Panda runs in National

Our club mascot Pandamonium will proudly take his place in the Mascot Grand National at Hamilton Racecourse tomorrow.

The mascots will make their way to the parade ring at 4.15 and the race begins at 4.45pm.

Last year Panda finished in midfield, comfortable ahead of the Kilmarnock squirrel. Panda feels that a podium finish is possible in this years race though he would accept a similar outcome!

We will provide updates from Hamilton Racecourse throughout Friday and make sure you tweet panda some support @aufcpanda

Commemorative Tiles

We are delighted to announce a new venture to Tile the Tunnel at Somerset Park. We are looking to tile the entire tunnel area around the dressing rooms with our new commemorative tiles.

The tiles cost £55 each and you can choose the message that goes on them. There are 4 lines with 16 characters on each line. So whether it might be your own name, a birthday message, a family tile, a good luck message to the team or remembering a loved one, there are many options.

When an order is placed you will need to give all your details and the message you would like to go on the tile. You will then be sent a certificate with the message on it, signed by the manager.

The tiles will take around 6 weeks to be produced and we will let you know as soon as they are on the wall.

To order a tile you can do so through the club shop or by contacting commercial manager Graeme Miller on 01292 263435 (ext 3) or by email commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

 

 

 

Open Day Reminder

This Sunday, 20th August sees the annual Ayr United Open Day take place at Somerset Park. There is no charge for entry. The event will start at 12 noon and finishes at 3 with the Adults v Kids match from 2.30 to 3pm.

The Stage Door restaurant and Hollybush Inn have sponsored the event for the third year in a row and we thank them for the fantastic support. They will also be providing an outstanding BBQ which will be in front of the family stand.

Again we welcome along the award winning Mancini’s Ice Cream where the only difficulty is deciding which flavour to choose!

Bubble Football has been hugely popular for the last 2 years and again we have them coming along with bubbles for adults and kids so everyone can join in the fun.

Our Ayr United Football Academy coaches will be taking sessions with kids and also showcasing Walking Football for adults – our own players may well be giving a demonstration.

Club historian Duncan Carmichael will be running stadium tours all afternoon, there’s no one who knows more about Ayr United so its well worth going along.

The emergency services will all be represented with Ayr community fire station and Police Scotland bringing vehicles as well as the The Royal Regiment of Scotland who might just have a few surprises for us!

If you want to let the kids loose for a while then we have a bouncy castle, facepainting and club mascot Pandamonium to keep them occupied.

All the players and management will be in attendance for pictures and autographs all afternoon and thanks to The Ayrshire Post we will also give out AUFC posters which can be signed on the day.

We will also have Dougie and Jeanne from the Ayr United 5 star lottery here on the day and they will be available for anyone looking to sign up or if you are just looking for the benefits of being a lottery member.

Ayr United Media will be providing their own unique brand of running commentary throughout with plenty of music!

The club shop will be open from 11.30am to 3.30pm.

It promises to be a fantastic day, everyone is welcome and remember it is free to get in! Entry is through the gate at the Somerset Road End turnstiles.

East Stirling match preview

Match Preview East Stirlingshire vs. Ayr United Irn-Bru Cup Wednesday 16th August 2017. Kick-off 7.45pm

Tonight (Wednesday), Ayr United travel to face Lowland League side East Stirlingshire in the first round of the Irn-Bru Cup. The Shire have been a bogey side for the Honest Men in this competition, twice upsetting the odds in first round ties at Ochilview and Ian McCall will be hoping to avoid another upset and continue United’s good run of form.

Last season was East Stirlingshire’s first in the Lowland League after defeat to Edinburgh City in the play-offs ended 61-years in the Scottish Football League. The Shire finished second, seven points behind winners East Kilbride but were comfortably the division’s top scorers with 107 goals in 30 games. This term, The Shire have again been no strangers to the back of the net but seven goals in four games have earned just four points. On Saturday, they were held to a goalless draw at home to Gala Fairydean Rovers.

The Shire’s manager John Sludden will be well known to United supporters, having scored 78 goals in 140 appearances for the club between 1985 and 1990. In October 1990, Sludden scored the first ever hat-trick in the Challenge Cup for Kilmarnock in a 4-1 win over Stirling Albion at Rugby Park. Striker Andy Rodgers, in his second spell at the Stirlingshire club, is another with connections to the Honest Men and an eye for a spectacular goal.

Team News: Jamie Adams is out, everyone else is available.

Ian says: “We will make changes tonight however that doesn’t mean we are not wanting to progress, we have a squad of players and training right from the start of pre season has been excellent so we need to utilise the squad and give some of the players that have been knocking on the door an opportunity. We have momentum and we want to keep that and continue improving every match.”

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 32

Draws – 10

East Stirlingshire wins – 16

 

Ayr have faced the Shire on three previous occasions in the League Challenge Cup – with very limited success. United needed extra-times and penalties to progress in 1994 after a 1-1 draw at Firs Park.

The sides met again in 2008, East Stirlingshire’s first competitive fixture at Ochilview following the switch from Firs Park. Alex Williams put the Honest Men ahead in the 15th minute but The Shire shock United with late goals from David Richardson and Andy Rodgers. The Shire were more comfortable in 2012, beating an Ayr side featuring Michael Moffat and Robbie Crawford 3-1. Mark Shankland pulled a goal back midway through the second-half to make it 2-1 after a Mickey Herd double put the home side ahead and Scott Maxwell scored late on.

Last Meeting:

The last meeting between the sides was in the League Cup in 2014, also at Ochilview. After a goalless first-half, United netted four times during the second period, three of the goals coming after David McKenna was sent-off for the home side. Ryan Donnelly (2), Scott McLaughlin and Brian Gilmour were the Honest Men on the scoresheet.

Match Officials:

Referee – David Munro

Assistant Referee 1 – Graeme Leslie

Assistant Referee 2 – Mark McHendry

Admission:

Adults – £10

Concessions – £5

Five Grand Fans

Saturday’s match against Forfar Athletic brought three welcome goals and three welcome points as Ayr United strives to bounce back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

There was even more great news as the committee of the AU500 Fund presented a cheque to the club for £5,00,0 a remarkable figure which took the total amount that AU500 Fund has raised to an amazing £12,400 since the fund raising initiative was launched one year ago this month.

Chairman of the fund Ron Withers said “the AU500 Fund was launched last August to give fans of Ayr United the opportunity to support the club even more by making monthly donations to the fund. The committee and the members of the fund are incredibly proud of how much we’ve been able to help the club over the past year and we’d love even more people to join if they can.”

Manger Ian McCall said “the efforts of the AU500 Fund over the past year have been a great help in supporting the playing budget and with our full-time status this season their support is even more significant. I can’t thank the members of AU500 Fund enough for their contributions.”

The committee members are pictured presenting the cheque to Ayr United Director Mark Pettigrew. If you’re interested in joining the AU500 Fund or finding out more, please visit www.au500fund.com.

Hibernian match preview

Match Preview

Hibernian vs. Ayr United

Betfred Cup Second Round

Tuesday 8th August 2017. Kick-off 7.45pm

 On Tuesday night, Ayr United travel to Edinburgh take on Championship title holders Hibernian in the second round of the Betfred Cup. A tough task awaits the Honest Men at Easter Road but Ian McCall’s men go into the game in red-hot form and the knowledge they made life difficult for the Hibees in Leith last season. The match pitches together the two of the top scorers in Scottish football; The Honest Men have found the net 20 times in five games already this season.

 Hibernian started off life back in the top tier of Scottish football with a 3-1 come-from-behind win at home to Partick Thistle on Saturday. Chris Erskine opened the scoring in the seventh minute at Easter Road but Thistle’s lead didn’t last long, Martin Boyle equalizing seven minutes later. The returning Steven Whittaker put Hibs ahead before half-time and former Dundee United striker Simon Murray netted from the penalty spot in the second-half, his eight goal of the season. 

 Neil Lennon’s side topped their group in the first round of the Betfred Cup with comprehensive home wins over Montrose (4-0) and Arbroath (6-1) and a 3-0 victory away to Alloa but drew 0-0 away to Ross County, losing the penalty shoot-out. In addition to Whittaker and Murray, Neil Lennon has signed midfielder Danny Swanson, Lithuanian internationals Vykintas Slivka and Deivydas Matulevicius and Scottish Cup hero Anthony Stokes.

 

Team News: Jamie Adams and Robbie Crawford miss out through injury. Everyone else is fit and available.

 Ian says: “Obviously we are delighted with the start we have made however we are taking it one game at a time. Every match so far this season has been a different challenge and of course tonight’s will be the most difficult yet. Hibs are on a high and have made some good signings over the summer to add to the quality they already had. We have some momentum though and we will go to Easter Road with no pressure on us and look to attack and enjoy the occasion. We did very well at Easter Road last season so we know how difficult it can be but also that we can get something.”

 

Head to head (League Cup):

Ayr United wins – 3

Draws – 1

Hibernian wins – 5

 

United’s three victories over Hibs in the League Cup came at home in August 1975 in a group stage game; a Quarter-Final second-leg match at Easter Road in October 1980; and at Hampden Park in the Semi-Final in February 2002.

 Hibs won the last League Cup meeting between the sides in September 2005. Derek Riordan netted twice in the first-half at Somerset Park before Gareth Wardlaw struck late on to make 2-1. 

 Last Meeting:

The sides met five times last season in league and cup. Neil Lennon’s side found things relatively straight-forward in Ayrshire, recording 3-0 and 4-0 victories at Somerset Park but needed three attempts to chalk up a win at Easter Road. The then holders ran out 3-1 winners in the Scottish Cup in March but not before United earned a shock league win in September with goals from Conrad Balatoni and Brian Gilmour and then held Hibernian to 1-1 draw in February.

 

On this day:

In 1998, Ayr progressed to the third of the League Cup with a 3-1 win away to St. Mirren. Andy Walker and Andy Lyons put the Honest Men ahead before half-time and Glynn Hurst extended United’s lead at Love Street on the hour mark. Tam Brown scored a late consolation for the home side.  

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Kevin Clancy

Assistant Referee 1 – Alasdair Ross

Assistant Referee 2 – Gordon Crawford

Fourth Official – Grant Irvine

 

Admission:

Adults – £15

Concessions – £10

 

Tickets will be on sale at Easter Road from the ticket pod at the away end (South Stand) which will open at 6.30pm.

Shop hours w/c 7th August

SHOP OPENING HOURS WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 7TH AUGUST

Tickets for the Betfred Cup 2nd round tie at Hibernian will be sold until 5pm today (Monday 7th) and after that point you can buy tickets at the ticket pod next to the away end at Easter Road on the day of the match from 6.30pm

MONDAY 7TH 1PM -5PM

TUESDAY 8TH – CLOSED

WEDNESDAY 9TH 1PM -5PM

THURSDAY 10TH 3PM – 8PM

FRIDAY 11TH 1PM – 5PM 

SATURDAY 12TH 10AM – KICKOFF

Conduct reminder

As we approach the start of the new season, we would like to acknowledge the magnificent support we have had at both home and away fixtures in the Betfred Cup group stage. The backing has been tremendous with significant numbers travelling to back the team, which has made a huge difference.

As a timely reminder, we would like to remind supporters, that both at home and away fixtures, they represent the club and as such should avoid engaging in any form of unacceptable conduct both inside and outside football grounds, this includes the use of pyrotechnics.

Many thanks.

Ayr United Football Club

Season update & Shop hours

The league season begins on Saturday and the first league match at Somerset is on Saturday 12th August.

To date so far we have sold 559 season tickets and we would like to thank everyone who has been in so far to buy theirs.

There has been a huge transition throughout the Summer with the club moving to full time football and hopefully everyone is happy with what they have seen so far. Comfortable wins over Kilmarnock, Dumbarton, Clyde and Annan. 15 goals scored and the best record in Scotland so far.

What these matches in the group stage of the Betfred Cup have shown is the importance of our supporters. We outnumbered both Dumbarton and Annan away from home, and wouldn’t it be great if that was something that happened regularly in the league season. At home we had an excellent home crowd for the Ayrshire derby and a better than expected crowd for the Tuesday night game with Clyde. Both of these games had a great atmosphere and this is something we would love to have every week at Somerset. All the players have been mentioning this upturn in atmosphere and what a difference it makes during a match.

As mentioned we have sold over 500 season tickets however over the next two weeks we would love to get close to the 1000 mark and really get Somerset rocking every week.

We are still having issues with our payment provider however we are in dialogue with them every day to try and get our online store up and running as quickly as possible, until that time you are welcome in the club shop or can place an order over the phone. And remember that every adult and concession season ticket receives a free family pass for Culzean Castle and Country Park (worth around £40).

We are going to open the shop nearly every day up to and including Saturday the 12th of August, the day of our first home league match to ensure that you are able to purchase season tickets and or club merchandise.

SHOP OPENING HOURS

Monday 31st July – 1pm to 5pm

Tuesday 1st August – CLOSED

Wednesday 2nd August – 1pm to 5pm

Thursday 3rd August – 3pm to 8pm

Friday 4th August – 1pm to 5pm

Saturday 5th August – CLOSED

Sunday 6th August – 12 noon to 3pm

Monday 7th August – 1pm to 5pm

Tuesday 8th August – CLOSED

Wednesday 9th August – 1pm to 5pm

Thursday 10th August – 3pm to 8pm

Friday 11th August – 1pm to 5pm

Saturday 12th August – 10am to kickoff

 

Season ticket prices are as follows

Adult (21 and over) £220

Concession (over 65, student, 18-21) £120

Child (under 18) £50

Panda pal (under 12) £15

Annan match preview

Match Preview Annan Athletic vs. Ayr United Betfred Cup Group E Saturday 29th July 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, on-form Ayr United travel south to face Annan Athletic looking to make it four wins out of four in the Betfred Cup. Ian McCall’s men need just a point to top the table but victory will put the Honest Men in a strong position to go into Sunday’s second-round draw as one of the eight seeded teams.

There will be a familiar face in the home dugout at Galabank, with Peter Murphy having been appointed Annan manager in the summer following the departure of Jim Chapman to Clyde. The popular Irishman made 81 appearances for the Honest Men during three seasons at Somerset Park. Murphy has added another Ayr favourite Ryan Stevenson, who will be hoping for to lead the line against his boyhood club rather than keep goal as he did for Raith Rovers last season.

Annan picked up their first points of the Betfred Cup on Tuesday night when they earned a bonus point against Dumbarton, former United hero Ryan Stevenson netting the winning goal in the penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 draw. They had previously lost 2-1 away to Clyde and 2-0 at home to Kilmarnock, Kris Boyd netting a double.

Ian says:”Jamie Adams is available however he won’t start due to the type of pitch at Annan. Alan Forrest could possibly have made it however we won’t risk him with the league season starting next week and Michael Rose has started light training so shouldn’t be too far away.

This will be a tough game for us tomorrow. We are all looking forward to seeing Peter again, he is a class act and we know his team will be well organised. We have some momentum built up and we want to keep that going so there won’t be many changes. I am delighted we are taking two buses down there and it just shows our fans will come in numbers if we give them a good product.”

Previous Meetings: Ayr and Annan have met just twice before and never, in a competitive fixture, at Galabank. In September 2011, the Black & Golds shocked the Honest Men at Somerset Park when a David Cox goal knocked newly promoted Ayr out of the Challenge Cup. In 1986, Ayr defeated Annan, then of the South of Scotland League, in the Scottish Cup 3-1.

 

Ayr have played at Galabank before in pre-season and defeated their hosts 7-0 in the Scottish Brewers Cup in July 2006.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Steven Reid

Assistant Referee 1 – Paul O’Neill

Assistant Referee 2 – Liam Butler

 

Admission:

Adults – £12

Concessions – £6
Latest Odds

Annan Athletic – 5/1, Draw 10/3, Ayr United – 1/2