Ayr Utd 1 Alloa 2

Ayr United 1 v 2 Alloa Athletic

by AUmedia

 

Ayr dropped back to second place in League One as they suffered a crushing 2-1 defeat at home to Alloa Athletic as goals from Jamie McCart and Ross Stewart claimed all three points for The Wasps after Lawrence Shankland had opened the scoring for the hosts.

Ayr started the game well and Michael Moffat almost fired the Honest Men in front early on. After some measured build up, a poor clearance from Mark Kerr’s cross-field pass fell at the feet of Moffat but his strike from 20 yards flashed just over the bar.

However, with nine minutes on the clock, the home side got their noses in front. Again, good play brought a poor clearance from the Alloa rear-guard and the ball fell kindly to Lawrence Shankland on the edge of the box. The in-form striker took one touch to control before curling a beautiful volley over the head of Neil Parry and into the net.

The lead only lasted three minutes with Alloa drawing level when McCart found acres of space in the Ayr box and rose to powerfully header home after a corner from the left.

Then came a sucker punch for Ayr, and a moment that keeper Jack Ruddy will have nightmares about. The ball bounced back to the young keeper and as he attempted to clear, he miss-kicked the ball allowing Alloa striker Ross Stewart to turn the ball goalwards. The shot lacked pace and appeared to be an easy save for Ruddy, but he slipped, and the ball trundled over the line.

With just 16 minutes on the clock, the game was 2-1 in favour of the away side.

As Ayr desperately searched for an equaliser, Shankland came close. On 29 minutes the striker twisted and turned in the box before firing an effort just wide of Parry’s left-hand post.

McCall introduced Craig Moore at halftime as he tried to drag his side back into the game. Lawrence Shankland again came close but this time he sent his shot off the post from 6 yards out.

Ayr then had an effort cleared off the line as Moffat tried his luck from 12 yards out, but it was becoming an increasingly frustrating afternoon for The Honest Men.

With seven minutes remaining, Jamie Adams headed McGuffie’s cross goalwards, but Parry was equal to the effort.

To make matters worse for Ayr, with 4 mins remaining they finally got the ball into the net. Relief turned to disbelief as referee Craig Napier chalked the goal off with few able to see any infringement. And that just about summed up a very frustrating afternoon for the home side.

A well organised, determined and perfectly executed performance from a strong Alloa side, saw them take all three points from Somerset and strengthen their position in the fight for a place-off place. For Ayr, they drop back down to second place behind Raith ahead of next weekend’s Scottish Cup showdown against Rangers.

Ayr United

Ruddy, Ferguson, Reid, Rose, Boyle, Kerr, Bell, McDaid, Moffat, Shankland, Forrest Substitutes: Hart (GK), Moore, McGuffie, Adams, Faulds, Murphy, McCowan

Alloa Athletic

Parry, Taggart, Graham, McCart, Crane, Cawley, Fleming, Hetherington, Flannigan, Kirkpatrick, Stewart Substitutes: Wilson (GK), Renton, Robertson, Crossan, Smith, McKeown, Monaghan

Referee: Craig Napier

Attendance: 1,139

Alloa match preview

Match Preview

Ayr United vs. Alloa Athletic

Ladbrokes League 1

Saturday 3rd February 2018. Kick-off 3pm

 

On Saturday, Ayr United will look to hold on to top spot in League 1 when Alloa Athletic are the callers to Somerset Park.  The Honest Men have won their last two matches 4-1 as they chase down 100 goals for the season but have lost their last two league matches at Somerset Park and will need prevent a repeat if they are to retain their narrow one point advantage over Raith Rovers, in the meantime at least.  Rovers travel to Hampden Park to face Queen’s Park and play their game in hand on Tuesday night at home to Albion Rovers.

Alloa Athletic held Raith to a goalless draw last weekend, a result that assisted United’s return to the top of the table. It increasingly looks like the Wasps are involved in a three-way battle with Arbroath and Stranraer for the final two promotion play-off spots. It is Alloa who currently sit the wrong side of the line in fifth place, two points behind Arbroath and a further point adrift of Stranraer, albeit with two fewer matches played than the Blues.

Jim Goodwin has been able to strengthen his squad over January, with loan deals for young Celtic defender Jamie McCart, Jordan Kirkpatrick from St. Mirren and Dunfermline striker Callum Smith. Outgoing is former United striker Craig Malcolm, who has signed for hometown club East Kilbride.

 

Team News: Ross Docherty, Andy Geggan, Robbie Crawford and Chris Higgins miss out through injury. Steven Bell is back in the squad after suspension.

Ian says: “There is plenty of talk about the Rangers game but there is only one focus for us and that is winning tomorrow. Last week wasn’t good enough in terms of the performance so we will certainly be looking to improve. Steven Bell comes back in to the squad and we definitely missed him over the last two games. Alloa are a good side and have made good signings so it will be a really tough game.”

 

Head to head (at Somerset Park):

Ayr United wins – 33

Draws – 10

Alloa Athletic wins – 12

 

Last Meeting: United were 2-1 winners at the Indodrill Stadium in the last match between the sides, played on a freezing cold day in Clackmannanshire at the end of November. Michael Moffat put the Honest Men ahead in just the fourth minute of the match with a rare header but the Wasps equalised in the second-half though Scott Taggart. Ayr weren’t to be denied, however, and Craig Moore scored in the 90th minute to ensure all three points headed back to Ayrshire.

There was also a 4th and a 90th minute goal for Ayr in the first encounter of the season back in September, however, Lawrence Shankland’s last minute intervention was only good enough to salvage a point at Somerset Park. A Craig Reid own goal and Kevin Cawley header put Alloa ahead. Jamie Adams then levelled the scores in the 80th minute before wrongly being adjudged to have handled in the box by referee Euan Anderson. Scott Taggart made no mistake from the spot but Jim Goodwin’s side were unable to hold on for the win.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Craig Napier

Assistant Referee 1 – Brian Templeton

Assistant Referee 2 – Robert Thomson

 

Admission:

Adults – £16

OAPs, students and 18-21 year olds – £10

Under 18s – £5

Player update

Brian Gilmour left the club last night by mutual consent after spending the last 5 years at Somerset Park.

Manager Ian McCall said “This wasn’t a footballing decision as such. Gilly has a job at Murray Park which naturally takes up the majority of his time and he couldn’t get in to train as much as I would have liked. He did a great job for this club playing around 150 games and he moves on with all of our best wishes.”

LOAN UPDATE

Grant Thorburn and Lyle Avci have moved on loan to Troon to the end of the season.

David Waite has moved on loan to Darvel to the end of the season

Kieran Balfour has moved on loan to Girvan to the end of the season

James Hilton and Jamie Ballantyne have moved on loan to Cumnock to the end of the season

INJURY UPDATE

Andy Geggan had a slight reaction to his calf problem so he will miss Saturday and hopefully be back in full training on Tuesday.

Robbie Crawford is still feeling some pain in his foot however he should be back in full training within a fortnight.

Ross Docherty has had the all clear from his scan and does not require an operation. He still has a tight groin but we are hopeful he will be in full training within two weeks.

Scottish Cup ticket info

We are now able to confirm that our 5th round William Hill Scottish Cup opponents will be Rangers. The tie will be played at Somerset Park on Sunday 11th February and kick off at 2.30pm

Ayr United supporters will occupy the Somerset Road End, Family Stand, East Enclosure, Centre Stand and East Stand.

Tickets will go on sale from tomorrow (Thursday 1st February at 3pm) in our club shop and we are selling tickets for the AYR UNITED sections only. Tickets are priced £20 for adults and £12 for concessions (OAPs, Students & under 21s)

Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd February will be for Season ticket holders and Shareholders who can buy up to 4 tickets each by bringing Voucher number one from the season ticket. Tickets will then go on general sale from Saturday 3rd February.

We will take ticket requests over the phone (01292 263435 ext5) however please be patient as we expect to be extremely busy. We will post tickets out for anyone unable to make it into the shop before Sunday 11th however we will only accept post orders until close of play Tuesday 6th.

All tickets must be picked up from the club shop by 1pm on the day of the match.

We are also offering a hospitality package for the match in association with the fantastic new venue in our town centre, Arthur Street Kitchens. Hospitality will begin at 11.30am and includes the following :-
Welcome drink on arrival at Arthur Street Kitchens
Complimentary match programme
3 course meal with wine
Picked up by Dodds of Troon coach and taken to Somerset Park
Centre stand tickets for the match
Prices are £65 per person (+VAT)
If you would like to take advantage of this offer or have any questions please contact Graeme Miller on 01292 263435 ext 3 or by email on commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

CLUB SHOP OPENING TIMES

Thurdsay 1st February – 2pm to 7pm

Friday 2nd February – 10am to 5pm

Saturday 3rd February – 11am to 3pm & 4.45pm to 5.30pm

Sunday 4th February – 1pm to 4pm

Monday 5th February – 9am to 5pm

Tuesday 6th February – 4pm to 7pm

Wednesday 7th February – 10am to 5pm

Thursday 8th February – 2pm to 7pm

Friday 9th February – 10am to 5pm

Saturday 10th February – 10am to 4pm

Sunday 11th February – 10am to 2.30pm

 

Queens Park 1 Ayr Utd 4

Queens Park 1 v 4 Ayr United

by AUmedia

Hampden Park welcomed Ayr with rain, a cold, blustery, swirling wind and a Queens Park team determined to grab points and drag themselves away from 9th place in the league. Spiders’ head coach, Gus MacPherson, had set up his team to try and take the game to Ayr but in the end, they could not deal with United’s clinical finishing and spark of genius in front of goal. After 90mins, United left with a win and had regained top place in the league as Raith Rovers stuttered to a draw against Alloa.

The match started off at pace, with Queen’s Park going immediately into attack with tricky winger David Galt darting forward with only the speedy response of defender Craig Reid allowing United to force the ball out of play. This was to become a regular pattern in the first 45 mins as Galt proved to be a thorn in the side of United defence while Craig Reid and Michael Rose stood out in the centre of defence.

In the week where we celebrate the birth of our National Bard, for Queens the words of Robert Burns ‘the best-laid plans’ were never truer when in the 5th min they were hit with a real double whammy.

Ayr played the ball out from keeper Ruddy and, from a ball forward by Reid, Shankland nodded to Declan McDaid, on his right, then received the ball back before again finding McDaid, by now in behind the defence. The winger surged forwards before smashing the ball across to the 6-yard box where Craig Moore stroked the ball home for the opener. As the ball hit the back of the net, Queens’ key central defender Kevin Green pulled up and, after a lengthy spell of treatment, was replaced by Ciaran Summers.

Although Ayr looked dangerous with every attack, it was Queen’s Park who held the majority of possession throughout the first half, a hefty 57% of play. The Spiders’ looked confident in their task but lacked a cutting edge in the final third. They had their chances, with Adam Cummings, free from his marker, tamely heading a Galt freekick well over on 16 mins; a 30-yard curling drive from Sean Burns, in 25 mins, brought out a good save from Ruddy at his left post; and 1 min later, following another Ruddy save from Luke Donnelly, McVey headered strongly past the post from a Galt cross.

On 27 mins, United counter-attacked at speed, the attack reminiscent of their play for the opening goal, with Shankland sliding the ball behind the Queens’ defence to McDaid on the right. This time the winger lifted the ball into the middle where Cummins, at full stretch, headered the ball towards the edge of the box. United’s Alan Forrest was there but his shot went well over.

Queens then pressed the self-destruct button, never mind plans going ‘awry’, they were the architects of their own downfall. Under no pressure from United, Cummins decided to let a pass from Robbie Leitch go past him expecting his keeper to be there: he wasn’t. Shankland nipped in a stole the ball before pulling both defender and keeper to one side and then finding Forrest in the space he had engineered. Forrest slid in and turned the ball into the net. 42 mins on the clock and Ayr were two up, a lead they took into half-time.

The second 45 mins saw the introduction Andy Geggan with Jamie Adams making way for his return after injury.

Ayr were looking comfortable with some slick passing moves and good interaction, but it was to be Queens who were to have the first real chance with a speedy break-a-way effort.  Sean Burns out-muscled United captain, Paddy Boyle with a hefty old-fashioned shoulder charge at the edge of the Queen’s penalty area. Burns then charged forward down the right into the United half before finding Billy Mortimer with an inch-perfect pass forward. The striker then hit the ball into the 6-yard box where Leitch contrived to miss-hit, lifting the ball up and wide of the far post. An unbelievable miss that had Queens’ fans shaking their heads in disbelief.

Then came a moment of controversy which left a sour taste in the mouth of United fans. After play stopped due to a suspected injury a drop ball was arranged and after what seemed like an arrangement with Queens Park, Ayr defender David Ferguson stepped away expecting Queens’ substitute Aiden Keena to return the ball to Ayr’s advantage. The young loanee from Hearts instead sprinted away with the ball and made his way goalward evading tackles before Forrest blocked his path in the penalty area. Loud booing rang round the national stadium with only Keena unable to see the under-handedness of his actions.

Ayr them brought on Michael Moffat for the hardworking Moore as they refreshed their attack.

On 71 mins the Spiders almost pulled one back when Leitch went one-on-one with keeper Ruddy. Again, it looked an ‘odds on’ goal but Ruddy stood strong and Leitch could only half-heartedly poke the ball forward, and the keeper blocked the attempt with his legs. This certainly wasn’t the midfielder’s day in front of goal.

Next, it was Ayr’s turn with Boyle driving into the box before seeing this powerful drive saved by an excellent acrobatic save from Michael Williams at his near post.

On 76 mins manager McCall unleashed Craig McGuffie on the unsuspecting Queens’ defence with Forrest being replaced in a like-for-like swap. The result was a golden-double in just 8 mins, the first coming on 79 mins.

Ayr won the ball some 30 yards from their own goal, some cute one-touch play between Geggan and Mark Kerr found Moffat on the halfway line and he lifted the ball first time over the defence to Shankland on the right. On his second attempt, the striker passed the ball along the 18-yard line to Kerr who delightfully flicked the ball to McGuffie and the youngster curled the ball around the defence and keeper from 20 yards. A goal of quality, Ayr were three up and there would be more from McGuffie later.

To their credit, Queens still tried to push forward but again seemed to contrive to miss with the goal beckoning. A beautifully flighted freekick by Galt cut out the United defence letting Cummins move into space just seven yards out. Under no pressure, the big defender elected to drop to his knees to header but didn’t make clean contact and the ball flopped forward to give keeper Ruddy a simple save.

At the other end Shankland dived in to header at the back post but somehow got under the ball and it went over.

On 88 mins another moment of sublime skill put United 4 up and it was that man McGuffie again. Shankland and Moffat did well under pressure down the left before working inside where Moffat played the ball to McGuffie at the edge of the area on the right. Drifting into the penalty area, a couple of step-overs to confuse defenders and create space, a quick look up, shift to the left foot and curl the ball between two markers, around the keeper and in off the back post: this was McGuffie at his instinctive best.  Exquisite, and Ayr were on easy street.

Disappointing for United was the momentary switch off just one minute later when Cummins rose at the back post to meet an in-swinging corner and header a consolation goal.

And so, it finished 1 – 4 in Ayr’s favour and United travelled back to South Ayrshire as league leaders once again.

On Saturday, United are at home to Alloa Athletic who had proved to be a tough test for Raith Rovers at the weekend.

Queens Park

White, McVey, Gibson, Green, Cummins, Fotheringham, Galt, Leitch, Mortimer, Donnelly, Burns Substitutes: Stott (GK), Orr, Docherty, Summers, Millen, Gullan, Keena Stott

Ayr United

Ruddy, Ferguson, Reid, Rose, Boyle, Adams, Kerr, McDaid, Shankland, Moore, Forrest Substitutes: Hart (GK), Geggan, Moffat, McGuffie, Faulds, Murphy, McCowan

 

Referee: Greg Aitken

Attendance: 1,233

Scottish Cup Hospitality

Our Scottish Cup 5th round tie at Somerset Park against Fraserburgh or Rangers is taking place on Sunday 11th February at 2.30pm.

Spaces in the Ally MacLeod hospitality suite have sold out through our Match and Ball sponsors, hospitality guests, Silver club members and Supporters Club members.

We are now offering a hospitality package for the match in association with the fantastic new venue in our town centre, Arthur Street Kitchens.

Hospitality will begin at 11.30am and includes the following.

Welcome drink on arrival at Arthur Street Kitchens

Complimentary match programme

3 course meal with wine

Picked up by Dodds of Troon coach and taken to Somerset Park

Centre stand tickets for the match

Prices are £65 per person (+VAT)

If you would like to take advantage of this offer or have any questions please contact Graeme Miller on 01292 263435 ext 3 or by email on commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

 

 

Scottish Cup 5th rd details

We can now confirm that Sky have chosen our 5th round William Hill Scottish Cup tie to be shown live on television.

Regardless of whether Fraserburgh or Rangers win their 4th round match the 5th round tie will be shown live at Somerset Park on Sunday 11th February at 2.30pm.

Ticket information for the tie will be available immediately following the result of Fraserburgh v Rangers.

Queens Park match preview

Match Preview
Queen’s Park vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 27th January 2018. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Glasgow to face Queen’s Park at the National Stadium. After success in the Scottish Cup last weekend, attention turns back to the league and keeping pressure on leaders Raith Rovers, who dropped three points last time out at Stranraer. United lie a point behind Rovers, who have a game in hand, and face a trip to Alloa Athletic.

Queen’s Park were not in action last weekend, having exited the Scottish Cup at the hands of Dunfermline Athletic in November. Their last competitive fixture ended in defeat away to Arbroath. That match following three consecutive 2-2 draws, at home to Albion Rovers and Stranraer and away at Alloa. The Spiders have won just once at Hampden Park in the league this season, versus East FIfe at the start of December.

Team News: Ross Docherty is out, he is still awaiting the result of a scan. Robbie Crawford is out however he has had the results of his scan and an operation is not required so he will return to training in a couple of weeks. Brian Gilmour is out with bruising on a bone in his foot. Chris Higgins is out for the season and Steven Bell is suspended. Mark Kerr is added to the squad.

Ian says: “It is never easy playing Queens Park, we were extremely fortunate to beat them at Hampden earlier in the season and they gave us a good game at Somerset in December. We played well at Kirkcaldy and followed that up with a good win in the Cup so we go there with confidence. There will be twists and turns in the run in, we have shown we can go on a long winning run and that’s exactly what we are looking to do again. Hopefully our away support give us the same backing they did at Raith and help us try and get the 3 points.”

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 59

Draws – 26

Queen’s Park wins – 34

 

Saturday will be the 50th league meeting between the sides at Hampden Park.

 

Last Meeting: The Honest Men eventually overcame the Spiders when the sides last met at the start of December. A Craig Moore penalty opened the scoring at Somerset Park in the 24th minute after Lawrence Shankland was felled. Connor McVey headed home a Queen’s Park corner to level the scores before half-time and a Craig Reid own goal put the visitors into the lead.

Declan McDaid and Alan Forrest came to United’s rescue, scoring in in the 79th and 88th minute respectively to ensure all three points remained in Ayrshire.

United were 2-0 winners at Hampden Park in September with goals from Jamie Adams and Lawrence Shankland against his old club.

 

On this day: in 1923, United defeated Rangers 2-0 at Somerset Park in the second round of the Scottish Cup in-front of a crowd of 15,853. The result ended the Ibrox club’s hopes of a league-and-cup double in their Golden Jubilee year.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Greg Aitken

Assistant Referee 1 – David McGeachie

Assistant Referee 2 – Simon MacLean

 

Admission:

Adult – £14
Senior Citizen (Over 65) – £5

Student/Unemployed – £3

Children (Under 16) – £3

We thank you for travelling to support the team.  Your support is vital.  However, we all need to be able to enjoy watching games in a safe and considerate environment.

We ask that you support the players and team without resorting to unacceptable behaviour that can lead either Club or individuals facing charges.

All Scottish grounds have a searching policy as a condition of entry.

Possessing or using any pyro device and anyone detected will be liable to prosecution and a lifetime ban from football stadiums.

Copies of Ayr United’s Unacceptable Conduct Policy can be found on our website.  http://www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/unacceptable-conduct-policy/

Thank you and enjoy the game.

McCall adds auld acquaintance

United add midfielder Kerr

 Ian McCall has this afternoon made his third signing of the January transfer window, adding experienced midfielder Mark Kerr to the squad. The 35-year-old has signed a deal until the end of the season following his departure from Falkirk on Wednesday. The move reunites player and manager for a third time, with the pair previously working together at Falkirk and Dundee United.

 Ian said: “Mark is a boy I know really well having had him as a player at Falkirk and then signing him for Dundee United. The injuries that we have had have been no secret and we needed a holding midfield player. Mark might be 35 but he has always kept himself extremely fit so there is no problems there. He is exactly the type of player you want for the run in and he will be a big part of our squad.

Mark began his career with Falkirk, making his first team debut aged 17 in May 1999 and became a regular for the Bairns under Alex Totten and then Ian McCall, playing a key role in the club’s 2002/03 First Division title win. He followed Ian McCall to Dundee United, going on to finish fifth in the SPL in his first season at Tannadice Park. Kerr made over 160 Premier League appearances for the Tangerines and reached the final of both the League and Scottish Cup during his time on Tayside.

 He moved to Aberdeen in July 2008 and was made club captain for the 2009/10 season. A spell in Greece with Asteras Tripolis followed before a return to the Premier League with Dunfermline and then Dundee. He re-signed for Falkirk in 2015 and was named club captain at the start of this season before reaching an agreement with manager Paul Hartley to leave the Falkirk Stadium.

Ayr United Media did a full interview with Mark this afternoon so keep an eye on all of the clubs social media channels for this later today.

Ayr Utd 4 Arbroath 1

Ayr United 4 v 1 Arbroath

by AUmedia

Somerset Park served up an enthralling Scottish Cup Fourth Round tie between the Honest Men and the Red Lichties. This match had everything, non-stop, end to end football played at pace, skills and goals aplenty, controversy, passion, then a manager storming onto the pitch and shortly after watching the rest of the match from the stand. This is what cup football is all about.

Fuelled on with the desire to make up for two home defeats against Arbroath in the league, the most recent only two weeks ago, United charged forward from the off with Alan Forrest chipping the ball into the box and finding Lawrence Shankland but his header was saved by former Ayr keeper David Hutton in the Arbroath goals.

Arbroath had arrived with the same philosophy, fast attacking football, and were soon to have their first attempt. With 4 mins on the clock United defender, Michael Rose failed to clear and allowed Arbroath striker Leighton McIntosh to smash a right-footed drive from the centre of the box which brought out a miraculous one-handed acrobatic save from keeper Jack Ruddy.

On 8 mins United took the lead. Craig Moore laid the ball off to Shankland who then turned and sprayed the ball left to the left where he found Declan McDaid at the edge of the penalty area. McDaid stepped inside, created some space for himself and curled a delicious ball into the net giving keeper Hutton no chance.

Arbroath pushed forward attempting to get back on level terms with keeper Ruddy showing his mettle with saves from McIntosh, Swankie, and Denholm in the 11th, 15th, and 24th mins respectively. United then took the upper hand with attempts from Shankland (twice), Craig Moore and David Ferguson bringing out saves from keeper Hutton.

Halftime saw Ayr maintaining their 1 goal advantage but with Arbroath snapping on their coat-tails no one would have dared predict the outcome, never mind the excitement and controversy of the second half.

The second half started off at the same frenetic pace as the first with Arbroath charging down the wings and attempting to get behind the Ayr defence sending in 4 crosses in a row and on 49 mins Swankie saw his shot smash of the base of the post and go clear.

The early onslaught faded and on 56 mins Forrest first had a shot blocked in the box and then, from a Ruddy kick out, Craig Moore was sent through on goal but his attempt from the edge of the box was also stopped.

One minute later, and United took a 2-goal lead. A Forrest corner from the left wasn’t fully cleared and fell at the feet of McDaid who, from the edge of the box, slipped the ball to Shankland on his right. The striker took one touch to settle and then lifted and curled a left footed shot from the right side of the box that settled itself in the top left-hand corner of the net. This was a strike of pure quality.

On 65 mins Arbroath went for broke with a triple substitution and a formation change that left four players in attacking positions and, by the end of the match, six up front. The Gayfield men had clearly stated their intent to adopt an all-out attack policy with the belief they could still get back into the game.

Next up came a moment of great controversy. A long ball from the Arbroath half found Lichties’ winger Danny Denholm free in the box and clear on goal.  As he controlled the ball United defender, David Ferguson appeared to body hug him from behind and both players crashed to the ground but referee Mike Roncone inexplicably waved play on. Touch paper lit, Arbroath gaffer stormed onto the pitch to confront the whistler and was eventually sent to the stand after numerous requests.

Ayr almost took a 3-goal advantage when on 77 mins a poor clearance from Hutton landed with Shankland who cutely chipped the keeper, but the ball went just over.

Only one minute later, Arbroath struck and brought themselves right back into the game. Another long ball from the halfway line reached Gavin Swankie who couldn’t get the ball fully under control and Rose, Moffat, and Boyle failed to take their chances to clear allowing substitute Ryan McCord to charge in and poke the ball past Ruddy and into the net.

2 – 1 with 12 mins to go. Ayr fans held their breath remembering that only two weeks before Arbroath had come from behind to win at Somerset Park, but this was a completely a different day.

On 83 mins United restored their 2-goal lead. Moore set off down the right before finding McDaid just outside the penalty area. The winger made his way into the box, cut left, and then found Shankland who blasted the ball goalwards. Hutton saved well but couldn’t hold onto the ball letting McDaid pick up the scraps, go around the keeper and find the net.

Arbroath poured forward creating some good chances, but United weren’t going to let this one slip out of their hands. With 5 mins to go McDaid this time came to Ayr’s rescue, clearing the ball off the line as an Arbroath shot looked likely to go in at the back post. Then keeper Ruddy was called into action twice in the final minutes of normal time first denying McCord on 86 mins, blocking his close-in shot on and on 89 mins saving Swankie’s 20-yard drive at his top right-hand corner.

With 2 mins of added time on the clock, Ayr wrapped up the contest with a fourth counter. Shankland, looking suspiciously offside, found himself clear on the right then drew the ball across to strike partner Moore in the centre who blasted the ball home.

On Saturday it’s back to league duties for the Honest Men with a journey to the national stadium where the opponents will be Queens Park.

Ayr United

Ruddy, Boyle, Rose, Moffat, Moore, Forrest, McDaid, Ferguson, Adams, Shankland, Reid. Substitutes: Hart (GK), McGuffie, Faulds, Murphy, McCowan

 

Arbroath

Hutton, Little, Hamilton, O’Brien, Yule, Whatley, Linn, Martin, McIntosh, Swankie, Denholm. Substitutes: Gomes (GK), Hester, Gold, Kader, McCord, Skelly

 

Referee: Mike Roncone

Attendance: 1151