Ayr 2 Brechin 2

Both teams knew beforehand that points from Saturday’s league game would be important in their respective relegation and promotion battles but they were also aware results elsewhere would have a significant bearing on their league position come the end of the day.

It was a subdued opening to the game from both sides as the teams struggled to cope with the windy conditions but with the wind at their backs United had the bulk of possession and pressure early on.

United dominated the early play and created a number of half chances going close through Beattie, Gilmour and Crawford but Graeme Smith in the Brechin goal looked comfortable and wasn’t troubled by these initial chances.

Brechin rarely threatened the Ayr goal in the first half but in the 36th minute they managed to get in behind the United defence and after a goal mouth scramble Andy Jackson managed to bundle the ball over the line from close range. There was some confusion as to whether or not the ball had actually crossed the line but referee Andrew Dallas, after a moments hesitation, pointed to the centre spot and the goal was given.

Ayr should have equalised through a Robbie Crawford drive in 42 mins but his shot from 15 yards was well saved by Graeme Smith and just before half-time Craig Beattie then contrived to miss an open goal from 8 yards out, when his studs appeared to catch on the Somerset turf, with the goal gaping.

Ayr made changes at half-time replacing David Robertson and Craig Murray with Adam Blakeman and Martin Campbell. These changes had an immediate impact in 49 mins when Brian Gilmour latched on to a cross to head home and level the scoring at 1-1.

Ayr finally got their noses in front after a sustained spell of pressure saw Nicky Devlin upended in the penalty area and McGovern coolly converted to give Ayr a 2-1 lead.

This goal gave Ayr fresh impetus and Gilmour should have added to his tally when Mikey Donald found him in space on the edge of the Brechin penalty area only to be thwarted by a tremendous Graeme Smith save. Sub Adam Blakeman also went close for Ayr forcing Smith into another fine save off his shot from the edge of the box.

Brechin made a double substitution on the hour as United threatened to over run them as Tapping and Durojaiye were introduced but the game was almost put beyond Brechin in 74 mins when Adam Blakeman’s shot from 18 yards crashed back off the bar.

However United’s recent inability to kill games off came back to haunt them in 75 mins when a Paul McLean inswinging cross was missed by everyone before skipping off the greasy Somerset turf and coming to rest in the back of the home teams net to level the score at 2-2.

The game had one more twist in the tale in 81 mins after Brechin’s Calum Tapping received his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards in the space of 35 secs.

However even with the extra man advantage United couldn’t find that elusive winner and the game ended all square at 2-2.

Attendance – 986

Ayr United – Hutton; Devlin; Robertson; Murphy; Murray Crawford; McGovern; Gilmour; Donald; Preston; Beattie Subs – Forrest Neil; Blakeman; Campbell; Muir; Nisbet; Newman
Brechin City – Smith; McNeil; McCormack; McLauchlan; Mclean; Ferguson; Fusco; Molloy; Masson; Jackson; Thompson Subs – Tapping; Durojaiye; Jackson; Tough; O’Neil

Brechin Match Preview

On Saturday, Ayr United will look to banish the heartache of Greenock Morton’s late smash-and-grab when they host Brechin City at Somerset Park. United remain a point behind Stenhousemuir after a late Colin McMenamin penalty miss saw the Warriors fall to Dunfermline at Ochilview last weekend. Stenny travel to Airdrie tomorrow.

 

Brechin City are clinging on to the final promotion play-off position, four points ahead of Dunfermline and Peterhead. League leaders Stranraer hold a seven point advantage, with Morton and Forfar a point behind the Blues. Brechin came back from two goals down against Peterhead on Tuesday night to earn an important point, with Bobby Barr netting a last minute penalty.

 

Read on for our match preview:

 

Ian says: “Its been a tough few weeks with good performances not giving us the return we feel they have deserved. However that’s football and we just need to start winning games however it happens. The positive is that we are playing well and creating chances and we have players enjoying their football right now. We have a good team spirit and they cant wait to get on the pitch again to get some points on the board. The way we are playing we don’t fear anyone and are looking forward to games. Brechin were on a fantastic run recently so we know they are a good side and what strengths they have however at Somerset Park we will be looking to win the game.”

 

Team news: Scott McKenna is on duty with the Scotland under 19s so he will miss the game. Craig Beattie is currently 50/50 for the match and everyone else is available.

 

Form: Ayr slumped to their fifth game without a win on Saturday. Brechin City are also without a win in five, having previous gone 17 league games without defeat. The Hedgemen have won five of their last seven on the road.

 

Head-to-Head (League): Ayr United wins – 47 Draws – 15 Brechin City wins – 33

 

Brechin are unbeaten in their last four visits to Somerset Park. Boss Ray McKinnon’s only taste of defeat as a manager at Ayr came when he was in charge of Lochee United.

 

Last Meeting: Brechin were the opponents for Ian McCall’s first game in charge on January 10th. Alan Forrest scored a late consolation in a 2-1 defeat at Glebe Park, with Paul McLean and Robert Thomson scoring either side of half-time for the home side. City were 2-0 winner on their last trip to Somerset Park, in October.

 

On this day: in 1953 Ayr United beat Forfar Athletic 8-1 at Somerset Park. Andy Torrance, featuring as a trialist, scored five goals on what was his only appearance for the club.

 

Match Officials: Referee – Andrew Dallas

Assistant Referee 1 – David McGeachie

Assistant Referee 2 – Liam Butler

 

Match Info:

Adults £15

Concessions £8

Parent and child £18

 

Martyn Campbell Testimonial

We are delighted to be able to announce the first programme on the list of events to celebrate Martyn’s 10 years with Ayr United.

The event will be a ‘Sunday Funday’ at the hospitality suite at Somerset Park on Sunday 19th April. The event will run from 1-4pm and Somerset Boab will be playing his vast array of tunes throughout.

Martyn will be there along with a selection of players and management who will all be available for autographs and photos.

Tickets are £5 for everyone and this will include a buffet and also an Ayr United goody bag for kids. There will be an auction for for Ayr United merchandise including a fully signed strip and ball. Tickets will be available in the club shop from Saturday.

Further events will be announced in due course and will include a testimonial match during pre season.

Half Price Sale!

FINAL CLUB SHOP DEAL OF THE SEASON

EVERYTHING 1/2 PRICE

 

Don`t miss out on our final club shop deal for this season.

Beginning at 12pm on Thursday 26th March and running till 5pm on match day Saturday 28th March we have knocked down our huge range of Ayr United products to 1/2 PRICE.

There is something for every Ayr United supporter in stock and now is the time to buy. This will be the last deal of season 2014/15 season so be sure to stock up with embroidered scarves now £4.99, Jacquard scarves £3.99, bronx hats from £3.99, 5 x 3 badged flags £4.99 and much much more!!

 

The 1/2 price sale is available on in store purchases only.

 

*while stocks last

**no further discount applies

Morton 2 Ayr United 1

Both teams had plenty to play for in this league 1 fixture with home side Morton looking to stay in contention for the league title as Ayr looked to avoid a relegation play-off place.

 

United were without Adam Blakeman who was serving the second of his two game suspension along with Alan Forrest who was suffering from a re-occurrence of tonsillitis.

 

After a subdued opening from both sides it was Ayr who threatened first with Brian Gilmour creating a couple of half chances for Robbie Crawford and Jordan Preston.

 

Jamie McCluskey went close for Morton after 7 mins with a shot from distance and then followed this up with a cross come shot 3 mins later that was missed by everyone and nearly sneaked in at the far post.

 

Robbie Crawford should have done better with a header in 17 mins from a terrific cross from Mikey Donald but he could only manage to loop his header over the bar from 12 yards out.

 

Lee Kilday almost opened the scoring for Morton in 25 mins after David Hutton was put under pressure with a short pass back. His clearance from close range cannoning off the onrushing full back and going just wide of the far post.

 

Brian Gilmour then went close with a free kick in 31 mins before Morton started to take control of the game pressing Ayr back in to their own penalty area. However a combination of good defending and poor finishing saw the teams go in all square at the break.

 

The second half started with Ayr changing formation and reverting to a back four. And in the 52nd min that change won Ayr a free kick on the edge of the Morton penalty box. Up stepped captain John Paul McGovern who struck a superbly executed free kick into the keepers  top right hand corner of the goal to give Ayr a surprise 1-0 lead.

 

The home fans began to vent their frustration at their side’s inability to capitalise on some decent spells of possession with Ayr growing in confidence as the game progressed. Mikey Donald then threatened for Ayr again with a stinging shot from 25 yards that keeper Gaston did well to hold.

 

Robbie Crawford should have put Ayr in a more comfortable position when through on goal in 67 mins but his low shot was superbly saved by the left hand of Derek Gaston in the Morton goal. Jordan Preston followed up this bad miss with a good chance of his own but as he burst through the Morton defence with only the keeper to beat he failed to control the ball as he ran in on goal and the chance was lost.

 

The game started to open up as legs tired in the final 15 mins but no one was expecting the ending to this game that occurred as Ayr hung on to a precious 3 points.

 

As Morton chased the equaliser and the pressure built on the Ayr defence the United rearguard finally buckled under the sustained attacks by the Greenock side. In the 90th minute United failed to clear a cross into the box and from the resultant scramble Declan McManus levelled the score heading home from close range.

 

United were reeling from the shock of this late equaliser but worse was to come as Morton came back at Ayr after the restart.

 

With 92 mins on the clock Morton regained possession from kick off and worked the ball out to the right hand side. Ross Forbes collected the ball in space before cutting in from the wing to strike a low drive past the exposed David Hutton to score a dramatic late winner for the home side.

 

This result saw Morton maintain their title challenge, but leave Ayr devastated at losing the game so late in the day.

 

Attendance – 1552

 

Ayr United – Hutton; Devlin; Donald; Murphy; McKenna; McGovern; Murray; Crawford; Preston; Gilmour; Robertson

Subs – Newman; Nisbet; Neill; Muir; Campbell

 

Morton – Gaston; Kilday; Russell; O’Ware; Lamie; Miller; McCluskey; Forbes; MacDonald; McManus; Caldwell

Subs – Adam; Crighton; McCluskey; Scullion; Ferris; Milojevic

 

Report – AUMedia

Morton Match Preview & Info

On Saturday, Ayr travel to Greenock to for a vital match at both ends of the table. United remain in the relegation play-off position with seven games to go after drawing 0-0 with Stenhousemuir last weekend. The Warriors host Dunfermline at Ochilview.

Title-chasing Morton lost top spot on Tuesday night when Stranraer won their game in hand at Stirling Albion. Jim Duffy’s men went top at the start of March with a 4-0 home win over Albion but have lost back-to-back games since. Ton haven’t lost three leagues games in a row this season.

Read on for our match preview:

Ian says: “Morton are a big team in this league, they are where we should be. Our performances at home in the last two games against Airdrie and particularly against Stenhousemuir were excellent however with 7 games left its not about performances now. On Saturday at Cappielow we want to have the same level of performance, play the same way, hopefully get that wee bit of luck that weve been missing and most importantly be more clinical with our finishing. I know we will have the backing of our fans and we’ll be doing everything to get them a result.”

 

Team news: Adam Blakeman is serving the second of a two match suspension and Alan Forrest is almost certainly out.

Form: United have taken two points from their last four games and lost their last two on the road. Morton have lost their last two matches, at home to Forfar Athletic and away to Airdrieonians. They were previously unbeaten in eight games.

 Head-to-Head (League): Ayr United wins – 59 Draws – 31 Greenock Morton wins – 46

United are 2 short of 200 goals against the ‘Ton in the league. The Honest Men went over 10 years without defeat at Cappielow between November 1993 and March 2005 (11 games) but the 1-0 win earlier this season ended a run of five consecutive defeats in Greenock.

Last Meeting: Morgyn Neil opened the scoring when the sides met at Somerset Park in mid-January but Peter MacDonald equalised 10 minutes later. Ayr’s last trip to Cappielow saw United win 1-0 courtesy of a Scott McLaughlin strike.

On this day: in 1973 the Honest Men defeated Heart of Midlothian 2-0 at Somerset Park. United are unbeaten in 80% of their matches played on this date.

Match Officials: Referee – George Salmond

Assistant Referee 1 – Ivan Stankovic

Assistant Referee 2 – Chris Gentles

 

Match Info:

Adults £15

Concessions £10

Parent & Child £15

Under 16’s £3

 Children under 12 will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.

 Concession prices are available to supporters over 65 years old, students in full time education and those who are registered as unemployed. Proof of entitlement must be shown at the turnstile when requested otherwise the full adult price will be due.

 Ayr United supporters will be accommodated within the Main Stand and should enter the ground at the turnstiles on East Hamilton Street.

 Wheelchair spaces cost £10 which includes admission for a carer or assistant if required. Places are limited, however they can be booked in advance by contacting us on 01475 723571 or by email to admin@gmfc.net.

 Car parking is available across from the ground at a cost of £3 per car, and there is limited on-road parking behind the stadium. The nearest train station to Cappielow is Cartsdyke, which is 5 minutes walk from the ground.

 With regards to parking, cars are still being parked in a manner which has left the access and exit points for the James Watt Dock Marina blocked despite previous appeals to supporters. As well as the inconvenience caused to Marina clients, this would obviously cause major problems should the emergency services be required to attend the site. 

 The Marina therefore will be introducing a charge for anyone who still chooses to park there – this will at least mean that parking can be monitored and that their site can operate safely. Stewards will be in attendance from 21st March and a charge of £5 per car will be payable. 

 Wherever you park, however, please park with consideration and don’t obstruct the access and exits for neighbouring businesses, homes or other parked vehicles.

 

Easter Egg appeal Update

Thank you to everyone who brought an easter egg along to Saturdays game. As you can see we have received plenty of them.

We are going to keep this going all week so if you would still like to donate an easter egg to the Cash for Kids appeal then please bring one to Somerset Park anytime up to 4pm on Friday 20th March. You can hand them in at the front door, club shop or the main office.

Once we have all our eggs collected Pandamonium will be delivering them to Westsound.

Ayr 0 Stenhousemuir 0

Both teams came in to this game knowing a victory for either side today wouldn’t decide who would end up in the final relegation play off place, but it would go a long way in telling us which team had the bottle to handle the remaining 7 league fixtures of this season.

In the end it was United who were left scratching their heads in wonder, as they tried to figure out how they were unable to convert one of their numerous chances, after dominating the bulk of possession in a game they really should have won.

Ayr took the game to Stenny straight from kick off forcing a number of corners early on which also saw Robbie Crawford go close with an effort from long range.

United dominated the opening period pushing the away team back towards their own penalty area at the Railway End creating further chances for Crawford and Beattie. In fact Craig Beattie almost opened the scoring in 18 mins when his turn and shot crashed off the Stenhousemuir crossbar from just 12 yards out.

In 24 mins Greig Fleming, the Stenny keeper, then made a great one handed save diving full length to his right to turn away a powerful McGovern shot from 20 yards out.

In a rare attack Stenhousemuir shocked Ayr in 33 mins when Colin McMenamin prodded home from close range but he was adjudged to be offside much to Ayr’s relief.

Ayr continued to dominate the first half but were unable to break the deadlock and went in all square at the interval.

It was much of the same as the game resumed in the second half as United continued to dominate but they lacked incisiveness with their final ball.

Again Stenhousemuir were rarely troubling Ayr’s defence and Meechan popped up to clear off the line, as a miss-hit Jordan Preston shot looped over the stranded keeper Fleming, as it headed towards the Warriors goal in 62 mins.

Two minutes later Fleming denied Ayr turning a Robbie Crawford shot, from the edge of the box, against the post with a strong right handed save.

Stenny then gave Ayr a reminder of how quickly things could turn sour. In a rare counter attack down the right hand side a deep cross was delivered into Ayr’s penalty box with McMenamin turning the ball in to the Ayr net. This time however he had blatantly used a hand and referee McKendrick correctly disallowed the goal and promptly booked McMenamin.

Just before Craig Beattie was replaced by Alan Forrest he had one last chance to score when through on goal but his tantalising lob just crept the wrong side of the Stenny upright in the 74th minute.

As Ayr went in search of the winner Robbie Crawford burst into the Stenny penalty area. His cut back was partially cleared and the loose ball fell tantalising in to the path of Alan Forrest. The Warriors keeper Fleming at this point was left stranded on the deck and it looked as though United were about to get the goal their play deserved. Unfortunately for Ayr Forrest’s powerfully struck shot from 12 yards cannoned back off the juncture of crossbar and post and away to safety.

However for all their possession and domination Ayr were unable break the deadlock and Stenhousemuir hung on for a point as the game finished 0-0.

Attendance – 1055

Ayr United – Hutton; Devlin; Donald; Murphy; McKenna; McGovern; Murray; Crawford; Preston; Beattie; Robertson Subs – Newman; Forrest; Gilmour; Nisbet; Campbell; Muir; Neil

Stenhousemuir – Fleming; McCormack; Summers; Meechan; Lithgow; Millar; McMullan; Faulds; McMenamin; Marenghi; Watt Subs – Smith; Duncan; Wilson; Fotheringham; Gallacher; Grehan; Sutherland

Cash for Kids Easter egg appeal

Every year there there is the CFK Easter Egg Appeal to bring a little bit of chocolate cheer to children around Ayrshire.

This year we want to get involved at Somerset Park and for Saturdays game with Stenhousemuir we would ask you to bring along an easter egg. They can be brought to the front door of the main stand or to the club shop.

Catering Manager Lynne Watson is pictured starting off the appeal with her own donation and the players have also been getting involved.

Stenhousemuir Match Preview

On Saturday, Stenhousemuir are the visitors to Somerset Park in a vital match at the foot of League 1. Ten-man Ayr missed the opportunity to climb out of the dreaded play-off spot on Tuesday night when they were defeated by Airdrie but know a win against the Warriors will see the sides switch positions.

Former midfielder Brown Ferguson took over from Scott Booth at the start of February and has led Stenhousemuir to back-to-back victories for the first time since August 2013. After a 1-0 win over Stranraer, on Saturday Stenny beat Peterhead 2-1 to leapfrog Ayr in the table into eighth. Josh Watt netted the winner in both fixtures, while Colin McMenamen grabbed his fourteenth goal of the season after just 6 minutes against the Blue Toon.
Read on for our match preview:

Team news: Adam Blakeman is suspended after his red card in Tuesday nights match with Airdrie. Alan Forrest and Martyn Campbell will both return to the squad.
Form:
United have lost two-in-a-row while Stenhousemuir have won their last two matches, both at Ochilview. They had previously taken just one point from a possible 24. The Warriors have lost their last four on the road.

Head-to-Head (League):
Ayr United wins – 34
Draws – 6
Stenhousemuir wins – 10

Stenny have scored nine goals in their last three visits to Somerset Park, winning 2-3 twice and losing 4-3.

Last Meeting: Youngsters Alan Forrest and Paul McMullan traded goals in the last meeting between the sides, the fourth consecutive draw between the sides at Ochilview. Colin McMenamin netted a hat-trick on the Warriors last trip to Somerset Park in a 3-2 win in which proved to be Mark Roberts’s last in charge of the club.

On this day: in 2009 the Honest Men travelled to Kirkcaldy and grabbed a 1-0 win in a top-of-the-table clash courtesy of a David Gormley goal, seconds after the striker came on as a second-half substitute.

Match Officials:
Referee – John McKendrick
Assistant Referee 1 – Joseph Lawson
Assistant Referee 2 – Colin McDonald

Match Info:

Adults £15, concessions £8 and parent and child £18.