Declan McDaid joins United

declan mcdaid121 year old winger Declan McDaid has today signed for the club until the end of the season after leaving Partick Thistle.

Manager Ian McCall said “I have watched him several times and have always liked what I have seen. At Thistle this season he has been frustrated at the lack of game time for the first team however his attitude has been absolutely spot on. He can play wide or through the middle and has real pace. He has signed until the end of the season and hopefully he does well and we can keep him longer.

We are working round the clock to get at least one more forward player in though it’s unlikely that will happen today I am hopeful it will happen before the weekend.”

Declan has been capped at international level and played 4 times for the Scottish Schools under 18 side in the Centenary Shield, and scored against England at McDiarmid Park.

He started his career at Morton and signed for Premiership Partick Thistle in June 2013. Between then and January 2016 he made 26 appearances for the Thistle first team as well as being a regular in their under 20 team scoring numerous goals.

In January 2016 Declan signed for Cowdenbeath on loan and made 17 appearances before returning to Thistle at the end of the season.

Declan said “I know that the gaffer has watched me several times this season so I knew he wanted me and that is important for me moving forward. Hopefully I will get an opportunity here to get some game time and show what I can do. I spoke to Conrad Balatoni who I knew when he played at Thistle, he phoned me and was really positive about the place so I felt really comfortable coming here and can’t wait to get started.”

Ayr Utd 1 Morton 4

Ayr United 1 v 4 Morton

It was a bad day at the office for The Honest Men as they slumped to a 4-1 defeat at home to Morton. First half goals from Forbes (x2) and Oliver gave Morton a substantial lead before Adams replied for United. Oliver completed the scoring in the second half to cap off a dismal day for United.

After 3 mins it was Forbes who drew the first save of the game when he cut in from the right and curled a shot goal-wards from 20 yards out which was palmed away Fleming.

7 mins gone and Ayr had their first chance of the game through Moore. Crawford set Moore through in midfield and he could only clip the ball over the bar from the edge of the area.

It was Morton who made the breakthrough on 11 mins. Forbes collected the ball on the right and as Ayr failed to close the midfielder down, he curled a ball into net from 25 yards out. 0-1.

7 mins later and it got even worse for Ayr as Forbes doubled their lead. Good football by Morton resulted in Oliver laying the ball off to Forbes in the box whose downward shot bounced and looped over Fleming into the net. 0-2 after only 18 mins.

Ayr attempted to respond only 2 mins later when Devlin broke into the box on the right but his shot from a tight angle was blocked by O’Ware. Meggatt then saw his shot from 25 yards collected by Gaston with relative ease.

On 26 mins Ayr had another chance to get back into the game when Harkins fired a shot just over the bar from 25 yards out.

It got from bad to worse for Ayr on 30 mins when Morton added a third. Oliver collected the ball on the edge of the area before beating Balatoni and putting the ball into the bottom corner. 0-3.

Again, Ayr attempted to respond and 3 mins later they had a chance through Moore. Harkins launched a ball into the box which was headed across goal by Adams and met by Moore who fired over from 8 yards out.

Ayr finally got their name on the scoresheet on 35 mins through Adams. Good football on the right by Ayr resulted in Devlin sliding the ball through to Adams in the box and he poked the ball home to give Ayr a lifeline. 1-3.

Right on halftime and Ayr almost pulled back another goal when Harkins’ shot from 20 yards out was superbly turned around the post by Gaston.

Into the second half and Kilday was next to try his luck for Morton. A loose ball landed at the big defender in the box and his speculative overhead kick went just over the bar from close range.

53 mins gone and a Harkins header Devlin’s cross went straight into keeper Gaston’s arms.

Just as United appeared to be taking a greater hold on the play Morton added a fourth on 64 mins to deny Ayr any hopes of a comeback. Doyle’s cross from the right was met by Oliver in the centre of the box and he managed to bundle the ball home. 1-4.

Ayr looked to get another goal on the scoresheet and came close on 71 mins. Adams header from a corner was inches away from being poked home by Meggatt at the back post but he couldn’t connect with the ball.

On 82 mins Ayr substitute McGuffie took a shot from the edge of the area which curled just wide of the right-hand post. 3 mins later and the youngster had another shot deflected over the bar inside the area.

McGuffie also had the final effort of the game on 87 mins when he cut into the box and had a strike which was straight down the throat of Gaston.

Ayr now travel to league leaders Hibernian next Saturday as they attempt to repeat the heroics of their last trip to Easter Road.

Ayr United
Fleming, Devlin, Rose, Adams, Crawford, Moore, Harkins, Cairney, Balatoni, Meggatt, McKenna. Substitutes: Hart (GK), Boyle, Murphy, Forrest, Gilmour, Wardrope, McGuffie.

Gaston, Kilday, O’Ware, Doyle, Oliver, Forbes, Lamie, Nesbitt, Tidser, Murdoch, Shankland. Substitutes: McGowan (GK), Russell, McDonagh, Scullion, Tiffoney, Strapp.

Referee: Don Robertson
Attendance: 1576
Match Report: AUmedia

Donald signs for Stranraer

Michael Donald was released from his contract with Ayr United yesterday and today has signed a contract from Stranraer.

‘Mikey’ has made over 100 appearances for the Honest Men and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of everyone at Ayr United for his efforts whilst at Somerset Park

Minutes silence for Doc Paterson

The Ayr United club doctor who was known as Painless Paterson died recently aged 96.

Dr Bob Paterson became the Somerset Park medic during the halycon days of Ally MacLeod in the early 70s and also served on the board as a director before stepping down in 1986.

As a GP based in Trabboch, Bob’s beat included Tarbolton, Drongan, Mossblown, Annbank, Coylton, Dalrymple and Rankinston.

An all-round sports fan, he was a keen golfer and played at Prestwick St Nicholas, Royal Troon and Prestwick GC.

Bob captained the Scottish water polo team and continued his love for swimming every day until he was 80. He was also a member of Ayr Rugby Club and Ayr Business Club.

As a youngster, Bob and his family regularly took holidays in North Berwick, where they stayed at a hotel which was owned by the uncle of Rod Stewart.

A close friendship grew over the years and Bob and his second wife Ann were invited to Rod’s wedding to Rachel Hunter in Los Angeles in 1990.

Former player Robert Reilly recalled: “Injured players often got a jag to play on the manager’s insistence. We used to call Bob Painless Paterson – no pain.”

Bob is survived by Ann and children Peter, Gordon, Eileen, Carol Ann and Robert. Another son, Tommy, died.

Everyone at Ayr Uniteds thoughts are with Bobs family and friends and they will be present at Somerset Park today where we will pay our respects with a minutes silence prior to kick off.

Car Parking Morton game

Due to BBC Alba production trucks in the car park for tomorrows game there will be limited parking available.

Priority will be given to Officals and staff, blue badge holders and car park pass holders on a first come first served basis until the car park is full.

There will be no cash entry parking available at the ground for this game.

There is alternative car parking at Craigie park or the racecourse

Morton match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Greenock Morton
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 28th January 2017 – Kick-off 5.15pm

On Saturday, we welcome Greenock Morton and the BBC Alba cameras to Somerset Park as our Championship season resumes. United required 210 minutes and a penalty shoot-out to overcome Queen’s Park and Ian McCall’s side will now turn their attention to picking up a much needed three points.

Morton continued their good run of form when they saw off Falkirk in the Scottish Cup at Cappielow last weekend. The win extended their unbeaten run at home to 17 games, a record stretching back to March 2016. Ton have been less prolific away from home, however, and have won just two of nine league games on the road this season,

Team News: Everyone is fit and available.

Ian McCall says: “It just shows you how bizarre football can be, earlier in the season Morton came here, we won 2-1 and the Morton fans were shouting for the manager to go. A few months later and Morton are one of the form teams in Scotland and Jim Duffy would get my vote for manager of the year. We have already played them twice, 2-1 both times and at Cappielow we were unlucky to come away with a narrow defeat. After a tough 120 minutes at Hampden we may look to freshen up the team a wee bit as there are several boys desperate to get in that starting 11 which is a good position to be in. With the reduced entry I really hope the fans turn up and get right behind us from the first minute as they can be a massive help to us in what will be a really difficult game.”

The Opponents: Jim Duffy has added striker Lawrence Shankland to his squad in the January transfer window but lost defender Gavin Gunning, who has signed for Grimsby Town.

Head-to-Head (League):
Ayr United wins – 60
Draws – 31
Morton wins – 48

The Greenock side’s last win at Somerset Park was in November 2011 when David O’Brien netted the only goal in the first half. There have been two home wins and two draws since.

Last meeting: Both fixtures this season between the sides have ended 2-1 to the home side. In September, Paul Cairney and Alan Forrest scored in front of the Somerset Road End before Mark Russell was sent off. A late Ross Forbes goal proved to be just a consolation.

At the end of October at Cappielow, a late Gary Oliver goal won it for Morton; Thomas O’Ware had equalised after Kevin Nisbet had put the Honest Men ahead.

On this day: in 1923, Ayr defeated Rangers 2-0 in the Scottish Cup at Somerset Park with goals from Murdoch McKenzie and John McLean.

Match Officials:
Referee – Don Robertson
Assistant Referee 1 – Brian Templeton
Assistant Referee 2 – Garry Farmer
Fourth Official – Steven Kirkland


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Club Shop sale now online

The club shop ½ price winter sale is now also available from our online store. Prices have been reduced until February 28th in store and online but remember get in quick as it is while stocks last!!

Ayr United v Morton – Shop Hours

The club shop will be open from 10am till 5.15pm (kick off) prior to our televised match this Saturday against Morton. Please note that the shop will NOT be open after the match.

Queens Park 2 Ayr Utd 2 (Ayr win on pens)

Queens Park 2 v 2 Ayr United
(AET. Ayr win 5- 4 on penalties)

On a night when a little bit of football history was made, Greg Fleming was again the hero of a penalty shoot-out as Ayr United finally overcame League 1 Queens Park to move into the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish.
Ayr had to work hard to overcome a well organised Queens Park and were caught cold after only 4 mins when the impressive Woods steered the ball into the net after meeting Burns’ cross from the right.

Ayr pushed for the equaliser with both Moore and Harkins coming close before a horrendous misunderstanding in defence on 25 mins brought United level. Muir passed towards McGeever who seemed unaware of his keeper’s intentions allowing Moore time to step in and to steal the ball, before moving into the box, and slamming it into the net.

Ayr seemed to be in total control and gaining confidence but on 32 mins they were knocked back on their heels when Queen’s again went in front. To the bemusement of Ayr fans, referee Barry Cook awarded a freekick on the right when MacPherson seemed to throw himself down with little or no contact from Ayr’s Peter Murphy. Sean Burns whipped the ball into the Ayr box and the United defence struggled to get the ball clear, Docherty knocking it towards the back post, where Balatoni blocked then knocked the ball into the air. Keeper Fleming, under pressure, could only punch the ball out some ten yards from where Wharton knocked the ball into the net.

Ayr should have equalised just 3 mins later when Harkins pounced on another defensive mistake and put Moore through one-on-one with keeper Muir who somehow managed to block when it looked certain the striker would score.

The second half was frustrating for United who dominated possession but were denied by a resolute Queen’s Park defence and some frustrating time wasting antics. Referee Cook’s decision making was again brought into question when he denied what appeared a stone penalty for Ayr. After some exquisite skill to bypass two Queens defenders, Harkins curled a long ball towards the back post and Brian Gilmour turned to chase the ball wide. Still in the 6-yard box, Sean Burns blatantly grabbed Gilmour’s jersey pulling the midfielder back. Referee Cook ignored appeals for a penalty but should certainly have been helped out by his assistant Kylie McMullan who had a clear line of sight to the incident.

On 83 mins, Ayr finally got the equaliser that their play deserved. From substitute Cairney’s corner Conrad Balatoni rose to knock the ball down and goalward. Keeper Muir seemed to have comfortably saved before letting the ball slip from his grasp and into the net. 2-2.

In the final minutes the game really livened up with McKernon bending a 25-yard right-foot drive just wide for the Spiders while Craig McGuffie almost re-created Alan Forest’s goal at the same stadium in July, 2013. McGuffie got on the end of an inch perfect pass from Harkins before skipping past Muir only to see Burns knock the ball away.

The addition of Forest and McGuffie late on gave Ayr a more dynamic threat up front in the final moments and into
extra time.

As extra time got under way McGuffie again came close as he controlled a Cairney through-ball on the right of the penalty area before scooping his shot from 12 yards just wide of the far post.
Queens Park were then dealt a blow with Burns left rueing a petulant bouncing of the ball in the second half when he was sent off for a second bookable offence, taking out Devlin at the edge of the penalty area.
Ayr continued to dominate but were thwarted by Queens never-say-die defensive attitude. On 103 min Harkins seemed to have won it for Ayr when, with his volley rocketing toward the far top corner, Muir pulled off a remarkable one handed save to turn the ball wide.

With time running out it was time for Ayr to write themselves into the history books once again. When Michael Rose replaced skipper Nicky Devlin in added time in extra time, the Honest Men became the first team to use a 4th substitute as allowed by a rule change in the Scottish Cup. The rule allows a 4th substitute if a game has gone into extra time.

With extra-time remaining goalless, it was time for a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out. Ayr came out on top following two excellent saves by Greg Fleming. The penalty order is shown below:

1. Ayr United: Forest scores. QP 0 v 1 AU
2. Queens Park: McGeever scores QP 1 v 1 AU
3. Ayr United: Rose scores QP 1 v 2 AU
4. Queens Park: Cummins scores QP 2 v 2 AU
5. Ayr United: Cairney MISSED QP 2 v 2 AU
6. Queens Park: McKernon scores QP 3 v 2 AU
7. Ayr United: McGuffie scores QP 3 v 3 AU
8. Queens Park: Wharton SAVED QP 3 v 3 AU
9. Ayr United: Harkins scores QP 3 v 4 AU
10. Queens Park: Millen scores QP 4 v 4 AU
11. Ayr United: Boyle scores QP 4 v 5 AU
12. Queens Park: Fotheringham SAVED QP 4 v 5 AU

With Ayr winning 5 – 4 on penalties they will now face either Clyde or Stirling Albion in the fifth round.
On Saturday, it is back to Championship business as United face high flying Morton at Somerset Park with a 5.15 pm kick-off to suit television coverage. Admission has been reduced to £5.

Queen’s Park
Muir, Wharton, McGeever, Cummins, Millen, Fotheringham, McKernon, Brady, Burns, Woods, MacPherson. Substitutes: Stott (GK), Malone, Galt, McVey, Mitchell, Brown, Mortimer
Ayr United
Fleming, Devlin, Balatoni, Murphy, Boyle, Gilmour, Crawford, Docherty, Donald, Moore, Harkins. Substitutes: Hart (GK), Rose, Forrest, Cairney, Adams, McGuffie, McKenna

Referee: Barry Cook
Attendance: 1026
Report: AUmedia

Ayr United 0 Queens Park 0

Ayr United 0 v 0 Queens Park

Both sides have it all to do again at Hampden Park after United were held to a 0-0 draw by Queens Park at Somerset Park. In a game of very few chances, Ayr struggled to assert themselves against an organised Queens side who could have won it themselves.

The first chance of the game came on 5 mins through McGeever. The corner was whipped in and the big defender met the ball perfectly but saw his header cleared off the line by Harkins.

11 mins gone and it was the away side who were threatening again. A stramash in the box saw the ball break to Woods on the left and from 8 yards out he could only fire his shot straight at Fleming.

Ayr created their first real chance of the game on 21 mins. Harkins picked the ball up on the left and skipped past 2 players and then fizzed a shot goal-wards which was tipped over the bar by Muir.

McKenna was next to try his luck for Ayr on 39 mins when he met a ball from Balatoni at the back post however he directed his header straight down the throat of Muir who got down well to hold the ball.

The second half was a dour affair with little goalmouth action of note.The final chance of the game fell to Queens Park on 73 mins when Wharton met a corner at the front post and flicked his header just over the bar from close range.

United lacked cohesion and appeared out of sorts throughout the match. Queens, however, seemed the most likely to find a breakthrough with their fast breaking approach and it took Ayr until the last 10 mins of the match to show the urgency and drive that was needed to deal with the highly motivated Spiders. Unfortunately for the Honest Men this was too little too late and they are forced travel to Hampden Park on Tuesday evening for the replay.

Ayr United
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Gilmour, Crawford, Moore, Harkins, Cairney, Balatoni, Docherty, McKenna. Substitutes Hart (GK), Rose, Murphy, Forrest, Donald, Adams, McGuffie.

Queens Park
Muir, Millen, Cummins, McKernon, McGeever, Wharton, Woods, Forheringham, McPherson, Brady, Burns. Substitutes Stott (GK), Malone, Galt, McVey, Mitchell, Brown, Mortimer.

Referee: Barry Cook
Attendance: 1326
Match Report: AUmedia