Disabled Access

In common with the majority of Scottish senior football clubs we will this season be introducing a charge for the use of the wheelchair and disability access area.

The charge for the disabled person will be the concession charge for the game and one carer will be admitted free.

Wheelchairs can access and pay through the normal gate and any other requests for specific needs can be made to the office at least 24 hours prior to the match.

Partick match preview

Match Preview

Ayr United vs. Partick Thistle

Ladbrokes Championship

Saturday 4th August 2018. Kick-off 3pm

 

On Saturday, Ayr United will raise the League 1 winner’s flag at Somerset Park before taking on Partick Thistle in the first fixture of a highly anticipated Championship season. Ian McCall’s side go into the match buoyed not only by last season’s title win but also a perfect Betfred Cup group stage campaign, taking maximum points from their four games – including the win over Thistle at Firhill last Saturday.

 

After defeat at the hand of the Honest Men, Partick had to wait until Sunday to have their progression to the next round of the cup confirmed. Inverness’ heavy defeat at the hands of Hearts meant they finished as one of the four best runners up, setting up a tie against Celtic. Alan Archibald will be looking for his team to get off to a good start following Thistle’s relegation from the Premiership last season.

 

Ceremonies get underway at 2.45pm, with home fans asked to make their way into the ground in plenty of time to see the league flag unfurled.

 

Team News:  Mark Kerr serves a one-match suspension carried over from last season. Chris Higgins is out and Craig Moore will begin training again on Monday.

 

Ian says:”We are hugely looking forward to tomorrow. It will be a special occasion before the match and I hope everyone enjoys it however for us our only thoughts are on getting the three points. Last weeks game means absolutely nothing in terms of tomorrow. Of course we have a confidence just now but the training all week has been intense and focused on our league campaign starting. Season ticket sales have been going well and of course we are hoping for a bumper crowd with an amazing atmosphere.”

 

Head to head (at Somerset Park):

Ayr United wins –28

Draws – 16

Partick Thistle wins – 20

 

Last Saturday’s win over Thistle was United’s first since a 1-0 victory at Somerset Park in 2010, ending a six-game run without a win.

 

On this day: in 2001, United opened up their Division One campaign away at Brockville. Former Ayr assistant manager John Henry scored the first goal of the game for Falkirk but second-half penalties for James Grady and Eddie Annand gave the Honest Men all three points. Overall, our opening day record reads: P103, W39, D26, L38.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Craig Thomson

Assistant Referee 1 – Calum Spence

Assistant Referee 2 – Daniel Groves

 

Admission:

Adults – £17

Concessions (U21s, Over 65s and Students) – £11

U18s – £6

 

 

GENERAL ENTRY DETAILS FOR ALL FANS

 

 

  • Away fans

o   West Stand (seated) – Turnstiles 9, 10

o   Railway End (Terracing) – Turnstiles 2-6

o   Parent and child can go through turnstile 5 together.

  • Home fans

o   Turnstiles – please use the correct turnstile.  In the event of a parent and child paying at the gate.  They can enter together through turnstiles 13 & 20.

o   Turnstiles 9 & 10 will be used to accommodate away fans only for the West Stand.  Home fans will go through gates 11, 12 &13 for the Centre Stand and Family Stand.

o   For Somerset Road Terracing enter through turnstiles 17-21

o   For North Terrace enter through turnstiles 25 and 26

 

All fans are respectfully requested to conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring the Club and its supporters into disrepute and adhere to the Ground Regulations. Please visit ayrunitedfc.co.uk for information on Unacceptable Conduct. Supporters are advised to remain within the stand and to refrain from entering trackside or the field of play. Searches will be carried out at the turnstiles for any controlled containers and pyrotechnics. Under the Sporting Events Act 1985, being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence (see below). Any person committing such an offence will face immediate ejection, arrest and a life time ban from the Club. Surfing flags are not permitted. Ayr United would like to thank all supporters for their co-operation and continued backing of the team.

 

 

Notice from Police Scotland:

Supporter safety is a key priority for all Clubs, we at Ayr United are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the match day experience is safe and enjoyable.  One of the most dangerous things we have to deal with is pyrotechnic articles such as smoke bombs and flares in the stadium and we’d ask that you assist us to look after you by not bringing such articles with you to matches.  These articles can cause severe burns, damage to hearing or breathing difficulties and their use is especially distressing for groups such as small children and those who can’t easily move away when pyrotechnics are activated.  Experience shows that when a pyrotechnic is activated in a crowd there is often a movement away from the immediate area which can cause panic and disorientation and which creates a risk of slips and trips or crushing for those nearby.  Please be in no doubt that these articles are unpleasant and potentially life-threatening to be around – they are also illegal at football matches –  and being caught with them will result in exclusion from Ayr United] as well as a possible criminal conviction. 

Club Statement

Message from manager Ian McCall :” I wanted to respond to the media speculation over the last 24 hours surrounding Lawrence Shankland.

There have been enquiries, over the last few weeks, about a number of our players including Lawrence Shankland. All of these players are under contract to Ayr United Football Club.

It would be wrong of me to mention clubs names however we have had a number of enquiries about Lawrence from North and South of the border. All of these clubs have been informed that we would be extremely reluctant sellers and that it would take a significant transfer fee with a number of add ons for us even to consider it.

As everyone can see by his form Lawrence is fully committed to Ayr United and thoroughly enjoying his football. Personally I am sure that he will go on to play at the top level but at this minute he is very much an Ayr United player.”

Partick match preview

Match Preview
Partick Thistle vs. Ayr United
Betfred Cup – Group E
Saturday 28th July 2018. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to manager Ian McCall’s old stomping ground of Firhill to take on Partick Thistle in a battle for top spot in Group E. With both clubs boasting a 100% record after three games, second place looks like it will be enough for a place in the next round as one of the four best runners-up, but neither side will be taking anything for granted and a win that should see them seeded in Sunday’s draw.

 

United cruised to a 5-0 victory on Tuesday night at home to Stenhousemuir, with Lawrence Shankland netting his fourth, fifth and sixth goals in just three games. Thistle, meanwhile, overcame Albion Rovers 2-0 at Cliftonhill during midweek, with second-half goals from Miles Storey and youngster Aidan Fitzpatrick.

Opponents:
Partick Thistle saw five years in the Premiership come to end at the end of last season when they were defeated by Livingston in the play-off final. The Firhill board have kept faith in manager Alan Archibald but a host of players and come and gone.

 

Former Kilmarnock and Rangers goalkeeper Cammy Bell is the Jags’ new number one; Defender Tam O’Ware has joined from Morton while Northern Irish midfielder Shea Gordon scored twice in the first six minutes of his Thistle debut on loan from Motherwell against Stenhousemuir. Archibald this week further strengthened his squad, adding 19 year-old left-back Max Melbourne on loan from West Bromwich Albion.

Team News: Andy Geggan misses out with a slight calf strain and Craig Moore misses out through illness. Chris Higgins has began training with the first team but is still a few weeks away.

Ian says: “We have had a good start to the group with 3 wins and some really good football but this is now a completely different test. We are in good form so its a test we are really looking forward to as we know that Thistle are a very good side. There are still a number of scenarios which would see us not qualify so we will be going all out to get a result that puts us in the hat for Sundays last 16 draw.”

Head to head (at Firhill):
Ayr United wins – 16
Draws – 14
Partick Thistle wins – 36

It is honours even in four League Cup ties between the sides. The Honest Men won home and away in the group stage in 1981 – 1-0 at Somerset Park and 5-1 at Firhill. The Honest Men, however, have lost the two subsequent knockout ties, in 1992 and most recently in 2013, with both games at Firhill.

Last Meeting:

That League Cup first round tie in August 2013 was the last meeting between the sides in all competitions. Stephen O’Donnell and Conrad Balatoni were the goalscorers for a Thistle side that also featured Mark Kerr in midfield. Mark Shankland netted a late goal which proved only to be a consolation.

Match Officials:
Referee – Nick Walsh
Assistant Referee 1 – Douglas Ross
Assistant Referee 2 – Craig Ferguson

Admission:
Adults – £12
Concessions – £6

United land cash boost

We are delighted to announce a new advertising deal with our local McDonalds restaurant.

The deal, which is for a minimum of two years, will provide a cash injection to the club and sees McDonalds advertising across the full length of the hospitality suite and have a full page promotional advert in our match programme.

Commercial manager Graeme Miller said :”This is something I have been working on for a while now and it is hugely exciting to have one of the worlds biggest brands so prominent now in our club. The franchisee, Andy Gibson, has been very keen for the McDonalds Ayr restaurant to be involved in the local community so this is a partnership that will work for both sides. There will be a promotion for the restaurant in our match programmes which will start with the Partick Thistle league match on the 4th August.”

McDonalds franchisee Andy Gibson said :”We are extremely proud and excited to announce our sponsorship of Ayr United Football Club. It’s an exciting time for the club and we look forward to watching them play in the next season. We wish them the very best of luck and look forward to celebrating with the fans after the games at the restaurant!”

5 star lottery winners wk 3

 

FIVE STAR WEEKLY WINNERS

 

WEEK NUMBER 03 24/07/18

 

 

£1000 A2241 MR R MCKAY PRESTWICK
       
MONDAY    
£50 D0634 N Swift Ayr
£10 B3114 M Lang Drongan
£10 F2135 I McBride Troon
£10 C0733 D Rose Irvine
       
TUESDAY    
£50 M0624 D McRonald Ayr
£10 B1215 B Scott Ayr
£10 D0641 M Mathieson Troon
£10 B4914 J McDonald Crosshill
`      
WEDNESDAY    
£50 H0913 S Dunlop Ayr
£10 E0243 C Johnston Ayr
£10 A3221 A Goodwin Matha Dickies, Ayr
£10 A2744 S Hansen Rabbies, Ayr
       
THURSDAY    
£50 D4812 T McKenna Ayr
£10 B2612 T Bickerton Bellsbank
£10 B3281 J Miller Prestwick
£10 C2735 M Reilly Ayr
       
FRIDAY    
£10 B0145 R Wallace Girvan
£10 J5033 M Pettigrew Ayr
£10 D1325 L McCartney Dalmellington
       

 

 

Don’t miss any more chances to win,

 

To join the Lottery please call the office on 01292 263435 (option 1)

 

You can go online at www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Ayr Utd 5 Stenhousemuir 0

Ayr United 5 v 0 Stenhousemuir

by AUmedia

The Honest Men produced another dominant display to brush aside Stenhousemuir at Somerset Park on Tuesday evening. A hattrick from Lawrence Shankland (his second in three games) and a brace from Michael Moffat ensured that United coasted to a comfortable 5-0 victory.

 

United got off to the perfect start after only 2 mins as Shankland opened the scoring.  Moffat collected the ball and flicked it forward towards McGuffie but it deflected off Dickson and into the path of Shankland on the right-hand side of the box. The striker confidently blasted the ball past advancing keeper McMinn, and into the net. 1 – 0 United.

 

It wasn’t long before it was 2 and when it came it was a goal of real quality. On 7 mins, Ayr worked the ball out from the back on the right before Moffat switched the ball to the left for Forrest. The winger cut inside, flicked the ball to a heavily marked Moffat at the edge of the box who, with his back to goal, slipped the ball wide to the overlapping Harvie. The left-back delivered a superb, lofted, curling cross to the back post where the un-marked Shankland nodded home.  Ayr were in a clinical mood and it was 2-0 before the 10 min mark.

 

Stenny’s first chance of the game fell to the veteran McMenamin on 12 mins. Breaking free on the right he dribbled into the box but dragged his shot wide of the near post from a promising position.  Moments later Dickson did well down the left before smashing the ball across the 6-yard line but somehow McMenamin missed the ball when it appeared a simple tap in.

 

Ayr then went close again. A poor cross-field pass put defender Reid into all kinds of difficulty and Forrest nipped in and stole the ball before dashing forward. With Shankland running interference to his left, Forrest turned inside and released a shot from 18 yards that squeezed past the post with the keeper beaten.

 

On 28 mins, Rose found McGuffie on the left with a delicious ball through the Warrior’s defence, allowing him to send in a pacey low cross into the box. 8 yards out and under pressure from Johnson, Forrest missed the ball completely when it seemed certain he would score.

 

Dickson was proving to be the visitor’s most influential player and he went close with a 25-yard drive that fizzed just wide of the right-hand post on 32 mins.

 

Any hope of a Stenhousemuir revival hit a huge dent when Ayr slotted away their third on 41 mins. Forrest made his way forward before slipping the ball between Johnson and Tena and into the path of Shankland on the right. The striker surged into the box before sliding the ball across the face of goal for Moffat to tap in at the back post.

 

The Honest Men didn’t let up and came out the traps even quicker in the second half.  1 min in and Harvie’s low ball from the left was met by that man Shankland who coolly fired into the net to bag his hattrick and put the game beyond doubt for Ayr.  A second hattrick in as many games at Somerset Park this season for Shankland.  4-0 Ayr and 46 mins gone.

 

Even with the foot off the pedal, United continued to dominate and created chance after chance. Just 1 min after Shankland’s strike, McGuffie curled a shot inches wide from the edge of the box, and on 50 mins Harvie’s header from a McGuffie freekick hit the outside of the bar with keeper McMinn beaten.

 

Arguably Stenny’s best chance of the game came on 52 mins when Murdoch was dispossessed allowing McGuigan in behind the United defence. Rose managed to make up ground and block the ball, but it spun back into the path of McGuigan.  The striker then somehow managed to drag the ball wide of the left-hand post when it seemed easier to score.

 

The elusive 5th goal for Ayr just didn’t seem to want to come, and next, it was keeper McMinn’s time to deny United. With 14 mins to go, Forrest slipped the ball to Moffat on the right and he delivered a precision cross onto the foot of the in-rushing McDaid. The substitute smashed the ball goalwards only to see the Warriors’ stopper pull off a tremendous blocking save.

 

Twice in 2 mins, Forrest went close. First, a quick one-two with Moffat sent the winger racing into the box but his shot went wide to the left under pressure from Dickson, and second, a shot from almost the same position went inches wide to the right.

 

1 min later (80 mins) Declan McDaid fired a vicious drive just over the bar from 18 yards after working his way forward.

 

Stenhousemuir tried manfully to grab something from the game but again poor finishing was to be their downfall.  Quickly released by his keeper, Duthie charged forward from the edge of his own penalty area, deep into the Ayr half. Ferguson seemed to have done enough to stop the run, but his flick bounced off the shins of Forrest and back into the path of Duthie who played in McGuigan who again managed to miss with a clear shot on goal.

 

To wrap up a 5-star performance, the final goal of the game came immediately.  As Ayr moved back up the park, a mistake by Stenny’s Morgyn Neill saw him passing the ball across the edge of his penalty area, straight to Ayr’s McDaid. McDaid played the ball through to Moffat, on his left, and the striker curled a fantastic shot into the bottom right corner to complete the scoring.

 

Ayr now travel to Firhill on Saturday for a match which will decide the winner of Betfred Group E.  At present Partick and Ayr are tied on 9 points although the Honest Men have the better goal difference.

 

Ayr United

Doohan, Harvie, Kerr, Rose, Ferguson, Moffat, Forrest, McGuffie, Bell, Shankland, Murdoch.  Subs Hare-Reid (GK), Crawford, McDaid, Adams.

 

Stenhousemuir

McMinn, Reid, Johnson, Neill, Garcia Tena, Dickson, Halleran, Duthie, Cook, McMenamin, McGuigan.  Subs Smith (GK), Sinclair, Donaldson, Gibbons, Ferry, Paterson, Kemp.

 

Attendance:  1227

Referee:  David Munro

United team up with Charities

We are delighted to announce that we will have two charities on the back of our strips for the 2018/19 season.

Last Friday we held our Shirt & Shorts draw which was won by United diehard Stewart Hay. Stewart chose to give his prize to the club to choose two charities that have developed strong links with.

On the back of our home strips will be Alzheimer Scotland who have very close links to the club. Club legend Ally MacLeod passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease as did our former chairman and Honorary President, Donald Cameron. 

Also for the last 3 years Alzheimer Scotland has partnered up with Ayr United Football Academy in the delivery of their football memories. Football memories offers a chance for people to come to Somerset Park and enjoy an afternoon of reminiscing. In partnership Alzheimer Scotland offers support, training, awareness and opportunity for people to get involved whether it’s taking part or becoming a volunteer.

Julie Sinclair, head of localities for Alzheimer Scotland said :”There are over 2500 people in South Ayrshire with dementia and this is a fantastic way to raise awareness about our work.

Football holds a special place in Scottish life and fans and communities often have a strong emotional connection with the football clubs they support. We have seen first hand the power of this connection in supporting people with dementia who participate in football reminiscence through football memories groups across Scotland we support through Sports Heritage Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Football museum and other partners.

If you have any questions about dementia, or want to find out about support in your area, call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 hour helpline on 0808 808 3000.”

On the away strips we will have The Breastfeeding Network who we have had a strong relationship with since 2010. 

Breastfeed Happily Here is an NHS AA initiative promoted by the BfN that supports Ayrshire businesses and organisations to welcome breastfeeding families while at their premises. It also raises awareness of the law in Scotland that protects breastfeeding in public.

Julie Peterkin, peer support worker at The Breastfeeding Network said :”We have had connections with the club as far back as 2010 when we had our first trackside board.

In 2016 Ayr United was the first club in the UK to support a breastfeeding friendly scheme and Alison Thewliss MP commended them in Parliament for leading the way and has since used Ayr’s example to encourage other clubs to follow.

They have always been very supportive and shown themselves to be an extremely family friendly club. We believe this will be a world first to have our brand on a football shirt and it is very exciting. 

Breastfeeding is a public health issue and unfortunately Ayrshire has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in Scotland. We are delighted than in partnership with Ayr United we can be part of the team helping normalise breastfeeding for future generations in Ayrshire.

Stenhousemuir match preview

Match Preview

Ayr United vs. Greenock Morton

Betfred Cup – Group E

Tuesday 24th July 2018. Kick-off 7.45pm

 

On Tuesday night, Ayr United face League 1 new boys Stenhousemuir at Somerset Park looking to maintain their 100% record in the Betfred Cup. A third win out of three could put us on the verge of qualification for the next round ahead of the last game of the group, away to Partick Thistle on Saturday.

 

Ian McCall made four changes for the weekend trip to face Albion Rovers and is likely to shuffle the pack once more as he seeks to give as all his first team squad game time. Cliftonhill’s scorched park contributed to poor spectacle but the Honest Men were well worth the 2-0 victory in Coatbridge.

 

Stenhousemuir will complete their group stage fixtures tomorrow night having already played three matches in the competition. Brown Ferguson’s side picked up at resounding 4-0 at home to Albion Rovers a week ago but were defeated 2-0 on the opening weekend by Partick Thistle and lost out by the same scoreline to Morton at Cappielow on Saturday.

 

Team News:  Ross Docherty returns to the match day squad, however, Craig Moore misses out though illness.

 

Ian says: “We are looking forward to getting back to Somerset after our performance there against Morton. The pitch wasn’t great on Saturday and the performance was similar, we never really got going despite being pretty comfortable. We will be looking to get our third win in a row however we know it will be difficult, we have had Stenny watched and they are a decent side. Back at Somerset though we know if we play the way we can we should be able to get the three points which will put us in a good position in the group.”

 

Opponents:

The Warriors finished in fourth position in League 2 last season – 22 points behind second-placed Peterhead – but clinched promotion via the play-offs at the expense of the Blue Toon with a narrow 2-1 aggregate win in the final. Former Ayr United defender Mick Dunlop was the Warriors’ hero over the two games, scoring twice during the second-half of the first-leg at Ochilview.

 

Dunlop and brother Ross have since moved on but Ferguson has held on to top goalscorer Mark McGuigan. Morgyn Neill, who was Ian McCall first signing at Ayr when he joined on loan from Motherwell, has signed for the Warriors from Stranraer and Graeme Smith, also ex-Ayr, in Stenny’s new number one after five years with Brechin City.  Attacking midfielder Sebastian Ross is one to look out for – the Scottish youth internationalist is on loan from Aberdeen, where was U20s player of the year last season.

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins –41

Draws – 17

Stenhousemuir wins – 27

 

There have been five League Cup meetings between the sides, with United winning 3, one draw and one Stenny win.

 

Last Meeting:

The last matches between the two sides were during season 2015/16 in League 1. United won all four fixtures that season, scoring 14 goals. The Warriors lost 5-2 and 4-1 at Somerset Park.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – David Munro

Assistant Referee 1 – Brian Templeton

Assistant Referee 2 – George King

 

Admission:

Adults – £10

Concessions (U21s, Over 65s and Students) – £5

 

GENERAL ENTRY DETAILS FOR ALL FANS

 

 

  • Away fans

o   West Stand (seated) – Turnstiles 9, 10

  • Home fans

o   Turnstiles – please use the correct turnstile.  In the event of a parent and child paying at the gate.  They can enter together through turnstiles 13 & 20.

o   Turnstiles 9 & 10 will be used to accommodate away fans only for the West Stand.  Home fans will go through gates 11, 12 &13 for the Centre Stand and Family Stand.

o   For Somerset Road Terracing enter through turnstiles 17-21

o   For North Terrace enter through turnstiles 25 and 26

 

All fans are respectfully requested to conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring the Club and its supporters into disrepute and adhere to the Ground Regulations. Please visit ayrunitedfc.co.uk for information on Unacceptable Conduct. Supporters are advised to remain within the stand and to refrain from entering trackside or the field of play. Searches will be carried out at the turnstiles for any controlled containers and pyrotechnics. Under the Sporting Events Act 1985, being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence (see below). Any person committing such an offence will face immediate ejection, arrest and a life time ban from the Club. Surfing flags are not permitted. Ayr United would like to thank all supporters for their co-operation and continued backing of the team.

 

 

Notice from Police Scotland:

Supporter safety is a key priority for all Clubs, we at Ayr United are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the match day experience is safe and enjoyable.  One of the most dangerous things we have to deal with is pyrotechnic articles such as smoke bombs and flares in the stadium and we’d ask that you assist us to look after you by not bringing such articles with you to matches.  These articles can cause severe burns, damage to hearing or breathing difficulties and their use is especially distressing for groups such as small children and those who can’t easily move away when pyrotechnics are activated.  Experience shows that when a pyrotechnic is activated in a crowd there is often a movement away from the immediate area which can cause panic and disorientation and which creates a risk of slips and trips or crushing for those nearby.  Please be in no doubt that these articles are unpleasant and potentially life-threatening to be around – they are also illegal at football matches –  and being caught with them will result in exclusion from Ayr United] as well as a possible criminal conviction. 

Albion 0 Ayr United 2

Albion Rovers 0 v 2 Ayr United

by AUmedia

On an exceptionally dry and bumpy pitch, Ayr got off on the front foot, taking the game to the Rovers, but unable to capitalise on the chances they created. In just 3 mins Declan McDaid surged forward and was brought down just outside the Albion Rovers box but the resultant free kick never threatened the home side’s goal.

In the early stages Albion Rovers’ chances were few and far between and Jamie Watson’s free header on 8 mins, comfortably saved by Ayr stopper Ross Doohan, was the only action of note.

Ayr went close on 13 mins as a Craig Moore header went out for a corner, but United fans only had to wait 2 mins for the Honest Men to go in front.  Keeper Doohan played the ball long and Moore did well to win the header and flick the ball over the defensive line and into the path of Lawrence Shankland in the box. Shankland controlled well but Rovers’ keeper, Gareth Hallford, did well to get down to his shot but the ball deflected to Alan Forrest who stroked home. United were one up.

The goal did nothing to improve the slow pace of the game with United seeming to accept the comfortable nature of their control and possession. This could have been their undoing if Rovers had more composure in their infrequent forays forward with both Lewis McLear and Ronan Kearney going close with shots when they should have done better.

Ayr continued to create chances and on 34 mins McDaid produced a magnificent flick into the box for Daniel Harvie, but his attempt was blocked for a corner. Soon after, Shankland played a long and accurate pass which was well controlled by McDaid but his flick to Moore just evaded the Ayr striker and ran out of play.  Next, it was Shankland’s chance to try his luck but his strike from 25 yards was saved by Hallford at the foot of his right-hand post.

On 39 mins Albion Rovers had one of their best attempts of the match after Jamie Adams conceded a freekick just outside the box when he bundled over Jamie Watson when going for a high ball.  McLear stepped up and smashed a curling, up and down, drive around the Ayr wall, and just past Doohan’s right-hand post.

On 42 mins, after some sharp interplay down the right by Ayr, a quick one-two between McDaid and Shankland at the edge of the box put McDaid through one-on-one with keeper Halford who again pulled off a magnificent save.

The last real chance before halftime came 1 min later when Alan Forrest stepped inside at the edge of the box and struck a dipping drive that just shaved the top of the bar.

The second half saw the arrival of a much more purposeful United.  Almost from the re-start, David Ferguson lifted a long ball towards Shankland but keeper Hallford came out quickly to intercept as it looked odds on that Shankland would add another to this year’s goal tally.

The Albion stopper then pulled off yet another remarkable one-on-one save this time denying Forrest, who had neatly controlled Bell’s inch-perfect, long diagonal right to left pass, before darting in on goal.  And just as it looked like the keeper could not possibly have any more in his locker, he again saved one-on-one, this time from McDaid as the winger charged into the box from the right and unleashed a snapshot.

On 62 mins, Craig Moore went for the spectacular as he released a long dipping shot from outside the box which unfortunately went well over the bar.  3 mins later Ayr Michael Moffat replaced Craig Moore and on 67 mins Craig McGuffie was brought on for Declan McDaid.

McGuffie’s impact was felt almost instantly, by-passing defenders on the right before finally being caught on the by-line but still managing to win a corner for Ayr.  Taking the corner himself, the winger curled the ball to the back of the box where Forrest controlled and sweetly struck the ball past keeper Hallford, only to see his shot knocked off the line by Kearney. Moments later, Forrest again surged down the left before driving over the bar.

Ayr’s final substitution saw Mark Kerr replacing goal scorer Alan Forrest on 77 mins.

3 mins later and Ayr were 2 up.  McGuffie swung in a corner from the left and captain Steven Bell broke away from his marker and launched himself at the ball, heading it powerfully into the net where he also found himself.

A second goal was no less than Ayr deserved, and the game was truly in the bag for the Honest Men.  They could have had two or three more. 1 min later Moffat headed just over, on 85 mins Moffat raced onto a long through ball before passing to McGuffie whose exquisitely curled shot went inches wide, and just on full-time Shankland headed just past the post from another McGuffie corner.

Next up, it’s back to Somerset Park on Tuesday night for the visit of Stenhousemuir in the next match of the Betfred Cup group stage.

Albion Rovers

Hallford, Smith, Forrester, Eley, Murdoch (c), McGeough, McLear, Gallagher, Cunningham, Watson, Kearney Substitutes: Potts (GK), Gracie, Greene, McMahon, McCann

Ayr United

Doohan, Harvie, Bell (c), Adams, Ferguson, Forrest, Crawford, Murdoch, McDaid, Shankland, Moore Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Geggan, Moffat, McGuffie, McCowan, Kerr.

Referee: Mike Roncone

Attendance: 519