Airdrie match preview

Match Preview Ayr United vs. Airdrieonians Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 14th October 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, the League 1 campaign resumes after the international break when Airdrieonians are the visitors to Somerset Park. The Honest Men are looking for a third consecutive victory as they look to close out the first quarter of the season in touch with leaders Raith Rovers.

It has been a tumultuous season for a young Diamonds squad with uncertainty over who was in charge of the side following the departure of Mark Wilson as head coach in June. However, the players have responded to adversity admirably and Airdrie have 10 points from their 8 league games, positioning them 7th in the table. Their 4-2 victory over Queen’s Park a fortnight ago was the first official match of Stevie Findlay’s tenure as first team coach, having previously overseen the U20s.

Team News: Jamie Adams misses out but otherwise Ian McCall has a full squad to pick from with Craig Moore, Alan Forrest and Robbie Crawford all available following injury.

Ian says: “After the break we can’t wait to get back out there. Training has been at a really high tempo and its good to have some of the injured players back in the squad. We won two in a row before the break and momentum is key, we are at home and we will look to get forward in numbers and get another 3 points in front of our supporters.”

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 12

Draws – 8

Airdrieonians wins – 10

 

The Diamonds have had the upper-hand in matches between the sides at Somerset Park since our first meeting with Airdrie (then United) in their current guise 10 years ago, with six wins to Ayr’s five.

 

Last Meeting: The sides met in September 2016 last season in the Challenge Cup. Alan Forrest and Craig McGuffie put United 2-1 up after Ryan Conroy opened the scoring; a Conrad Balatoni own goal meant the game went to extra-time but the defender atoned with the winner in the 97th minute.

 

The last league fixture between Ayr and Airdrie came at the end of the 2015/16 season at Somerset Park. The Diamonds recorded a 3-0 victory with goals from Alan Lithgow, Dylan Mackin and Sean Crighton as Ian McCall’s men had one eye on a midweek trip to Peterhead in the play-off semi-final first leg three days later.

 

On this day: in history Ayr have a 60% win rate but have not recorded a victory in the last five fixtures played on this date. Our most recent fixture on 14th October was in 2009 against Dundee. Craig Forsyth and Leigh Griffiths put the Dees 2-0 up in a Wednesday evening played under the lights at Somerset Park but goals from on loan Ryan McGowan and Ryan Stevenson earned a point for the Honest Men.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Steven Reid

Assistant Referee 1 – Paul O’Neill

Assistant Referee 2 – Calum Doyle

 

Admission:

Adult – £16 Concessions (OAP, students & 18-21 year olds) – £10 Under 18s – £5

Turnstile Operators needed

We urgently require Turnstile Operators.  Please apply to info@ayrunitedfc.co.uk  with your full contact details if you are interested and comply with the below:

  • Must be over 18
  • Must have cash handling experience
  • Have worked with the general public
  • Must be able to work under pressure.

 Successful candidates will:

  • Have full training beforehand
  • Be paid the living wage
  • Have food and refreshments after cashing up
  • Gain entry to the game after cashing up

East Fife match preview

Match Preview Ayr United Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 30th September 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, East Fife are the visitors to Somerset Park as Ayr United look to keep pace with leaders Raith Rovers at the top of League 1 ahead of the international break.  Ian McCall’s men got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Queen’s Park at the National Stadium last weekend but found themselves drop to third in the table behind Arbroath by virtue of the Red Lichties win at Somerset Park last time out, with the teams tied on points, goal difference and goals scored.  East Fife, along with Albion Rovers, lie within one point.

East Fife have won their last two league fixtures without conceding. Last weekend, they defeated bottom side Forfar Athletic 3-0 at Bayview, with former Dumbarton midfielder Mark Docherty netting twice from the spot after Chris Duggan had opened the scoring the in the fourth minute. Another Docherty penalty was the only goal of the game a fortnight ago as Darren Young’s picked up all three points at Airdrie.

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

Ian says: “We were pleased last week to come away with three points after not playing anywhere near our best. Recently we haven’t  taken full points when we should have so it is important to get results in different ways. We have given the boys a target so they know what we need to do over these next two matches at Somerset which bring up the end of the first quarter of matches. We need to win games at Somerset and make it difficult for teams to come here. If we can get the 3 points tomorrow we all know how important it would be as it would give us a 2 week break before the next match and will be hoping to have a full squad for it.”

Head to head (at Somerset Park):

Ayr United wins – 20

Draws – 10

East Fife wins – 4

 

United have won the last five meetings between the sides while the last eight fixtures have averaged 4.5 goals per game.

 

Last Meeting: The Honest Men were 4-1 winners at Somerset Park in the last encounter with East Fife, which came at the end of the 2013/14 season. Craig Malcolm netted a hat-trick for United with Brian Gilmour adding a fourth before Liam Buchanan netted late for the Fifers.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Barry Cook

Assistant Referee 1 – Alasdair Ross

Assistant Referee 2 – Ross Hardie

 

Admission:

Adult – £16

Concessions (OAP, students & 18-21 year olds) – £10

Under 18s – £5

 

Armed Forces Day returns to Ayr United

 

All serving personnel, regular and reserves, Cadets and Veterans welcome.

Free Entry via Gate H.

 

All serving personnel and Cadets should wear MTP uniform

All Veterans in suitable Veterans Day attire with Medals

 

Point of Contact is:

Capt. Michael Green 6SCOTS

07739997964

Michael.Green786@mod.uk

AU500 FUND PRESENTATION

Another grand gesture from the AU500 Fund

At Saturday’s home match against Alloa Athletic the AU500 Fund members Nick and Sheena West presented another cheque for £1000 to Ayr United director Mark Pettigrew.

Mark said “the generous contributions from the members of the AU500 Fund are really helping the club and they are a real boost to the playing budget. Nick and Sheena presented another generous donation and as always we’re really grateful for the magnificent help we receive from them and their fellow members of the AU500 Fund.”

 If you’d like to find out more about the AU500 Fund, you can visit the website at www.au500fund.com.

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

Alloa match preview

Match Preview Ayr United vs. Alloa Athletic Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 16th September 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United will look to bounce back from consecutive league defeats when they take on Alloa Athletic at Somerset Park. Despite recent setbacks, Ian McCall’s men lie in second place in the table, four points behind leaders Raith Rovers.

Alloa Athletic player-manager Jim Goodwin made his first appearance of the season last weekend as a second-half substitute. With the Wasps 1-0 down at home Forfar Athletic, Goodwin inspired his charges to a 2-1 victory with two late goals from Kevin Cawley and Kris Renton. The win put Alloa onto seven points, one of four clubs in League 1 on that tally, in seventh place.

Former Celtic U19s and Dumbarton forward Cawley – in his second spell at the Recs – heads up a number of former Ayr players at Alloa: Andy Graham was United’s play-off hero when his penalty clinched promotion for the club in 2016; fellow defender Daryll Meggatt returned to Alloa after a season with Ayr in the Championship; striker Craig Malcolm and defender Scott Taggart (on loan from Hibernian) have also had spells at Somerset Park.

Team News: Craig Moore, Paddy Boyle and Alan Forrest are out, however all have a chance of being available for next Saturday. Robbie Crawford has a stress fracture in his foot and is expected to be out for around a month. Chris Higgins will serve a one match suspension. Jamie Adams and Ross Docherty come back into the squad.

Ian says: “This weeks training has been superb, it was a blow to lose last week after playing so well however the reaction has been exactly what I wanted. We need to play with the same intensity and pace and we will always cause teams problems if we do that with the players we have. Of course we want to get back to winning ways especially at home. The performance against Arbroath wasn’t acceptable and the boys will have learned from that. We have a few players out again but also some important ones coming back in to the squad.”

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 55

Draws – 22

Alloa Athletic wins – 25

 

United are without a win in the last six meetings between the sides.

 

Last Meeting: The last two meetings between the clubs came in the Scottish Cup in November 2014. After a 1-1 draw at Somerset Park, which saw Ryan Donnelly cancel out Liam Buchanan’s goal for the visitors, the Wasps would go on to comfortably win through to the next round of the competition, defeating United 4-0 in the replay. Buchanan was again on the scoresheet along with Daryll Meggatt and Mark Docherty (2).

 

On this day: in 2006, Ayr United travelled to Clackmannanshire and defeated the Wasps 1-0 at Recreation Park. Midfielder Paul Weaver scored for the Honest Men in the 68th minute.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Euan Anderson

Assistant Referee 1 – Gary Hilland

Assistant Referee 2 – Alastair Grieve

 

Admission:

Adult – £16

Concession (18-21, Over 65 & Students) – £10

U18s – £5

Hospitality / Supporters club information

Today marks a change for the club in the Ally MacLeod hospitality suite as Jimmy Cope’s contract has come to an end and the club will now take full control of the hospitality suite, ensuring a crucial revenue stream as we continue with full time football.

We would like to thank Jimmy, who took over the contract 10 years ago, and all his staff for the way they have supported the club over this duration. We have held numerous events in the hospitality suite over this period including hosting hospitality at every home match and the service they provided was first class.

The new hospitality manager is Iain Grant who will now oversee all football hospitality and private functions.

Anyone looking to book the suite can contact Iain on 01292 263076 or 07462 601049. Or by emailing hospitality@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

For Saturday’s match against Alloa there will be no hot food available due to a complete renovation of the kitchen. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and there will be complimentary filled rolls available. The bar will be open as normal on Saturday and the kitchen will be completed and in full working order for our next home match with East Fife on the 30th of September.

A reminder that on match days the  Ally MacLeod Hospitality Suite hosts Supporters club members, Silver Club season ticket holders and hospitality guests. There will be no access to the suite at half time.

 

 

Raith Rovers 2 Ayr Utd 1

Raith Rovers 2 v 1 Ayr United

Match Report by AUmedia

After a week of concerns that this game might come too early for an injury stricken United, the team returned from Kirkcaldy wondering just how they hadn’t collected three points.

The game was played at a cracking pace with both teams worthy of praise. With only 1 min gone, Lewis Vaughan went close for Raith with a sweet diagonal drive from 30 yards out which curved inches wide. Ayr responded quickly through Craig McGuffie who first found a shot blocked inside the 6-yard box. Then keeper Smith managed to stop a McGuffie drive, from the edge of the area, at his bottom left corner. Only 3 mins gone and the fans were on the edges of their seats.

With both sides playing some quality football, Raith attempted to take the advantage with high curving crosses into the Ayr goalmouth hoping for ‘big men’ Spence, Benedictus and Murray to cause problems. On 7 mins Murray came close, powerfully heading goalward, from Barr’s cross but had to watch as somehow Ferguson got in the way and the ball was kicked clear.

Ayr began to create a shed load of chances down the right with Crawford, Geggan, Reid and McDaid creating space with some delightful interplay. The Raith defence could not cope. McDaid and Reid’s crosses were crying out for a finish but blocks, flying bodies and a fantastic diving defensive header kept Ayr from a finishing touch.

On 23 mins Vaughan struck a freekick from 20 yards out on the right and smashed the ball against the right-hand post. This should have provided a warning for keeper Hart and Raith’s star man would come back to haunt him in the second half.

Ayr were very much in control with Raith being restricted to less and less frequent fast breaks. As halftime beckoned, Raith sprang forward and Liam Buchanan’s drive from the right side of the box was well saved by Hart although he couldn’t hold on to the ball. Although it looked like the danger was over, Raith returned the cleared ball into the box and Craig Reid diverted the ball straight into the path of John Herron, 8 yards out with only the keeper to beat, who seemed amazed that he had received the ball and let it bounce off himself and back to Hart.

Two minutes into added time, Ayr finally got the goal that their play deserved.  From a McDaid corner from the right the ball was knocked out to McGuffie whose drive was going well wide but the alert Lawrence Shankland snuck in at the back and poked the ball goalward. Keeper Smith got down well to save but couldn’t hold onto the ball and Shankland followed up, smashing the ball into the top of the net.

As the second half started, Ayr were well on top, and looking quite comfortable. In the opening few minutes first Crawford then McGuffie had shots on target block as they looked certain to increase Ayr’s lead. Then the world started to crumble for United as the first of Hart’s game changing mistakes allowed Raith to get on level terms.

On 50 mins Raith were awarded a freekick 20 yards out and Vaughan curled a relatively soft shot around the Ayr wall and Hart seemed to have a comfortable save as he dived towards the ball. Somehow the keeper let the ball go under his gloves and into the net to gift Raith an equaliser they hardly deserved. Worse was to come 9 mins later.

Ayr piled on the pressure. First, Crawford’s shot from near the penalty spot was well saved, then a McGuffie surge to the edge of the area led to a shot which went inches over, and minutes later a drive from 25 yards out by Chris Higgins was tipped over by Smith. Ayr were pushing forward and Raith were forced to sit deep when self-inflicted tragedy struck again. Ayr claimed for a penalty, but Raith Keeper Smith belted the ball downfield to Buchanan who held the ball up before slipping it through to right back Jason Thomson who fired a lacklustre shot between Ferguson and Higgins. Hart seemed to go down in slow-motion and let the ball go under his body and into the net. This was a severe sucker punch for United.

Raith went even deeper into defence, relying again on speedy break out attacks which almost resulted in a third when Barr dragged his shot wide from inside the box.

As Ayr pressed for the equaliser they were hit by another hammer blow. Chris Higgins, who had been booked for an earlier rash tackle, was given his marching orders for a second yellow, when he appeared completely innocent.  Referee Muir and his assistant will have to do a lot of explaining about this decision when they view the video evidence!

Although down to ten men, Ayr continued to play fast attacking football and almost, and maybe should have, snatched an equaliser in the 92 min when the ball was played to McDaid in the penalty area. With time to shoot, McDaid decided to slip the ball left to substitute Leon Murphy who was easily blocked out. It was hands on heads time, while time and opportunity had run out for the valiant Honest Men.

Next, it’s back to Somerset Park on Saturday for a League 1 encounter with Alloa Athletic.

Raith Rovers

Smith, Thomson, Davidson, Benedictus, Murray, Barr, Matthews, Robertson, Vaughan, Spence Buchanan Substitutes: Brian (GK), Berry, Herron, Osei-Opoku, Court, McKay, Zanatta

Ayr United

Hart, Reid, Rose, Higgins, Ferguson, McDaid, Geggan, Crawford, McGuffie, Moffat, Shankland Substitutes: Avci (GK), Gilmour, Hilton, Faulds, Waite, Murphy, McCowan

Referee: Alan Muir

Attendance: 2,286

Ayr Utd 1 Montrose 1 aet

Ayr United 1 v 1 Montrose

AET Montrose win 6 – 5 on penalties

by AUmedia

After a frustrating 120 mins ended in a 1-1 draw, the Honest Men crashed out of the Irn Bru cup on penalties to Montrose.  Iain Campbell had given the visitors an early lead before Moore levelled things up for United but despite creating numerous chances Ayr succumbed to the Gable Endies in the Russian roulette that is a penalty shootout.

Montrose opened the scoring with the first chance if the game after they won a freekick on the edge of the area on 3 mins.  Iain Campbell stepped up and blasted a thunderous drive beyond Hart to give the visitors a shock lead, 0-1.

Ayr were looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at home to Arbroath on Saturday but the early loss of a goal allowed well organised and hardworking Montrose to sit behind the ball and give United a mountain to climb.

United tried to get themselves on level terms and on 17 mins McGuffie was first to try his luck. Unfortunately, the youngster ballooned the ball over the bar from 20 yards out.  Montrose then fired an effort over from a similar position moments later, Johnston with the strike that caused Hart no problems.

On 19 mins McDaid whipped a ball in from the right to the back post where Moffat was lurking. The ball arrived at an awkward height and as a result Moffat couldn’t get a clean strike on the ball, allowing keeper Millar to scramble across and save.

McDaid was next to have an effort on goal on 22 mins and what an effort it was.  Moore chested a high ball down into the path of McDaid whose volley flew just wide of the top left-hand corner. The pressure was to pay off for Ayr as they got themselves back level on 28 mins.  Moffat picked the ball up midway inside the Montrose half and drove forward before slipping it through to Moore who controlled inside the box and coolly slotted the ball away high into the net for 1-1.

Moore wasn’t going to stop there as he looked eager for more and 8 mins later curled a strike just beyond the right-hand post from the edge of the box.  On 39 mins, another glorious chance went a begging for Moffat after McGuffie curled a beautiful ball in for the striker whose header from point blank range was saved superbly by Millar in the Montrose nets.

McGuffie had the final chance of the half with a strike that flashed wide of the post on 41 mins with Ayr heading in at the break frustrated not to be ahead. The home side picked up where they left off in the second half and continued to carve out chances.

On 50 mins, Boyle raced down the left and delivered the ball into the box for Moore who met it with a header however it went over the bar.  4 mins later and Montrose failed to clear their lines resulting in Moffat attempting an ambitious overhead kick on the edge of the box that scraped narrowly wide of the right-hand post with Millar stranded in no man’s land.

The visitors were standing firm to the pressure but had good fortune to thank in the latter stages of the match when Crawford found himself hitting the woodwork twice in the space of 2 mins.  The first chance came on 78 mins when the midfielder met the ball in the box and curled a shot that came off the left-hand post before seeing a header at the back post come back off the bar moments later.

As the game went into extra time, neither team really applied any meaningful pressure with Montrose having the only real chance of note when McLaren found himself in a one-on-one position with Hart on 113 mins but could only fire straight at the keeper.

The game was to be decided on penalties and 2 missed penalties from United by Gilmour and Higgins to Montrose’s 1 by Allan meant Montrose triumphed 6-5.  Campbell, Steeves, Callaghan, Ferguson, Millar and Thomson all converted for Montrose while Rose, McGuffie, Moore, Forrest and Geggan netted for United.

Ayr have a break on Saturday as they prepare for Raith Rovers the following week at Starks Park for a top of the league encounter.

Ayr United Hart, Higgins, Boyle, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, Crawford, McDaid, Moore, Ferguson, Docherty.  Substitutes Avci (GK), Gilmour, Forrest, McGuffie, Faulds, McCowan, Reid. Montrose Miller, Ballantyne, Allan, I Campbell, Steeves, Webster, Redman, Callaghan, Johnston, Hay, R Campbell.  Substitutes Dillion, Ferguson, Templeman, Thomson, McLaren, Fleming (GK), Referee:  Grant Irvine Attendance:  907

Club shop hours w/c 28th Aug & 4th Sep

The club shop will be open on the following dates :-

 

Monday 28th August – 1pm to 5pm

Tuesday 29th August – 5pm to 7.45pm

Thursday 31st August – 3pm to 8pm

 

Monday 4th September – 1pm to 5pm

Thursday 5th September – 3pm to 8pm

Friday 6th September – 1pm to 5pm