East Fife match preview

Match Preview
East Fife vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 30th March 2018. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Methil to face East Fife in the first of five massive games for the Honest Men which will determine the destination of the League 1 title. Ian McCall’s side saw their advantage at the top of the table cut to three points on Tuesday night as Raith Rovers won their game in hand – against East Fife at Starks Park – but United are in fine form, unbeaten in their last seven matches and winning six.

Raith Rovers – still to lose at home this season – host Albion Rovers.

Defeat for East Fife on Tuesday night means the promotion play-offs now look to be out of sight for Darren Young’s side; the Fifers occupy sixth place in the table, 11 points behind fourth place Alloa Athletic. Equally, a 12 point advantage of Albion Rovers in ninth place all but assures East Fife will remain in League 1 next season.

The Methil side have been somewhat inconsistent of late. After losing 3-0 at Somerset Park in February they won three games on the bounce, against Albion Rovers, East Fife and Airdrie, but have followed that up with 2-0 defeats in Forfar and Kirkcaldy.

 

Team News: Chris Higgins and Ross Docherty are out with injuries and Andy Geggan is suspended.

Ian says: “We have 5 games to go and it is completely in our own hands and we have worked very hard to get into this position. It wasn’t the best of displays last week and there are plenty of things we can improve on but we were professional and we were clinical. East Fife are a good side and have had some very good results of late so we are expecting a very tough match. Again the backing of a noisy away support will be crucial to us so hopefully we walk out to a wall of noise!

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 32

Draws – 20

East Fife wins – 18

 

United have won all of the last eight meetings between the clubs. Ayr’s last defeat in Methil was in 2011, despite Michael Moffat scoring a double.

 

Last Meeting: United have been in freescoring form against East Fife this season, scoring 10 goals in the three matches between the sides. Last month, goals from Declan McDaid, Lawrence Shankland and Alan Forrest saw United win 3-0 at Somerset Park, matching the result in September. Ayr’s first trip to Bayview this season was in December. The home side were leading at half-time but a Michael Rose double and goals from Lawrence Shankland and Craig Moore gave United a convincing victory in the end.

 

On this day: The Honest Men don’t have a great record on 30th March, winning just four of 17 matches played on this date. We did, however, defeat East Fife on the 30th March 2013. Scott Durie scored in the first half in the game at Somerset Park but late goals from Liam Buchanan and David Winters gave United all three points.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – David Lowe

Assistant Referee 1 – Willie Conquer

Assistant Referee 2 – David Ingram

 

Admission:

Adult – £15
Senior Citizens (60+) – £12
Child – £5
Parent and child – £18
Parent and 2 children – £21

Ayr Utd 3 Raith 0

Ayr United 3 v 0 Raith Rovers

by AUmedia

 

The Honest Men made it three consecutive 3-0 wins and moved within a point of top spot with a game in hand after victory over title rivals Raith Rovers.  In front of a noisy Somerset Road End, Shankland and Adams sent Ayr on their way in the first half before Moffat wrapped things up shortly after the break.

The first chance of the game came after only 1 minute and fell to McDaid who did well to create space on the right after a Kerr cross but unfortunately, he could only fire his shot wide of the target from 20 yards out.

Ayr had started the brighter of the two sides and it wasn’t long before they created their second real chance of the game. On 4 mins, Boyle raced down the left and sent a cross in for Moffat who’s shot from right on the penalty spot was straight at Matthews.  Moments later Adams had a header from a Boyle cross saved by Lennox.

Raith’s first opportunity came on 9 mins when Barr crossed the ball for Zanatta whose first time shot was first saved by Ruddy and then cleared by Bell.

Boyle was proving a real threat to Raith a Rovers defence and, on 31 mins, his link up play with Crawford allowed the midfielder to weave into the box however he saw his low shot blocked.

Ayr’s pressure finally paid off just 3 mins later when Shankland opened the scoring.  McDaid won a free kick on the right and whipped in a delivery that was met by Shankland. The striker’s header rocketed past Lennox for 1-0, sending the Somerset Road End into raptures.

Ayr were on fire and instantly pushed forward and, with the Raith defence still stunned, Moffat raced forward and passed to Shankland but his close-range shot was blocked.

On 42 mins Ayr made it 2-0 through Adams. Bell sent the ball into the box and, under no pressure, Raith captain Kyle Benedictus’ simply nodded the ball towards Adams whose shot while on the slide slipped under the grasp of Lennox and into the net.  Somerset was in dreamland.

There was no let up from Ayr and their ruthless performance was highlighted further on 52 mins with a goal from Moffat to make it 3-0.  McDaid’s corner came into the box and it landed to Rose who hit it towards goal and Moffat tapped in at the back post.

Raith’s next big opportunity came on 57 mins when Furtado fired in a powerful strike on the edge of the box which scraped just wide of the right-hand post.

Vaughan was next to try and pull a goal back for the visitors when he found space in the box and had a shot ripped wide by Ruddy on 74 mins.  This was to be Raith’s only shot on target in the second 45 mins.

The last chance of the game fell to Ayr on 83 mins when a corner from McDaid and was met by Geggan, following a run similar to that which gave Ayr the winner against Kilmarnock earlier in the season, but his header at the near post was superbly saved by Lennox.

Ayr now travel to Arbroath on Wednesday evening aiming to keep the pressure on Raith.

Ayr United
Ruddy, Geggan., Bell, Rose, Boyle, McDaid, Kerr, Adams, Crawford, Shankland, Moffat.  Subs Hart, Moore, Forrest, McGuffie, Ferguson, Docherty, Reid.

Raith Rovers 
Lennox, Thomson, Benedictus, Murray, McHattie, Zanatta, Matthews, Hendry, Vaughan, Barr, Furtado.  Subs Watson, Spence, Buchanan, Court, Smith, McKay

Referee:  Gavin Ross
Attendance:  2126
Match Report:  AUmedia

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.

Bell rings for United

Steven Bell today penned a deal at Somerset Park to the end of the 2018/19 season.

Manager Ian McCall said :”Steven has been fantastic for Stranraer, he has played well over 150 games for them since joining in October 2013. He was the Stranraer captain and you can never have enough captains in your team. He has great experience at this level and the league above and can play in a number of positions for us which is very important. We have probably been putting pressure on the players with injuries to get back as quickly as possibly and this gives them a chance to make sure they are right. This signing will probably mean that we will need to work things around and one or two will be going out.”

Steven said “The first I knew about anything was on Tuesday after the game, Ian McCall had spoken to Stevie Farrell to check availability. There was interest from other clubs but after speaking to my new gaffer I knew this was where I wanted to come. Ayr being at the top of the league was a huge factor as I want to win something, the older I get the less chance I will have to do that so I have a real hunger to succeed. I know a lot of the current team whether it be through having played with them previously or having played against them so I know there is a lot of quality in this squad. I have played at Somerset many times and I always felt the Somerset Road as being intense so it will be good to have them on my side now.

Steven’s previous clubs are Dundee United, Queen of the South, Stirling Albion, Dunfermline and Stranraer. He is generally a central midfielder and has also played centre-back.

 

 

Shop Xmas Open Day

This Sunday, the 17th of December we are hosting a special festive afternoon in the club shop from 12 noon to 4pm.

We will have ginger wine, mince pies, shortbread and Panda Claus will be there handing out sweets.

Michael Moffat, Robbie Crawford, Alan Forrest and Craig McGuffie will be in attendance for autographs and photos.

To top it all off we will be giving away kids tickets for the Forfar game on the 30th December with every purchase made.

We have received lots of new stock for Christmas this week so why not come along and have a look.

John Kerr

We were shocked and saddened to hear the news over the weekend that John Kerr had passed away aged 61.

John, who was our physio from 1995 to 2005, was a hugely popular figure at Somerset park, not only during his time at the club but also after he had left.

‘Kerso’ as he was affectionately known,  was the club physio at the time we reached the League Cup Final and also the Scottish Cup semi final.

Everyone’s thoughts at Ayr United are with John’s friends and family at this time.

Burns Supper 2018

The Honest Men and Bonie Lasses Burns Supper will take place on Friday 2nd February 2018 in the Ally MacLeod Hospitality Suite.

Singing will be Tayler Logan which is a real coup as she reached the latter stages of televisions ‘The Voice’ earlier this year. Tayler is a graduate of The Royal Conservatoire and a really talented Burns speaker and we’re delighted she is also delivering the Reply on behalf of the Lasses.

Also a National Primary Schools Burns champion is Zoe Craig who is also performing on the evening. She is sensational!

The Immortal Memory will be given by Ian MacPherson MBE who is one of the finest Burns speakers in the country.

Comedian and acclaimed speaker Iain Gordon who performs throughout the UK will be doing Toast to the Lasses and to top it all off, seasoned Burns speaker and Ayr supporter Graham Hill will be the MC and reciting Tam O’Shanter.

Tickets are priced £35 and includes a fantastic 3 course meal and special gift for everyone attending. Tickets can be purchased in the club shop or by phone 01292 263435 ext 5.

Xmas shop opening hours

Christmas is fast approaching and we are currently receiving new stock every day to give our supporters as wide a choice as possible for the festive period. We have sold out of a number of ranges and sizes so if you see something you like and we don’t have it in stock then please ask as we are continually restocking.

Over the next week we are receiving a new order of leisurewear, socks, kids pyjamas and mugs so come in and see us or keep an eye on our website http://www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/club-shop/

On Sunday 17th December we are open 12-4 for a Christmas Open Day and we will have players in the shop, mulled wine, shortbread and mince pies.

We are selling gift vouchers in the shop with £10 and £20 denominations. These are not available on the website however if you would like them you can pick them up in store or by phone on 01292 263435 ext 5.

Friday 1st December            – 1pm to 5pm

Saturday 2nd December     – 11am to 3pm then 4.45pm to 5.30pm

Sunday 3rd December        – Closed

Monday 4th December       – 1pm to 5pm

Tuesday 5th December       – 1pm to 5pm

Wednesday 6th December – 1pm to 5pm

Thursday 7th December      – 3pm to 8pm

Friday 8th December           – 1pm to 5pm

Saturday 9th December       – 11am to 3pm then 4.45pm to 5.30pm

Sunday 10th December        – Closed

Monday 11th December        – 1pm to 5pm

Tuesday 12th December       – 1pm to 5pm

Wednesday 13th December – 1pm to 5pm

Thursday 14th December     – 3pm to 8pm

Friday 15th December           – 1pm to 5pm

Saturday 16th December      – Closed

Sunday 17th December         – 12noon to 4pm (Xmas Open Day)

Monday 18th December       – 1pm to 5pm

Tuesday 19th December       – 1pm to 5pm

Wednesday 20th December – 1pm to 5pm

Thursday 21st December      – 3pm to 8pm

Friday 22nd December         – 10am to 5pm

Saturday 23rd December      – Closed

Christmas Eve                         – 12 noon to 3pm

Xmas Day & Boxing Day       – Closed

Wednesday 27th December  – 1pm to 5pm

Thursday 28th December     – 2pm to 5pm

Friday 29th December           – 1pm to 5pm

Saturday 30th December       – 11am to 3pm and short time after match

31st Dec & 1st, 2nd, 3rd Jan  – Closed

Thursday 4th January            – 2pm to 5pm

Friday 5th January                  – 1pm to 5pm

Saturday 6th January             – 11am to 3pm and short time after the match.

Banks O’Dee 2 Ayr Utd 6

William Hill Scottish Cup

Banks O’ Dee 2 v 6 Ayr United

by AUmedia

Ayr United made the long trip to Aberdeen finally seeing off a stuffy Banks O’ Dee side with a brace of goals each from Shankland, Moore and McDaid in this William Hill Scottish Cup Third Round encounter.  On a less than perfect surface, in freezing conditions and up against a strong wind this potential banana skin was avoided with a thoroughly professional performance by the Honest Men.

With only 32 seconds on the clock, United took the lead.  Robbie Crawford powered through from his own half to 20 yards out where he played a one-two with Craig Moore (a delicious back-heeled nutmeg) before slipping the ball into the penalty area.  It looked a simple ball for the Dee defence to deal with, but somehow everything seemed to go wrong. Defender Alan White nervously tried to clear but hit the ball off his own wingback Neale Allan. Somehow the ball stuck between Allan’s feet and, with keeper Shearer unable to assist, United’s Lawrence Shankland stepped in and poked the ball into the net from a tight angle.

If United thought it was going to be easy, they were in for a shock.  Banks O’ Dee were awarded a penalty in 4 mins, when keeper Jordan Hart came off his line to try and reach a hanging cross but failed to make contact and ploughed through striker Jamie Watt before landing awkwardly. It took 4 minutes for the penalty to be taken as Hart received treatment to a facial injury sustained in the incident.

Watt then stepped up and slammed the ball into the net from the spot and bring the sides level.

Worse was to come for United on 25 minutes when Banks O’ Dee went ahead, again from the penalty spot, after Ross Docherty barged Michael Philipson.  Again, it was prolific goal scorer Watt who stepped up and drilled the ball home, low to Hart’s right, taking his season’s tally so far to 21 goals.

Banks O’ Dee returned to their game plan, defending in depth and numbers, attempting to stifle United’s attacking intentions.  The Honest Men showed skill, calmness and composure, working the ball around the pitch with some excellent interplay whilst probing the Banks O’ Dee defence.  Some hard challenges were going in and Paddy Boyle suffered a nasty one when he was barged in mid-air and landed heavily on his shoulder. On 36 mins Boyle was forced to come off and was replaced by Declan McDaid.

One minute later and Ayr were back on level terms.  Moore chased onto a high ball over the Dee defence and into the box where, under pressure from Liam McCall, he fired the ball along the 6-yard line to Shankland who tapped home.

As Ayr turned on the power, Banks O’ Dee struggled to cope with the tricky wing skills of Crawford and McDaid prompted by Docherty pulling the strings in midfield.

On 43 minutes Ayr claimed the lead they deserved. Shankland put pressure on defender White who could only tap the ball to McDaid on the right-hand side of the box.  McDaid controlled, shuffled onto his left foot, before smashing a drive high into the net.

Just on the stroke of half time Ayr finally put space between themselves and the stuffy Northern Super League team and what a peach it was. Crawford surged down the left and played the ball to Ferguson who neatly back healed the ball behind the defensive line where he found Crawford who had continued his run. The midfielder then cut in before finding McDaid who flicked the ball under control before rifling home from 8 yards.

It could have been more when, in the last of the half’s five additional minutes, Shankland hit the post with a fierce strike.

Ayr started the second half with the same intensity as they had finished the first and the skills gap between the two sides began to show in abundance.

On 52 minutes Geggan played a neat cutback to Shankland in the box but the striker’s drive went narrowly wide and settled in the side netting.

Whatever faint hope the Dee had of getting back into the game was finally crushed when Kane Winton was shown a second yellow for an elbow in the face of Ross Docherty.

Ayr piled on the misery for the Dee when in 63 mins they went 5-2 up. Andy Geggan played the ball in front of Moore who chased into the box before unleashing a thunderous drive into the roof of the net.

2 mins later and it was 6.  Keeper Shearer rushed out of his box in an attempt to beat Shankland to the ball, but his clearance was poor and only reached Moore who lifted the ball into the open net from 35 yards.

It was now a masterclass from Ayr, switching to 3 at the back and pushing forward in waves. Crawford, moving into the centre of midfield, looked exceptional probing the Dee defence with pinpoint passes and showing an elegant and skilful control that left opposition players trailing and bemused in his wake.

That Ayr didn’t score more is the only mystery, with a Rose header cleared off the line, a Crawford drive scraping over the bar, young substitute Luke McCowan dribbling across the edge of the box then seeing his shot going just over, Moore hitting the side netting, McDaid hitting the bar, and substitute McGuffie terrorising the Dee back line, and going close on two occasions.

A satisfying journey north for the Honest Men and they can look forward to League action next Saturday at Recreation Park, Alloa.

Banks 0’Dee

Shearer, Allan, White, McCall, Robertson, Hamilton, Henderson, Winton, Watt, Philipson, Hall Subs: Sahhalevtis (GK), Murray, Duguid, Macleod, Shrive, Taylor, Smith

 

Ayr United

Hart, Ferguson, Rose, Reid, Boyle, Geggan, Docherty, Crawford, Moffat, Shankland, Moore

Subs: Avci (GK), Forrest, McDaid, McGuffie, Faulds, Waite, McCowan

 

Referee: Craig Napier

Attendance: 469

Banks O’Dee match preview

Match Preview
Banks O’ Dee vs. Ayr United
William Hill Scottish Cup – 3rd Round
Saturday 18th November 2017. Kick-off 3pm

 

On Saturday, Ayr United make the  journey north to Spain Park, Aberdeen to face Junior side Banks O’ Dee in the third round of the Scottish Cup. It is something of a trip of the unknown for the Honest Men, who regardless will be buoyed by a dominant performance against League 1 challengers Raith Rovers on Tuesday night. A 3-0 win extended Ian McCall’s side’s advantage at the top of the table to three points and their unbeaten run to eight games.

Like United, Banks O’Dee are in red hot form and go into Saturday’s game on the back of a 10-0 win over North Superleague’s bottom side Banchory St. Ternan last weekend.

Team News: Chris Higgins and Brian Gilmour are both out with injuries. Jamie Adams won’t play due to the surface.

Ian says: “It is always good to have a break from the league and especially getting a draw in the cup that is something different for ourselves and our supporters. We take every cup seriously especially the Scottish Cup and there is no doubt we want to progress so we have prepared for this match the same way that we do for every other match. In absolutely no way will we be taking it lightly and that will be shown by our team selection. Games like this are never easy and they are in excellent form.”

Opponents: Banks O’Dee have won the Scottish Junior Football Association North Superleague in the previous two season and already look on course to win a third successive title, having won all nine league fixtures this season, scoring 36 goals and conceding just 5. Tommy Forbes & Sandy McNaughton’s side have a eight point advantage over nearest challengers Hermes plus a game in hand.

Striker Jamie Watt is the Dee’s dangerman. The 39-year old has 19 goals to his name this season in just 13 appearances, including five goals in the Scottish Cup.

Scottish Cup record: Ayr United have progressed past the third round of the Scottish Cup in seven of the last nine seasons. It is over 20 years since the Honest Men were knocked out the competition by a lower league club and the last non-league club to defeat Ayr in the Cup were Elgin City in 1967 – a season in which we won one league game all season and scored only 20 goals in 34 games.

The Honest Men have twice before faced Junior opponents in the Scottish Cup, requiring a replay to overcome East Region champs Lochee United in 2008 and defeating Aberdeen’s Sunnybank 5-0 in 2010.

Banks O’Dee are participating in Scottish Cup for the fourth time in their history. Wins over Linlithgow Rose (2-1), Huntly (4-0), and Selkirk (2-0) – all at home – has seen the Dee progress to the third round for the first time. Their only meeting against SPFL opposition in the competition was in 2009 when Montrose ran out 3-0 winners at Spain Park.

Match Officials:

Referee – Craig Napier

Assistant Referee 1 – Graeme Leslie

Assistant Referee 2 – David Watt

 

Admission:

Adult – £10

Concessions – £5