Match Preview v Brechin

Ayr United will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they travel to Angus to face Brechin City. The Honest Men fell to their first league defeat of the season last weekend, a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Stranraer, a result which saw Dunfermline and Forfar join them at the top of the table on 10 points.

Brechin sit a point behind Ayr in fourth spot but remain unbeaten, with two wins and three draws from their five fixtures. Last weekend they ran out comfortable winners against Stirling Albion, winning 5-0 at Forthbank.

Team News: We have a full squad available for selection.

Marko says: “The players have been really upbeat in training this week and are really looking forward to getting back on the pitch. Against Stranraer we just didn’t quite have the same spark that weve had in previous games and we have worked on getting that back. We are under no illusions as to how difficult it will be up there but if we play to our capabilities then we know teams will fear us rather than the other way around.”

Head-to-Head (at Glebe Park):
Ayr United wins: 21
Draws: 7
Brechin wins: 19

Brechin City have not lost to Ayr United since Ray McKinnon took charge of the team in October 2012. United are lost five of the seven meetings between the sides since but have scored in each game.

Last Meeting: An Alan Forrest goal with 15 minutes remaining was not enough to earn Ayr a point the last time the sides met, at Glebe Park in April. Goals from Robert Thomson in the 6th minute and Craig Molloy after an hour gave the home side a 2-1 victory. Ayr team: Hutton; Pope, Campbell, Lithgow, Hunter (McAusland, 76); McGowan, Gilmour, McLaughlin, Malcolm; Moffat, Kyle (Forrest, 45)

Stats:
– Saturday is the 80th league meeting between Ayr United and Brechin City. The first was in 1937 and ended Ayr United 8, Brechin City 1
– Brechin City manager Ray McKinnon was in charge of Lochee United when the Dundee Junior side played Ayr in the Scottish Cup in 2008/09.

On this day: Ayr United has a 50% win rate on 20th September and an overall record of P14, W7, D2, L5. The last match the Honest Men played on this date was away to Ross County in 2003. Stephen Whalen and Scott Chaplain scored for Ayr in a 2-2 draw. Sean Higgins had put the Staggies 2-0 up after just 14 minutes.

Match Officials:
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Assistant: Gavin Harris
Assistant: Chris Fordyce

Match Info:
Admission:
Adults: £12
Concessions: £6
Parent & Child £15

Travel:
A supporters bus is leaving the River Cottage at 10.30am. Contact the River Cottage on 01292 287923 or Jamie on 07792747354 for details.

Manager wins award

We are delighted to announce that manager Mark Roberts won the SPFL League One manager of the month award for August.

After a month that saw us start the season with a hard fought 1-0 home win over Morton we then went to Stirling Albion and comfortably won 3-1. Another win followed with a 2-0 home win over Forfar and the month ended unbeaten with a 1-1 draw away to Stenhousemuir and sitting 3 points clear at the top of the league.

The award is Mark’s first as manager.

Match report v Stranraer

Ayr United 0 v 2 Stranraer
Gallacher 65’
Longworth 81mins

Ayr United lost their unbeaten league record to a doggedly determined and well-organised Stranraer team in the blazing sunshine at Somerset Park. It had been expected that Ayr would return from the international break refreshed and back to their peak and so it seemed in the early exchanges of this match.

After only two minutes tricky Alan Forrest made the best of some confusion in the Stranraer back four inside the box and played the ball to Brian Gilmour who saw his flick goal-ward from four yards instinctively, and brilliantly saved by David Mitchell in the Stranraer goal.

Three minutes later Peter Murphy rose to meet a corner from the right and, although seeming certain to end in the back of the net, the ball was blocked and scrambled from the line by the Stranraer defence.

In the 13th minute Donnelly found space in the box and rose to meet a long cross, his perfectly timed header beating Mitchell hands up but as he turned to celebrate the far side linesman raised his flag as he had just strayed offside.

Stranraer were beginning to come into the game with some probing passes from Gibson, Gallagher and former Ayr player Anthony Marenghi causing some concern for the United defence as Longworth and Stoney attempted to get behind Ayr’s back four.

In the 15th minute Ayr raced forward down the left hand side, Devlin’s pass reaching McGill who flicked the ball around Stranraer’s right back Scott Robertson and span past him as he’s made his way towards the penalty area. Unfortunately for the defender he turned sharply as he tried to match McGill’s run and collapsed on the ground in some pain having dislocated his knee. This forced Stranraer into substitution, bringing on former Ayr youngster Jackson Longridge who moved into the left back position while Craig Pettigrew moved from his central defensive role to cover the right back slot.

The game settled into a lacklustre spell while, with both teams trying to press forward, lack of control and accuracy of passing let both sides down. Though Ayr had more possession, Stranraer’s players harried and chased for every ball in midfield, not letting Ayr settle to their usual passing style of play, while their deep and well-disciplined 4-4-2 formation denied Ayr much space or chances.

In the 38th minute Alan Forrest picked up the ball wide on the right and drove towards the Stranraer penalty area, cutting inside, turning the defenders on their heels and creating space for himself. With the ball on his left foot, Forrest saw space opening up and slammed the ball towards the goal only to watch it slide past Mitchell’s right-hand post.

The referee’s whistle for half-time couldn’t come quick enough for both teams as they had the chance to take on much-needed fluids and give their managers the opportunity to come up with a plan to break the deadlock. For fans it was a chance to applaud local hero, and Commonwealth games gold medallist, Paul Foster and to be amazed by the ball juggling skills of Scotland’s ‘keepy-uppy’ king Graeme Lightbody.

In the second half Ayr came firing out of the traps winning two corners in quick succession and having a Michael Donald flicked header from the centre of the box going close. But then Stranraer posted a warning with a quick breakaway resulting in a cross into the box finding Jamie Longworth un-marked in the centre but his header just strayed right. Stranraer’s speed on the break should have acted as a warning to Ayr and it acted as a precursor of what was to come.

Ayr continued to press forward and were awarded a freekick in a dangerous position just outside the box. In an attempt to confuse keeper Mitchell, three possible freekick takers stood around the ball, McGovern, Murphy and McLaughlin. It was McLaughlin who struck the ball sweetly lifting and curling it towards the top corner but Stranraer keeper Mitchell saved acrobatically.

In the 54th minute Peter McGill was replaced by the trialist, Paul Slane in attempt to freshen things up and find a way through the Stranraer rearguard.

The game started to open up and Stranraer’s speedy breaks were causing more and more problems for the United defence with, yet again, Jamie Longworth going close with a flicked header from inside the 6 yard box, scraping the post to the keeper’s right.

Ayr’s attacking intent was signalled with a substitution in the 64th minute when Brian Gilmour was replaced by new signing Craig Beattie who moved into the forward line. The addition of Beattie was to have little time to influence the match is within 40 seconds Stranraer pushed down the left-hand side with the ball reaching midfielder Grant Gallagher who cut inside, into what seemed like acres of space, and moved unchallenged towards the United penalty box. With the Ayr defence backing off he released a screamer of a drive from 20 yards, past the despairing Hutton and in to the bottom left corner.

The game then became frenetic with a cut and thrust of forward and backward movements. Stranraer’s Scott Rumsby was booked in the 68th minutes for a tackle from behind on Donnelly. A couple of minutes later Peter Murphy went in the book for a similar offence against Stoney.

Ayr’s captain Scott McLaughlin was left holding his head in disbelief as a neat pass by Beattie played him in behind the Stranraer defence and saw him clear in the box, but somehow he managed lose control and mistime a shot at the same time and the opportunity was lost.

Both teams started to change things around with Stranraer appearing to attempt to prevent Ayr winning the ball in midfield or scoring an equaliser with Sean Winter replacing Marenghi in midfield and Barry Russell coming on for the influential midfielder Willie Gibson, then slipping in to defensive possession. Ayr went out for the equaliser bringing Dale Shirkie on to partner Beattie up front with the tiring Ryan Donnelly replaced.

Things didn’t go to plan for Ayr as it was Stranraer who pushed forward with Stephen Stirling hitting a left-footed shot from the edge of the box but it rose high and wide. But Stranraer were only going to be denied for one more minute. With Ayr pushing forward they were caught on the break and Daniel Stoney released the ball to Jamie Longworth who had beaten the offside trap and was left one-on-one with keeper Hutton. Longworth expertly sidestepped Hutton, ran past him and stroked the ball into the net much to the joy of the travelling Stranraer support. With 80 minutes gone and only 10 minutes remaining Stranraer were not going to let this slip.

Jackson Longridge found his name in the book, as following Stranraer’s celebration in front of their fans, he did not heed the referee’s instruction to cross back across the halfway line but instead decided to over casually tie his shoelaces.

Although Ayr did not give up and continued to press, this game was well and truly over and as the full-time whistle sounded the Ayr team left the pitch disappointed men.

Hugh Clarke, director of Restoraroof.co.uk chose JP McGovern as the man of the match. image

Ayr United
1 Hutton
2 Devlin
3 Donald
4 Campbell
5 Murphy
6 Gilmour
7 Forrest
8 McLaughlin
9 Donnelly
10 McGovern
11 McGill

Substitutes
12 McKenzie
14 McArthur
15 Shirkie
16 Beattie
17 Muir
18 Trialist
19 Newman

Stranraer
1 Mitchell
2 Robertson
3 Rumsby
4 Pettigrew
5 McKeown
6 Gallagher
7 Gibson
8 Stirling
9 Stoney
10 Longworth
11 Marenghi

Substitutes
12 Longridge
14 Aitken
15 Winter
16 Forde
17 Russell
18 Tobin
19 McCloskey

Referee: Calum Murray
Attendance: 1,414
Report by AUmedia

CLUB SHOP MATCHDAY OFFERS

AYR UNITED V STRANRAER CLUB SHOP MATCH DAY OFFERS

1. DOUBLE 6 CHALLENGE
Spend £20 or more on shop merchandise in store on Saturday 13th September then roll the dice for a chance of a full refund on your purchased goods. Roll a double 6 and we will refund the full cost of your purchase.

2. FREE MUG WITH EVERY BOOK
Buy Gerry Ferrara`s new book `A season with Ayr United` priced £14.99 and get a FREE Ayr United FC mug (value £6.99). gerry mug

*These offer / promotions are for one day only (Saturday 13th September).

We are open from 10am on Saturday.

The Official Ayr United FC Club Shop
Somerset Park
AYR
Phone: 01292 263435 Ext 5
Email: shop@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

Match Preview v Stranraer

Ayr United welcome Stranraer to Somerset Park on Saturday as the League 1 campaign resumes after the international break. The Honest Men will remain top of the table if they can extend their unbeaten start to the league campaign to five games.

Stranraer sit ninth in League 1 with two points from four games. Former Ayr United striker Craig Malcolm will sit out Saturday’s game through suspension after being sent off in the Blue’s last league game, a 2-1 defeat at home to Dunfermline Athletic in which Malcolm’s ex-strike partner Michael Moffat scored the winner.

The Stair Park side were in action on Saturday, wining through to the semi-finals of the Petrofac Training Cup with a 1-0 victory over Championship side Falkirk. Anthony Marenghi scored the only goal in the first-half, one of six former Ayr United players to feature for the home side.

Read on for our match preview:

Marko says: Stranraer had a great result last weekend which will give them confidence after a poor start however after the start we have made our boys are very confident. Our games with Stranraer always have a wee edge to them and this one will be no different with a few of our ex players in their team. We want to make Somerset Park a difficult place to come and we have done that so far this season with not conceding a goal. I have been delighted with the support we have had this season and last time out at Stenhousemuir our fans really got behind us with 20 minutes to go. We were disappointed not to get the win but that shows how far we have come.

Team news: Martyn Campbell and Kevin McKinlay are both doubtful for the match however they are the only injury doubts in the squad.

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 27
Draws – 7
Stranraer wins – 6

The last six fixtures between the sides at Somerset Park have averaged 4.83 goals per game.

Last Meeting: Ayr gained some revenge for two heavy defeats earlier in the season with a 5-0 win over the Blues the last time the sides met, which was in March. Michael Moffat (2), Craig Malcolm, Michael Donald and Alan Forrest were on the score sheet at Somerset Park while the visitors had captain Frank McKeown sent off.

Stats:
– Stranraer have played 9 matches this season but only one away from home: a 4-0 defeat at Greenock Morton;
– The Blues had a similarly slow start to last season, drawing one and losing four of their first five league games before going on to secure their highest league position since 2006;

On this day: Saturday will be the 20th fixture Ayr have played on the 13th September. Stranraer were also the opponents the last time United played on this date when Chris Aitken, Ryan Borris and Bryan Prunty scored in a 3-1 win at Stair Park which saw Stranraer’s Gregory Tade sent off for two bookings in quick succession. The sides also played out a 0-0 draw on 13th September 1986.

Match Officials:
Referee: Calum Murray
Assistant Referee 1: Steven Reid
Assistant Referee 2: Liam Butler

Match Info:
Adults £15
Concessions £8 (OAPs, students and under16s)
Parent and child gate £18

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Dunfermline game rescheduled

We are delighted to announce that our game at home to Dunfermline, initially meant for Saturday 11th October has now been moved to a 7.45pm kick off on Friday 10th October.

We felt that with Scotland playing at home to Georgia at 5pm on Saturday 11th that this would be the best solution for our fans and ensure that no one has to choose between club and country.

Development League game rescheduled.

The first home game in the Development League West is now tomorrow night at Somerset Park, Tuesday the 9th of September at 7.45pm v Airdrie. Entry to the game is free.

Deadline day signings!

Today we are delighted to announce two big deals for the club. Firstly the signing of former Scotland internationalist Craig Beattie. 30 year old Beattie has signed for this season and boasts an Outstanding pedigree. He has played in the champions league, uefa cup, the Premiership on both sides of the border and has 7 caps for the Scotland national side. Craig has won 3 premier league titles, 4 Scottish cup medals and a championship play off winner with Swansea city. image

Last season he helped Dundee gain promotion to the Premiership. Craig has a record of scoring goals everywhere he has been and will be a huge asset to us this season.

Delighted manager Mark Roberts said “Craig is exactly the type of striker I’ve been looking to get in. He has so much experience of playing at a much higher level than we are currently at. Craig has played with some top clubs and even went to west brom from Celtic for 1.2 million. That shows the quality he will bring. He will give us a presence and a physical edge and everybody knows the ability he has. He has won titles and is hungry for more and at 30 years old he has a lot of football in him. He wants to bring success to Ayr United and we are delighted to have him.”

Secondly we are delighted to announce the extension of Alan Forrests contract on improved terms until the end of season 2015/2016. Alan is one of the top prospects this club has produced for a long time and last season became the clubs youngest ever goalscorer. He scored 8 league goals last season and scored a double at Stirling earlier this season with the finish for his second absolutely top class. image

Manager Mark Roberts said “I’m delighted to get wee Forrest signed up for another year. We had a chat last week and we both felt it was the best thing for him and his development to sign an extension. He is a pleasure to work with and he is the type of lad who just wants to play football every week,learn and get better. He is getting stronger and fitter and we know he is going to benefit and improve by playing first team football at Ayr United.”

AUFC team up with Digital Kitchens Factory Outlet

Commercial manager Graeme Miller has been in negotiations with local family company Digital Kitchens Factory Outlet who have agreed to fully refurbish the ailing snack bar in the main stand completely free of charge if we can simply have a big push to get them above 2000 face book likes. As soon as they hit the 2000 mark work will commence so we really need everyone to get behind the project and like their page.
snack bar

Graeme said “This is a fantastic gesture from Digital Kitchens who will be designing a new black and white look for the snack bar that badly needs completely redone! I met Daniel Bryson, who’s dad Craig owns the company, at Forthbank a couple of weeks ago as he follows United home and away as well. A couple of meetings later and we are nearly there. Craig and Daniel are both very keen to help the club and we are extremely grateful. We would ask our fans to click on the link below and like the Digital Kitchens facebook page.”
dig kitchens

Daniel, one of 8 fully trained designers at their impressive showroom just past Ayr hospital, added “As a local company we take great pride in helping the community and see this as a great opportunity to give something back to the town as a token of our thanks for their support. It will not only improve Somerset immediately but also boost match day catering revenue in the long term. The design has been a unique challenge but as we manufacture all of the units in our own purpose built 50,000 square foot factory, anything is possible! We’re not just going to work on the snack bar itself, we’re going to renovate and rebrand the surrounding area so hopefully the ‘Digital Kitchens Factory Outlet Snack Bar’ will help Somerset Boab sell plenty more of his famous pie’s!”

“We would like to wish Ayr the best of luck for the rest of the season and thank Graeme for his work.”

The Ayr United Football Academy are also going to be running a beat the goalie stand at the Digital Kitchens Family Fun Day in aid of Cash For Kids this coming Saturday so those of you unable to attend the game at Stenhousemuir are more than welcome to attend. Pandamonium may even make an appearance! dig fun day

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to like Digital Kitchens Factory Outlet on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Digital-Kitchens-Factory-Outlet/347174875304981