Stranraer Match Preview & Travel Info

Ayr United make the 51 mile trip down to the A77 on Saturday to face Stranraer. Mark Robert’s side have the division’s best record on the road, with 10 points from 5 games but will need to improve on a run of form that has seen the Honest Men lose four of their last five league matches

On form Stranraer’s only defeat in their last 10 games came on penalties against Livingston in the Challenge Cup. The Blues progressed to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday with a 1-0 win at Peterhead. A 5-0 win over the same opponents five day previously propelled Stephen Aitken’s side into fourth spot, one point ahead of Ayr.

 

Marko says: ‘Its always a difficult game going down to Stranraer and even more so this time with the run of form they are in however we are very confident as we take down there the leagues best away record. Peterhead was our only loss away from home so we know that despite a few injuries we are taking a lot of quality there with us.’

 

Team news: Martyn Campbell, Kevin McKinlay, Robbie Crawford and Mikey Donald are all out for Saturdays match. Brian Gilmour and Craig Beattie are doubtful.

 

Head-to-Head (at Stair Park): Ayr United wins – 21 Draws – 4 Stranraer wins – 14

 

Stranraer need three more goals to reach the landmark of 100 against Ayr United. The Honest Men have netted 171 times in return.

 

Last Meeting: The sides last at Somerset Park 56 days ago when Stranraer recorded a 2-0 win with second-half goals from Grant Gallagher and Jamie Longworth. United were defeated 4-0 on their last trip to Stair Park in January.

 

Stats:

  • Stranraer striker Jamie Longworth is the leading goalscorer in League 1 with 7 goals. In all competitions the 27 year old has netted 9 times, 8 of which have come in his last 9 games.
  • Seven of Stranraer’s last nine games have been away from home. Their only home game since the 27th September was a 5-0 win over Peterhead, over a month later.

 

On this day: Ayr’s last match on 8th November was also against Stranraer. The match at Somerset Park ended 3-2 to United, with David Gormley, Bryan Prunty and Willie Easton on the scoresheet. The Honest Men’s biggest win on this date came in 1958 when Dundee United were defeated 6-2.

 

Match Officials: Referee: Colin Steven

Assistant Referee 1: Graham McNeillie Assistant Referee 2: Colin McAlpine

 

Match Info:

Adults – £13

Concessions – £7

Under 16s – £5

TRAVEL INFORMATION

AT the moment the A77 is closed and all traffic is being diverted through the A713 to Castle Douglas which is adding 45 minutes to an hour onto journeys. The road may be opened by Saturday morning however we advise to keep an eye on http://trafficscotland.org/ for updates. map

 

 

The River Cottage Ayr United Travel Club are running a bus leaving at 11.45am and costing £10. Contact Jamie on 07792747354 or Tam on 07585328685 to book or for further details

 

 

Scottish Cup 4th round draw

Ayr United or Alloa Athletic have been drawn at home to Hibernian in the 4th round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. Ties will be played on the weekend of the 29th/30th of November.

Ayr United 1 Alloa 1

Scottish Cup 3rd Round

Ayr United 1 v 1 Alloa Athletic

Arriving at Somerset Park these days, one could be forgiven for imagining the sound of incoming helicopters accompanied by the theme tune to M*A*S*H, or that the cast of Casualty had just rushed in through the main entrance as you approached. A morning of reading the national papers sports sections seems only to have given false hope; ‘only one man out’ they said ‘only one man out’. Reality strikes at the pre-match front door briefing as a simple request for details is responded to by what seems to be a never-ending list of names either out for the match or playing through injury. Out: Mikey Donald, Kevin McKinlay, Peter McGill, Robbie Crawford and gaffer Mark Roberts. Carrying injuries or niggles: Nicky Devlin, Peter Murphy, Alan Forrest, Brian Gilmour, and Craig Beattie.

Even the weather seemed to suggest impending doom as beautiful sunshine was replaced by a darkening sky as the clock ticked towards kick-off. But this was a cup tie and the 16 listed men were determined not to let their Championship opponents to come out on top.

Ayr took control early on with Gilmour, McLaughlin and McGovern dominating midfield and a positive United side utilising a quick passing and incisive style of play. In the opening minutes, Brian Gilmour slipped the ball to Nicky Devlin who sent a curling ball to the edge of the penalty area. Paul Slane’s attempted flick to reach Gilmour was blocked but came back to him and, although surrounded by four Alloa defenders, he managed to find JP McGovern whose shot from the edge of the box went narrowly wide.

More was to come as Ayr continued to push forward. JP McGovern found himself in acres of space on the right-hand side and took his time to place a beautifully flighted ball into the Alloa penalty box where Martyn Campbell rose to connect but unfortunately put the ball just over the bar.

In 23 minutes good work between Nicky Devlin and Scott McLaughlin created space in the last third and Ayr were unfortunate as McLaughlin’s shot went wide. McLaughlin’s continued intent was shown just four minutes later, when he picked up the ball just inside the Alloa half and spotted that keeper McDowall was off his line. His right-footed shot seemed destined for the top corner but the keeper scrambled back to save.

Alloa’s first real attempt on goal took 27 minutes to materialise. From a free kick some 25 yards out the ball was flicked sideways to midfielder Stephen Simmons who saw his shot deflected by the Ayr wall to the feet of former United striker Liam Buchanan. Buchanan showed some tricky feet and good close control but his efforts only resulted in a corner. Maybe this should have concerned United, but they were in so much control no one would have believed that misfiring Alloa would be the team to go ahead. But they did.

Just on 30 minutes, Alloa’s right back Michael Doyle picked up the ball just inside Ayr United half. He slipped the ball inside to Graeme Holmes who dragged it back and created space as United’s Gilmour slid past him. Holmes then played an inch perfect diagonal pass through and behind Ayr’s back four to the feet of the onrushing Buchannan who had darted into the penalty area. Although Ayr claimed for offside, Buchanan’s finish, from the narrowest of angles, was sublime, slamming the ball between goalkeeper Hutton and his nearside post into the top of the net.

As if going behind completely against the run of play was not bad enough, in 32 minutes Martyn Campbell pulled up sharply and signalled to the bench that he couldn’t carry on. Yet again Ayr’s injury jinx had struck and Campbell’s hamstring injury could see him out for a number of matches. Dale Shirkie came on for the big defender but moved into midfield, with Scott McLaughlin making his regular journey into the centre of defence.

If anyone thought that this double whammy would weaken Ayr’s resolve they’d have been so wrong. Ayr were determined to get back on level terms. In 33 minutes Dale Shirkie made space in the box and rose to reach a deft flick from JP McGovern but his header was saved.

Ayr didn’t have to wait long. In 34 minutes Brian Gilmour floated in a long high curling free-kick into the Alloa area, which central defender Ben Gordon could only knock behind his own goals. From the resultant corner kick JP McGovern’s low flighted ball was met on the 6 yard line by Ryan Donnelly who twisted his head hard to the right to turn the ball into the back of the net.

Ayr kept pressing and in the 38th minute Nicky Devlin charged down the right-hand flank leaving defenders in his wake before putting in a fast paced cross towards the front post. The Alloa defence failed to clear this effectively and the ball looped high into the air. Without letting the ball bounce, and with his back towards goal, Peter Murphy attempted an audacious overhead kick which flew across to the far post before going narrowly wide.

There followed a period of chances at either end with Ayr’s Forrest powerful strike being saved by McDowall; Alloa’s Buchannan putting the ball wide from a position almost identical to the one from which he had previously scored; and in 42 minutes a mix-up in the Ayr defence saw Peter Murphy almost knocking the ball into his own net before hooking it clear from the line.

As half-time arrived it appeared as if the gods had decided they had some left over weather from the previous night’s Halloween. The sky darkened even further, the wind rose and swirled, and the rain poured down. As the conditions changed it became obvious that all the players would find the second half a bit trickier.

Ayr started the second half with the same drive that they had shown in the first, while the half-time talk seemed to have concentrated the Alloa players on the task they had at hand.
In 52 minutes another excellent McGovern cross from the right landed right at the feet of Ayr’s Paul Slane, but his shot was well saved by keeper McDowall.

In the 55th minute Alloa were forced into a substitution, with David Weatherston coming on for midfielder Ryan McCord who appeared to have injured his back.

The game was becoming more and more competitive but Ayr still appeared to have the upper hand and were creating the majority of chances. In the 62nd minute Ayr as pushed down the left-hand side, Brian Gilmour spotted the opportunity to switch play. He found McGovern in the centre of midfield and he in turn set Nicky Devlin free on the right-hand side. Devlin charged forwards, beating Docherty for pace, reaching the goal line before slamming the ball across the six yard box. Alloa only managed to partially clear and the ball landed at the feet of the tireless JP McGovern some 25 yards out. As the Alloa defence tried to move out McGovern lifted the ball in over their heads allowing Ryan Donnelly to run in unmarked but his header was acrobatically saved by keeper McDowall.

In 67 minutes came the only booking of the game, and when it did come it was to a surprising recipient. In a game where numerous players had been warned repeatedly, and where full-time statistics show 9 fouls committed by Ayr and 14 by Alloa, it was Ayr United’s young left back Andrew Muir who ended up in the book. Muir certainly put in a tough tackle, but in the context of the match, no different to those which had previously resulted only in warnings.

Ayr decided to change things around a bit as they went all out for victory. On 70 minutes tiring young winger Alan Forrest made way for experienced striker Craig Beattie as Ayr tried to put more pressure on the Alloa back four.

In the 78th minute Liam Buchannan lifted a hopeful ball into the Ayr United penalty area which was comfortably nodded out by Scott McLaughlin: but the danger was not over. As Dale Shirkie rushed to recover the ball, Alloa’s Graeme Holmes reached the ball first and from some 25 yards out blasted it just over the bar.

After 80 minutes Ayr replaced Ryan Donnelly with Sean McKenzie and Alloa, Mark Docherty with Edward Ferns. Alloa also appeared to make a tactical change pushing extra players forward in an attempt to steal the game from United. On 82st minutes a moment of sublime skill from Alloa’s Stephen Simmons almost did just that. Capitalising on a poor United pass near the halfway line, Simmons strolled forward, noticed the keeper off his line, and lobbed the ball goalwards. Hutton could only grasp at thin air as the ball passed over but he breathed a sigh of relief as it rattled off the crossbar and was finally cleared.

Both teams huffed and puffed for the last 8 minutes but never really looked like scoring. As the full-time whistle sounded the Alloa player. seemed relieved not to be out of the tournament, while Ayr were left wondering why they had not won this match comfortably. All in all it was a much better display from Ayr this week, especially considering the pre-match injury concerns.

Ayr United
1 Hutton, 2 Devlin, 3 Muir, 4 Campbell, 5 Murphy, 6 Gilmour, 7 Forrest, 8 McLaughlin, 9 Donnelly, 10 McGovern, 11 Slane
Substitutes
12 McKenzie, 14 McArthur, 15 Beattie, 16 Shirkie, 19 Newman (GK)

Alloa Athletic
21 McDowall, 2 Doyle, 3 Benedictus, 4 Gordon, 5 Meggatt, 6 Simmons, 7 Cawley, 8 McCord, 9 Buchanan, 10 Holmes,
11 Docherty
Substitutes
12 Marr, 14 Ferns, 15 Weatherston, 16 Asghar, 17 Hetherington, 18 Tiffoney, 31 Couser (GK)

Ref: Don Robertson
Asst. Ref. 1: Joseph Lawson
Asst. Ref. 2: Colin McDonald

Attendance: 784

Report: AUmedia

Club Shop New Stock

More new stock has been arriving in the club shop during the week. A full range of kids and adult bath robes in pink or black are now available in all sizes priced £26.99 and £34.99 respectively.gown

Also new this week are Ayr United notepads at £3.99 and three new styles of beanie hats.

The shop is open from 10am prior to our Scottish Cup tie against Alloa Athletic and during the week 12pm – 4pm.

Scottish FA Youth Cup

Ayr have been drawn at home to Cowdenbeath in round 3 of the Scottish FA Youth Cup. The game will be played at Somerset Park on Sunday 2nd November, kick-off 1.00pm.

Entry is free however there will be a bucket for donations at the main door.

Match Preview v Alloa

On Saturday, the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup kicks off with Alloa Athletic the visitors to Somerset Park. United will be looking to bounce back from four consecutive home defeats by booking their place in the next round.

Standing in their way are Alloa, who climbed off the foot of the Championship table last weekend with a 1-1 draw at Raith Rovers. The point ended a run of four consecutive league defeats for Barry Smith’s side. The Wasps have already tasted success against League 1 opposition this season, knocking Stirling Albion and Morton out of the Challenge Cup on their way to the semi-finals.
Read on for our match preview:

Marko says: “Last Saturdays performance was unacceptable. Too many players had an off day. Against Morton we were excellent and we need to get back to that level of performance. I always loved playing in the Scottish Cup, its a great competition and with some decent draws you are only a few games away from a major semi final. Alloa are playing at a level above us and are facing quality sides every week in the Championship so we know how difficult its going to be. Our job will be to make it as uncomfortable for them as possible and create a real Scottish Cup tie. Form goes out the window in these games and we will put in a much improved performance from last week.”

Team news: Mikey Donald is out with shoulder damage however the rest of the squad are available.

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 33
Draws – 8
Alloa Athletic wins – 12

The Honest Men and the Wasps have met three times in the Scottish Cup, with all three games at Recreation Park. Alloa were 2-1 winners in 1939 and again 1982 but United recorded a 3-0 win in 1998 thanks to an Ian Ferguson hat-trick.
Last Meeting: The sides last met in April 2013 at Somerset Park where Alloa recorded a 2-0 win.
Stats:
– United are on their longest losing streak at home since 2010 when they suffered six consecutive defeats at Somerset Park (five at the end of season 2009/10 and one at the start of season 2010/11);
– 1st November is the earliest date at which Ayr United have entered the Scottish Cup since 1954/55. That season United faced Cowdenbeath in the fourth round of the competition on 23rd October 1954, eventually winning through after two replays;
– In the last 17 seasons, Ayr have negotiated past their first Scottish Cup tie on 15 occasions.
On this day: Ayr United have played 13 times on 1st November, winning seven times most recently versus Arbroath in 2008. Goals from Martyn Campbell, Willie Easton and Bryan Prunty in the first 22 minutes earned the Honest Men a 3-0 win at Gayfield.

Match Officials:
Referee: Don Robertson
Assistant Referee 1: Joseph Lawson
Assistant Referee 2: Colin McDonald

Match Info:
Adults – £15
Concessions (OAPS, Students & u16s) – £8
Parent & Child – £18 via Gate 13
Season tickets are not valid for this game.

Viewing Box Tickets

For Saturdays match against Alloa and for any further matches this season where availability allows we will be giving an option to watch the match from one of our hospitality boxes in the Ally MacLeod suite.

With season tickets not being valid for Saturdays match all tickets will cost £20 and they must be bought and picked up from the club shop prior to the match. The club shop is open from 12-4 during the week and from 10am on the day of a home game.

Buying a ticket for a viewing box will give you full access to the hospitality suite from 12-6pm where a wide range of meals are available and you will also have access to the bar. A perfect way to watch the game as the days get colder!

Ayr United 0 Brechin City 2

Ayr United 0 v 2 Brechin City

Ayr looked to build on their confidence boosting away win over Morton last week in Saturday’s league fixture at home to Brechin City, who were attempting to halt a run of poor form that has seen them drop to seventh in the league. As Ayr strode on to the Somerset turf this feeling was further enhanced by the availability of their regular defensive line up.

However this confidence was shattered after only 8mins when a neat turn in the penalty box saw Brechin’s Robert Thomson elude the Ayr defence to find himself clean through on goal. As Ayr keeper David Hutton attempted to narrow the angle Thomson showed great composure to coolly lob an angled shot past the stranded keeper to put Brechin one up.

Ayr attempted to recompose themselves after the shock of losing an early goal but the blustery conditions and slick playing surface seemed to hinder their attempts as they found it difficult to gain a foothold in the game.

Ayr continued to press but for all their possession they struggled to create any clear cut chances as Brechin appeared happy to hold on to the single goal lead and counter attack when the opportunity arose, mainly due at this stage to some slack Ayr play, and committing bodies forward when these opportunities presented themselves.

In the 26th minute one such opportunity was quickly seized upon by Brechin’s Andy Jackson. He picked up a loose pass just inside the Ayr half and drove towards the heart of the Ayr defence. The Ayr rearguard backed off allowing Jackson to gain ground and as he bore down on the Ayr penalty box he waited until the overstretched United defence attempted to engage him before slipping a neat pass to his left into the path of Kyle McAusland. The former Ayr player settled himself before sending a curling right foot shot high towards the Ayr goal from about 15 yards. Ayr keeper Hutton flung himself to his left and although he managed to get a hand to the ball it wasn’t enough to prevent McAusland’s delightfully executed shot from nestling in the back of the Ayr net to make it 2-0 to Brechin.

A couple of minutes later Brechin’s Thomson, who was a constant thorn in Ayr’s side, was booked for throwing the ball away as Brechin continued to frustrate Ayr.

By the half hour mark Brechin had grown in confidence and were a constant threat to Ayr on the break. In 33mins Kyle McAusland should have done better after a great run from him ended with a cut back that was stopped by Ayr keeper Hutton with Andy Jackson unmarked at the back post and waiting to receive a pass from McAusland which would have left him with an easy tap in.

As Ayr’s frustration continued referee Stephen Finnie decided that challenges from Martin Campbell in 35 min and then Peter Murphy in 37mins were both worthy of yellow cards and booked the Ayr central defensive partners in quick succession.

At the start of the second half in the 49th minute Mark Roberts decided to withdraw Ryan Donnelly and replace him with Dale Shirkie in an attempt to get back in to the game.

A minute later a mistake by Kevin McKinlay almost allowed Brechin in to score their third goal but fortunately, after some last gasp defending, Ayr managed to scramble the ball away to safety.

In the 53rd minute there were concerns for Ayr’s Mikey Donald who had to be stretchered off after landing awkwardly with an apparent injury to his arm, and was replaced by Brian Gilmour, who almost made an immediate impact shooting just wide after a goal mouth scramble.

Ayr again went close in the 65th min when Allan Forrest got free in the box but his header was straight at Brechin keeper Smith who easily saved but it wouldn’t have counted as the stand side assistant referee had already flagged for offside.

Brian Gilmour was booked for a foul on Brechin’s Bobby Barr in 71mins as City continued to threaten on the counter attack.

Ayr then had to adjust the defence with Nicky Devlin moving to left back, as Kevin McKinlay was replaced through injury by youngster Andrew Muir, who slotted in to the right back position vacated by Devlin with a quarter of an hour left to play.

Ayr almost got themselves back in the game after good build up play involving McGovern and Shirkie ended with a Scott McLaughlin volley superbly saved by Brechin keeper Graeme Smith as he dived to his right to stop the goal bound effort.

Brechin should have put the game beyond doubt a few minutes later as Jamie Masson contrived to miss an open goal from just 6 yards out after good work by Barr but he somehow managed to crash his shot off the bar when it looked easier to score.

In the end it didn’t matter as Brechin City ended their recent poor run of form with a 2-0 victory and left United without a home win in their last 4 league games at Somerset.

Attendance – 1,060

Ayr United
Hutton; Devlin; McKinlay; Murphy; Campbell; Beattie; Forrest; McLaughlin; Donnelly; McGovern; Donald
Subs
Newman; Crawford: Shirkie; Muir; McKenzie; Gilmour; McGill

Brechin City
Smith; McNeil; Hamilton; McCormack; McLauchlan; Fusco; Barr; McAusland; Jackson; Masson; Thomson
Subs
Tough; Ferguson; Trialist; McCormack; Cameron; O’Neil

Report: AUmedia

Club Shop Super Saturday!

The club shop have six sensational deals in place for this Saturday`s crunch match against Brechin City.

For the ladies we have a FREE Ayr United FC charm bracelet worth £49.99 with every Bengal parka jacket (£59.99) purchased also get a FREE ladies retro bag with every bespoke pink sweatshirt (£39.99) purchased.SHOP31

To balance things up we have a FREE pair of slippers when you purchase an official Ayr United club tie and cufflink set (£21.99) or buy any hoody from our essentials range and we will throw in a FREE essentials sweatshirt worth £19.99.

Ayr United garden gnomes are reduced to 2 for £20 a saving £12 on regular prices.
Finally, for the younger supporters you can save £10 on youth tracksuits reduced for 1 day only to £24.99.

All offers are for 1 day only – Saturday 25th October 2014 – and are while stocks last. No further discount can be applied to offers or sale stock.

The club shop here at Somerset Park is open 12-4 Monday to Friday and from 10am on Saturday 25th October (closed during the match)

Tel: 01292 263435 Ext 5
email: shop@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

Match Preview v Brechin

Ayr United welcome Brechin City to Somerset Park on Saturday looking to build on a fine win against Morton last weekend – and turn around a run of three consecutive defeats at home.

Ray McKinnon’s side dropped to seventh in the table last weekend after falling to a 1-2 defeat at home to Stranraer. The loss was their fourth in five games, a run which has seen them concede 14 goals.

Read on for our match preview:

Marko says: “Winning at Cappielow last week has given the boys a lot of confidence and we are all looking forward to Saturday and turning round our recent poor home results. Brechin will provide a tough test but we know if the attitude and tempo are right we can win the match. We know if we are going to challenge at the top of the league we need to start winning our home games and everyone is focused on doing that starting on Saturday.”

Team news: Everyone in the squad is fit and available.

Head-to-Head :
Ayr United wins – 47
Draws – 15
Brechin City wins – 31

United have won just one of the last eight meetings between the sides.

Last Meeting: Ayr and Brechin last met just 35 days ago. The Honest Men won 4-2 at Glebe Park with all six goals coming in the second-half. The Hedgemen’s last trip to Somerset Park was in January when they recorded a 3-1 win. A Kyle McAusland own goal put City 2-0 up after 33 minutes, McAusland is now on loan with the Angus club.

Stats:
– Brechin City defender Gerry McLauchlan has five career goals to his name – four of them against Ayr United.
– City have lost all six league games this season in which they haven’t been leading at half-time.
– United’s away form is the best in the division – but six teams have picked up more points at home than the Honest Men.

On this day: It is three years to the day that a Chris Smith header earned the Honest Men a 1-0 win at Premier League St. Mirren and a place in the League Cup semi-final. Overall, United have a 50% win ratio on 25th October.

Match Officials:
Referee: Stephen Finnie
Assistant Referee 1: John McCrossan
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Ainslie

Match Info:
Adults – £15
Concessions (OAPS, Students & u16s) – £8
Parent & Child – £18 via Gate 13