerset Park in the First Division. Glynn Hurst equalised after Argentinian striker Martin Prest opened the scoring for the Diamonds; a second-half Pat McGinlay double secured all three points for the Honest Men.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Craig Charleston

Assistant Referee 1 – Kylie McMullan

Assistant Referee 2 – Tony Fullerton

 

Admission:

Adults – £15 Concession (65+) – £10 Secondary School – £5 Primary School – FREE