Manager & Moff win awards

Manager Ian McCall has won Ladbrokes League One manager of the month and Michael Moffat the Ladbrokes League One player of the month.

The matches which counted for the October award were a 2-2 home draw with Airdrie, a 5-0 victory at Forfar in which Moff scored a hat trick which included his 100th career goal and last weeks 2-0 home win over Stranraer, Moff scoring the crucial first goal.

Congratulations to both!

Arbroath match preview

Match Preview Arbroath vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 4th November 2017, Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, on-form Ayr United travel to Angus to take on Arbroath in what will be the 100th meeting between the clubs. The Honest Men are just one goal off top spot in League 1 after drawing level on points with Raith Rovers last weekend; winning 2-0 against Stranraer as the Kirkcaldy club dropped points away to Forfar Athletic.

A win for United over Arbroath will open up a nine-point gap over fifth-placed Red Lichties and extend Ian McCall’s side’s unbeaten run to seven games.

Arbroath smashed seven past Airdrieonians in their last home game but were defeated 3-1 at East Fife last weekend. Bobby Linn put Dick Campbell’s side ahead at Bayview in the 16th minute but three goals in eight second-half minutes won it for the home side. The result saw the Fifers swap places with the Red Lichties in the league table.

Team News: Fully fit squad.

Ian says: “We are in good form and everyone is confident just now however every game in this league has different challenges and our first match with Arbroath showed that they are a good side. That was our worst performance of the season and I expect an entirely different display tomorrow. The defence have been keeping clean sheets and in the forward areas we look threatening every time we go forward. Hopefully the weather is kind to us as it can be horrific up there and we will be doing everything we can to send our travelling fans home happy.”

Head to head (at Gayfield):

Ayr United wins – 19

Draws – 15

Arbroath wins – 15

 

It is 13 games since a draw in this fixture.

 

Last Meeting: Arbroath are one of only two sides to defeat Ayr in the league this season and the only team to win in 90 minutes at Somerset Park. The Honest Men went ahead in the 42 minutes in the match in August when Chris Higgins pounced to steer the ball past David Hutton but goals from Omar Kader before half-time and a stunning strike from Mark Whatley earned the Red Lichties all three points.

 

Ayr’s last trip to Gayfield saw the Honest Men win 3-2 in typically blustery conditions. Michael Moffat scored a double; the 103 goal man has netted 9 times in just 5 appearances away to Arbroath.

 

On this day: in history, the Honest Men have a win percentage of 73.33%, with 11 wins in 15 games played on this date and just two defeats. Our most recent fixture on November 4th was in 2006 and saw us defeat Stranraer 3-1 at Stair Park. Chris Strain, Ryan Stevenson and Jerome Vareille all scored in the first 21 minutes. Former Ayr midfielder Dougie Ramsey was sent off late on for the Blues.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Alan Muir

Assistant Referee 1 – Gordon Crawford

Assistant Referee 2 – Liam Butler

 

Admission:

Adults – £14 Concessions – £8 Parent & Child – £17

Ayr Utd 2 Stranraer 0

Ayr United 2 v 0 Stranraer

by AUmedia

Whether locals like this being referred to as a derby or not this game had the feeling of a derby of old with crunching tackles, no quarter given, red cards, no little skill, burst nets, goals and, most surprisingly, a tension filled excitement that brought fans to their feet singing in the main stand.

The game started at speed and with some early crunching tackles. Andy Geggan was first to hit the deck when he was caught on the shin and ankle within the first minute as Stranraer tried to impose themselves on the game. Referee Northcroft made light of the incident while Geggan’s resultant swollen ankle would suggest there should have been a greater response.

Ayr dominated the first half with Geggan hitting the post on 16 mins, an audacious overhead kick by Shankland from 10 yards just going over one minute later, and then his swerving 30-yard drive only just stopped by keeper Belford. Ayr’s chances kept adding up with Michael Moffat, Declan McDaid and Chris Higgins also going close.

Stranraer were still dangerous on the counter attack, especially when spurred on by the excellent freekicks and passes from former Ayr man, Scott Agnew. Stranraer’s best chance came on 20 mins when Ryan Wallace turned quickly at the edge of the box before sending a powerful drive inches past the post.

Ayr thought they’d taken the lead on 30 mins when a Shankland shot appeared to have palmed in by Belford but referee Northcroft adjudged that defender Steven Bell had cleared before the ball was fully over the line.

A simmering feud was taking place between Ayr’s Geggan and Jamie Hamill and, on 40 mins, it looked like this had resulted in a United penalty when the Stranraer defender grabbed Geggan by the neck and body and then bundled him down straight in front of the referee. Referee Northcroft decided to take no action.

As the halftime whistle beckoned, a Docherty freekick was met by Rose but his effort hit the post and both teams went in at the break on level terms.

Manager McCall, replaced Geggan with Jamie Adams to add height and tactically insert Craig Moore for McDaid. McCall had at last unleashed his three-striker attack (Shankland, Moffat and Moore) that fans had been relishing but if he had hoped to defuse tensions with the withdrawal of Geggan he was to be disappointed in a second half that was to explode.

The touch paper was to be lit in the 57th min. Robbie Crawford broke down the left and, with the ball well away, the Blues’ young midfielder, Kyle Turner, lunged in with two feet. Crawford was left writhing on the grass, but the referee astonishingly only brought out a yellow card.

Things started to get ‘tasty’ but Ayr kept their composure and piled on the pressure with Higgins going close and Rose inexplicably heading past from close range.

On 65 mins Ayr finally took the lead.  Keeper Hart rolled the ball to Chris Higgins who found Paddy Boyle to his left. The defender then picked out Lawrence Shankland, in an advanced position on the right. with an exquisite diagonal ball. Without a second thought, Shankland nodded the ball into the path of Michael Moffat who made his way into the box before putting it past keeper Belford and into the net. Ayr were ahead, and this was nothing less than they deserved.

And then came the first red card. Just as the whistle blew for an earlier foul and with no chance to stop, Adams tackled defender Scott Robertson and the Stranraer man grabbed him by the shirt before pushing him onto the ground. After consultation with his assistant the referee ordered Robertson from the pitch but strangely also booked Adams whose tackle, although strong, appeared to take the ball cleanly despite the reaction from the Blues’ bench.

United doubled their lead in the 79th minute with Shankland both starting and finishing the move.  The striker, on the left at the halfway line and somewhat emulating Boyle in the move for the first goal, curled the ball into the path of the on-rushing Craig Moore on the right.  Moore dribbled into the box before unleashing a drive that Belford could only palm away and the Stranraer defence struggled to clear. The ball arrived at the feet of Ross Docherty on the edge of the box and the United captain played it forward to Shankland who spun before hitting the ball home. Breathing space for Ayr at 2 – 0.

On 89 mins came the second red card as central defender Steven Bell pulled Adams down and appeared to push his hand in to the United man’s face when he was on the ground. 9-man Stranraer now had no way back.

Ayr should have made it three with seconds remaining when Shankland put substitute Forrest through, but the ball bobbled, and his shot flew over the bar.

On Saturday, another tricky away trip to Angus, this time to Arbroath.

 

Ayr United

Hart, Higgins, Boyle, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, Crawford, McDaid, Ferguson, Shankland, Docherty. Substitutes: Avci (GK), Gilmour, Moore, Forrest, McGuffie, Adams, Reid

 

Stranraer

Belford, Robertson, Neill, Woods, Bell, Wallace, Agnew, Anderson, Turner, Hamill, Thomson. Substitutes: Currie (GK), Barron, Lang, McGowan, Okoh, Gray, Stoney

 

Referee: Mat Northcroft

Attendance: 1,473

Stranraer match preview

Match Preview Ayr United vs. Stranraer Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 28th October 2017, Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United and Stranraer are reaquainted when the Blues make the trip north along the A77 to Somerset Park. United closed the gap on league leaders Raith Rovers last weekend to two points with a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Forfar Athletic while Rovers long trip to today’s visitors was abandoned in the 36th minute due to a waterlogged pitch at Stair Park, with the scoreline level.

Ian McCall’s side are the SPFL’s highest goalscorers, averaging nearly three goals per game, but have dropped seven points at home this season and will be looking improve that form at Somerset Park.

Stranraer lie one point adrift of the promotion play-offs in sixth place with a game in hand following last weekend’s abandonment. Stevie Farrell’s side’s biggest win this season came away from home – a 4-0 demolition of Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill in which Scott Agnew scored a hat-trick.

Team News: We have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Ian says: “I am delighted to be going into the game with a full squad to choose from, it certainly gives us plenty to think about after the performance last week. These matches with Stranraer are always hard fought and tend to have plenty of talking points. We must start winning home matches and cutting out errors which are leading to giving away poor goals. Our fans were tremendous at Forfar last week and hopefully they will give the same kind of backing tomorrow.”

Head to head (at Somerset Park):

Ayr United wins – 30

Draws – 7

Stranraer wins – 8

 

Last Meeting: A late Paddy Boyle goal earned Ayr the win in a seven-goal thriller at Stair Park in August. Ryan Wallace opened the scoring for the Blues in the 16th minute but Ayr roared into the lead with strikes from McDaid, Moore and Moffat. A quick-fire Ryan Thomson double drew the sides level before Boyles later winner.

 

Stranraer’s last visit to Somerset Park was the Championship play-off final in May 2016.

 

On this day: in 1994, United beat Stranraer 2-1 at Somerset Park in the Division 1. More recently, the Honest Men fought back from two goals down to defeat Hamilton at New Douglas park on 29th October 2011. Michael Moffat, John Robertson and a last minute Chris Smith goal stole all three points.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Mat Northcroft

Assistant Referee 1 – Gavin Harris

Assistant Referee 2 – Daniel Graves

 

Admission:

Adults – £16 OAPs, students and 18-21 year olds – £10 Under 18s – £5

Fixture Change

Our Ladbrokes League One fixture with Raith Rovers originally scheduled for Saturday November 11th has been moved to Tuesday 14th November kick off 7.45pm.

This is due to Raith Rovers playing in the Irn Bru Cup quarter final on the Saturday.

Ayr Utd 2 Airdrieonians 2

Ayr United 2 v 2 Airdrieonians

by AUmedia

 

On a gloomy grey day at Somerset Park, United came up short against a plucky Airdrieonians team who rode their luck at times but made the way back to Lanarkshire with a point firmly lodged in their kit bag.

Statistics suggest that Ayr (54% of possession, 13 attempts on goal with 8 on target as opposed to Airdrie’s 8 attempts and only 3 on target) should have won this one relatively easily but in the cold, hard light of reality the ‘Diamonds’ did what was needed and deservedly got something from the game. Manager Ian McCall was left to shake his head and wonder what his team have to do to turn such dominance into goals and 3 points.

The first half was a stuffy affair with both teams huffing and puffing but with neither one showing the quality to make the game their own.

Airdrie were first to have a decent attempt when on 6 mins, midfielder turned striker, Willis Furtado charged through the United defence before releasing a shot which Chris Higgins managed to block before keeper Jordan Hart collected.

Airdrie adopted a strong defensive line and relied upon speedy break away attacks as Ayr tried to find a route to goal. On 16 min full back David Ferguson made his way down the right before finding Michael Moffat in the box, the striker then created space and found Craig McGuffie free to his left. The usually assured McGuffie surprisingly lost control of the ball and the chance was lost.

One minute later Docherty played the ball forward from his own half and it was neatly flicked on to the on-rushing Moffat by Lawrence Shankland who immediately moved to get back in support. Under pressure, Moffat manged to get the ball back to Shankland but his left footed drive was blocked by keeper Rohan Ferguson before being hacked clear by centre half Jordan McGregor.

On 19 mins United scorned an excellent opportunity to take the lead from the penalty spot. Michael Rose thumped a high ball into the Airdrie half which Moffat head flicked to Shankland. As Shankland attempted to get the ball under control, defender David Brownlie slid in and poked it back towards his keeper. Moffat pounced and tried to take the ball around keeper Ferguson who unceremoniously up-ended him in the box.

There followed a few moments of confusion as assistant referee Calum Doyle stood with his flag raised apparently signalling that Moffat had been in an offside position. After a short discussion referee Steven Reid overruled his assistant and it was a penalty for Ayr and a booking for keeper Ferguson.

Lawrence Shankland, Ayr’s hot scoring property of the moment, stepped up and struct the ball to Ferguson’s right but the keeper got down and solidly deflected the ball wide for a corner.

The penalty miss seemed to take the wind out of United’s sails although Moffat came close when put into the box by Shankland 3 mins later but this time McGregor blocked and Luke Watt booted clear.

Ayr were made to pay for their profligacy on 28 mins when, against the run of play, Airdrie took the lead. As Tom Fry’s in-swinging corner from the left reached the 6-yard box, centre half McGregor lost his marker Michael Rose and bulleted a header into the back of the net. The Diamonds were one up.

Ayr continued to press but without success. On 31 mins McGuffie, Shankland and Moffat linked up well but the ball was taken from the toe of Moffat just as he looked certain to hit home. 12 mins later a Shankland header went over the bar and with 1 minute of added time on the clock a Moffat solo run ended with a shot that went wide.

A frustrated United went in at half-time wondering just what they’d have to do to get back on track but emerged from the tunnel looking rejuvenated.

Ayr piled on the pressure with Airdrie taking an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to defence. Ayr gained an early corner and both Shankland and Chris Higgins were denied by dogged defending and last second blocks. On 47mins, Robbie Crawford skilfully stepped past Airdrie skipper Ryan Conroy before unleashing a blistering drive from 18 yards that smashed off the post.

United were not to be denied and on 54 mins David Ferguson delivered a delicious ball in from the right, curving behind the defenders and away from the keeper before being struck home by Andy Geggan on the end of his well-timed run. 1-1 and Ayr’s appetite seemed to be whetted.

Just two minutes later, Ayr were in the lead and it was that man Geggan again. The midfielder won the ball in his own half before sliding it through to Moffat who charged forward. When Moffat slipped the ball to his right in the penalty area he found Geggan on a parallel course waiting to slam the ball home.

Ayr were in the driving seat and looking comfortable but would live to regret not going for the jugular and killing off their opponents.

Jordan Allan entered the field of play on 61 mins with a fire and determination that suggested he could cause problems and just 3 mins later he got onto a long cross from the left and his immaculate first-time volley from an angle slammed off the post with the thinnest of touches from keeper Jordan Hart. First to react was Willis Furtado and with the United defence looking on he smashed the ball into the net and Airdrie were on level terms again.

On 70 mins Airdrie again went close with a Tom Fry snap drive from 25 yards going over as Ayr stuttered and looked shaky. 2 mins later a Fry drive from the edge of the box was tipped over the bar by Hart.

This was becoming too close to call but Ayr started to regain some composure. With 73 mins gone, Shankland released Declan McDaid into the Airdrie half and the United substitute drove into the penalty box but his shot just scraped past the post.

On 76 mins Ayr should have taken the lead when double scorer Andy Geggan fluffed his lines and failed to claim a hattrick as he put a ‘free’ header wide from a Brian Gilmour corner.

Moffat, McDaid and captain Ross Docherty all went close but it was hearts in the mouth time as Airdrie almost stole all three points on 89 mins when an Allan shot from the left beat Hart but Rose cleared off the line.

United could also have snatched the points in the first minute of added time but Crawford’s strike was tipped over by keeper Ferguson.

A bemusing time for Ayr who had enough chances to win two games but must clear their heads for next Saturday’s encounter away to Forfar.

Ayr United: Hart, Ferguson, Higgins, Rose, Boyle, Crawford, Docherty, Geggan, McGuffie, Moffat, Shankland Substitutes: Avci (GK), Gilmour, Moore, Forrest, McDaid, McCowan

Airdrieonians: Ferguson, McIntosh, Brownlie, McGregor, MacDonald, Stewart, Watt, Conroy, Fry, Furtado, Cairns Substitutes: Kerr (GK), Russell, Allan, Tierney, Higgins, Edwards, Hastie

Referee: Steven Reid

Attendance: 1,513

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.