Arbroath match preview

Match Preview
Arbroath vs. Ayr United

Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 22nd February 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United make a long-awaited return to Championship action with an away trip to Arbroath. The Honest Men’s 1-1 draw at Firhill three weeks ago was our previous league outing prior to a narrow Scottish Cup defeat at the hands of St. Johnstone and last weekend’s postponement.

 

Both Ayr and Arbroath could have the opportunity to go second in the league table – if Inverness Caledonian Thistle are defeated by Dundee United in tonight’s (Friday) fixture at Tannadice. For Mark Kerr’s men the game kicks off a busy schedule of seven games in three weeks.

Opponents: Dick Campbell’s side are enjoying an impressive season in the Championship after succeeding the Honest Men as League 1 champions last year. The Angus club occupy the final promotion play-off spot, albeit both fifth placed Dundee and Dunfermline have a game in hand.

 

The Red Lichties have won their last three Championship games although sandwiched between wins at home to Partick Thistle and away to leaders Dundee United was a Scottish Cup replay reverse at the hands of Falkirk. Last weekend saw Arbroath defeat Queen of the South 2-0 at Gayfield.

 

January signings Craig Wighton, on loan from Hearts, and Dale Hilson have made an immediate impact with Scotland U21 striker Wighton netting the winning goals against Thistle and Dundee United and ex-Forfar frontman Hilson scoring against former club Queen of the South on Saturday. Nineteen-year-old Logan Chalmers, added on loan from Dundee United, further strengthens Arbroath’s attacking options.

 

Team News: Craig Moore, Andy Geggan, Andy Murdoch and Ross Docherty are out with injuries. Aaron Muirhead misses out through suspension.

Mark says: “It was disappointing to have the game called off last week so we had the boys in and trained on Saturday and training has been at a really high quality all week, everyone is desperate to get back out there. We now have a really busy period of games however players will always say they prefer games to training so they are looking forward to it. It gives us an opportunity to use the squad and with a couple of good results early we could really build up the momentum.”

League Form:

Ayr United: LLWWD

Arbroath: LLWWW

 

Head to head (at Gayfield):

Ayr United wins – 21

Draws – 16

Arbroath wins – 15

 

United are unbeaten on their last six visits to Gayfield (four wins and a draw).

Saturday will be the 100th league meeting between the sides.

 

Previous Meeting: United Midfielder Stephen Kelly has netted in both meetings between the sides this season. In September, his 27th minute strike rounded off a 3-0 win for the Honest Men at Gayfield after Alan Forrest’s quickfire double. In December, his wind assisted corner opened the scoring at Somerset Park but Michael McKenna’s penalty levelled the scores in difficult conditions.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Steven Kirkland

Assistant Referee 1 – Kylie Cockburn

Assistant Referee 2 – George King

 

Admission:

£18 – Adults

£10 – Concessions (Child, Students, OAP 65+, Disability Entry with a free carer)

£20 – Adult and Child Gate

Special Offer Hospitality

On Tuesday 25th February we face Morton with a 7.45pm kick off and then the following Tuesday night (3rd March) we play Dundee United with a 7.45pm kick off. Both games at Somerset.

We have a special offer for these games only in the Ally MacLeod Hospitality Suite.

A ticket costs £35 and that includes the following

Drink of choice on arrival

Choice of bar meal

Watch the match from indoor viewing box

Half time pie and Bovril.

To book please contact Iain Grant on 07462 601049 or email hospitality@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

Travel Club Details for Saturday

It is another huge game on Saturday with Arbroath now only one point behind us. Here is the Travel Club details for the game:

SATURDAY 22nd FEBRUARY

ARBROATH V AYR

£15

Bus leaving from the Ship Inn, Ayr at 10am and picking up at Bon Accord, Charing Cross.

All no shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours before travel must be paid for.

REMINDER: Alcohol is strictly prohibited on the bus.

To book your seat, contact us on one of the numbers below:

Jeanne – 07599 289517

Lisa – 07599 289514

Match postponed

Todays match with Morton has been postponed after a pitch inspection. Bobby Madden deemed the pitch unplayable after the heavy rainfall.

We will update on when the game will be rescheduled for as soon as we have any information.

 

Morton match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Greenock Morton

Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 15th February 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, we return to Championship action when Greenock Morton are the visitors to Somerset Park. With play-off rivals Inverness, Dundee and Dunfermline all inactive this weekend due to the semi-finals of the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup, Mark Kerr’s side will be looking to move into second place in the league table and extend their advantage over the chasing pack.

Opponents: Morton make the short journey to Ayrshire without a defeat in their last five Championship outings. David Hopkin’s side have taken nine points from a possible 15. Last weekend they followed up back-to-back 1-1 draws against both Dundee sides with a 2-2 draw at home to Queen of the South.

 

The Ton sit in seventh position in the table and will have the play-offs at both ends of the table on their minds in the second-half of the season. David Hopkin’s side are currently five points adrift of fourth placed Dundee but have only a three point advantage over on form Alloa in ninth.

 

The game will see a quick return to Somerset Park for Craig McGuffie and Kris Doolan, who both made the switch to Cappielow last month. Two of McGuffie’s three goals for the Honest Men this season have come in this fixture. The 22 year-old is yet to make his debut for the Ton.

 

Team News: Aaron Muirhead is suspended. Craig Moore, Andy Murdoch, Ross Docherty and Andy Geggan miss out through injury.

Mark says: “A lot will depend on the weather tomorrow so hopefully the forecast is wrong and we get decent conditions for the game. We’ve got a busy spell of games coming up and the good thing now is that with the recent additions we have a squad that can cope with it, and we still have important players to come back. We have the ability to change things up now when needed, and it gives a real incentive to anyone coming into the team, play well and keep your place.”

League Form:

Ayr United: LLWWD

Morton: WWDDD

 

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 63

Draws – 35

Morton wins – 49

 

United are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run against Morton in all competitions.

 

Previous Meeting: Two meetings between the sides this season have yielded 11 goals – and six points for the Honest Men. Morton kicked off the Championship season with a trip to Somerset Park but an early Michael Moffat goal and second-half strikes from Luke McCowan and Alan Forrest put the Honest Men 3-0 up. Goals from Reghan Tumilty and Nicky Cadden in the 73rd and 79th minute threatened a comeback before Craig McGuffie rounded off the scoring in the final minute.

 

A goalless first-half in difficult conditions at Cappielow at the end of October was the unlikely precursor to a second 45 minutes that could have seen either side take all three points. Defender Jack Baird opened the scoring for the home side in the 50th minute before goals from Craig Moore and put the Honest Men ahead. Bob McHugh’s scrambled effort levelled the scores once more before Craig McGuffie forced the ball home to give Mark Kerr his first win in charge.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Bobby Madden

Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Stevenson

Assistant Referee 2 – Colin McAlpine

 

Admission:

Adult – £18

Concessions – £12 (Over 65s / Students / 18-21 / Wheelchair Users / Certified Ambulant)

U18’s – £6

 

To avoid queues on match day it is strongly advised to purchase your tickets online before arriving at Somerset Park. Supporters will receive an e-ticket on completion of order which they should show on arrival at the ground. The Turnstile Operators will scan in the barcode via a handheld scanner to allow admittance to the ground. Each ticket has its own unique barcode and once scanned in it will not allow admittance again.

 

Click below to purchase tickets:

Home Fans – https://tickets.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/packages/221/e/86

Away Fans – https://tickets.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/package_link/221/AYRvsMorton

Ayr Utd 1 St Johnstone 2

Ayr United 1 v 2 St. Johnstone

by AUmedia

 

United are out of the Scottish Cup after falling to a 1-2 defeat against Premiership side St. Johnstone on Saturday at Somerset Park. Aaron Drinan put the Honest Men into the lead early on, but the Saints drew level shortly after through an Aaron Muirhead own goal before Muirhead got sent off and Ayr went down to ten men. Almost instantly Callum Hendry put the Saints ahead and this was enough to see the visitors progress to the quarter finals.

Ayr got off to a perfect start as they opened the scoring only 4 mins into the match. Alan Forrest and Grant Gillespie combined for the latter to slide a precision pass through to Aaron Drinan who found himself in open space and drove towards the goal. The striker was one-on-one with Alexander Clark and took his shot early to slot it past the Saints keeper and give his side the lead.

United dominated possession and held the upper hand, but St. Johnstone stayed calm and steadily worked their way back into the game.

The Saints’ organised approach paid off when they equalised on 18 mins. David Wotherspoon’s high, curling ball from the left wing was met by Callum Hendry for a header from close range which took a deflection off Aaron Muirhead as it went into the net.

Things went from bad to worse for Muirhead who entered the referee’s book 5 mins later for a rash challenge on Hendry and was dismissed on 26 mins after a straight red for a reckless tackle on Liam Craig.

St. Johnstone capitalised on Ayr having to regroup and struck immediately. The free kick resulting from the foul was played out to Drey Wright on the right wing for a cross into the path of Hendry who knocked a header home at the left post to give his side the advantage and United a mountain to climb.

At this point latest, the game turned in favour of the Premiership side. St. Johnstone played with full confidence and came close again through Callum Booth and David Wotherspoon before the half-time whistle, but neither converted his chance and it remained 1-2.

Only 2 mins into the second half, St. Johnstone seemed certain to add to their advantage as Hendry’s free kick from 20 yards looked goal-bound but was tipped over the bar at the top right-hand corner by Ross Doohan.

The weather conditions got worse with storm Ciara coming in and left both teams with a real challenge on the park.

St. Johnstone maintained their grip on the game and kept the Ayr defence busy as they pushed for a third goal and continued to create threatening chances.

United meanwhile struggled to get into the final third and looked unlikely to trouble for an equaliser.

Outstanding goalkeeping denied the visitors again on 77 mins when Wright sent a cross-field pass to Wotherspoon who cut in for an effort from 10 yards which looked destined to find the back of the net but was turned wide by a one-handed save from Doohan.

Ayr’s best chance of the second half came on 82 mins when an attempt from Jordan Houston was initially blocked by the Saints defence, but he collected the rebound and played it to Drinan on the right of the box, but the Striker mishit and fluffed his shot wide.

Substitute Isaiah Jones (a recent target for United) created a late chance for St. Johnstone on 87 mins when he got on the end of a long ball forward from Craig but went down in the box, under pressure but with minimum impact from Sam Roscoe, and Doohan collected the ball.

The visitors had to content themselves with the 1-2 but safely progress to the quarter finals while Ayr are out of the Scottish Cup.

Next Saturday, United are back in Championship action as they welcome Greenock Morton to Somerset Park.

 

Ayr United

Doohan, Muirhead, Harvie, Kerr, Forrest, McCowan, Houston, Bell, Drinan, Gillespie, Kelly

Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Roscoe, Moffat, Malley, Tiffoney, McKenzie, Smith

 

St. Johnstone

Clark, Ralston, Booth, Kerr, McCart, Wright, Wotherspoon, McCann, Craig, May, Hendry

Substitutes: Parish (GK), Gordon, Tanser, Kane, Butcher, Jones, Holt

 

Referee: Steven McLean

Attendance: 2625

St Johnstone match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. St. Johnstone

William Cup Scottish Cup – Fifth Round
Saturday 8th February 2019. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United welcome Premiership side St. Johnstone to Somerset Park with a place in the quater-finals of the Scottish Cup at stake. The Honest Men are unbeaten in their last four matches, with three wins and draw on Friday night at Partick Thistle.

 

Opponents: St. Johnstone have endured a punishing schedule since coming back from the Premiership’s winter break but travel to Ayrshire buoyed by an impressive victory in midweek. After a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Morton in the last round of the Scottish Cup, Tommy Wright’s men have played five league games in the space of two weeks, picking up seven points from a possible 15.

 

Wednesday saw Saints follow up a 3-3 draw at home to Hearts on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie. Ali McCann scored the only goal of the game having also scored against Hearts, with Stevie May also on the scoresheet. The Saints currently occupy eighth place in the league table, three points adrift of the ‘top six’ with a game in hand.

 

The January transfer window saw Wright lose winger Matty Kennedy to the Dons but he has added centre-back Jamie McCart from Inverness Caledonian Thistle, midfielder Matt Butcher on loan from Bournemouth and winger Isaiah Jones, a teammate of Connor Malley’s at Middlesbrough.

 

Team News: Andy Murdoch, Andy Geggan, Craig Moore and Ross Docherty are all out through injury.

Mark says: “It’s a great stage for some of our players to go out and prove themselves. We have already beaten a team from the Premiership so have shown that we can handle that level. St Johnstone are a very good side, they are in good form and will be very tough to beat. Tommy Wright will know all about us and will have his players full briefed on what to expect at Somerset Park. They will come here extremely well prepared but so are we, we have been working on our own game plan all week on how we think we can go about winning the game. We are hoping for a big Scottish Cup atmosphere inside our old ground.”

League Form:

Ayr United: LLWWD

St Johnstone: LWLDW

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 44

Draws – 28

St. Johnstone wins – 50

 

United’s only win over St. Johnstone in eight Scottish Cup meetings between the sides came at Somerset Park in January 1925.

 

The Saints are unbeaten in their eight trips to Somerset, a run that stretches back to August 1991.

 

Previous Meeting: The Honest Men faced last the Saints when the clubs were paired in the third round of the Scottish Cup in 2007. Second Division Ayr held SPL-chasing St. Johnstone to a goalless draw at McDairmid Park, but is was the Perth side who progressed after extra-time in the replay. Ryan Stevenson cancelled out Jason Scotland’s fifth minute opener, with Peter MacDonald scoring the decisive goal in the 24th minute of extra-time.

 

Ayr: McGeown, Forrest, Campbell (Weaver), Robertson (Pettigrew), Lowing; Caddis Casey, Dunn Stevenson; Vareille (Strain), Wardlaw.

 

St. Johnstone: Cuthbert, Stanic, James, Mensing, Lawrie: Sheerin (McLaren), McInnes, Hardie (Jackson), McManus, MacDonald, J Scotland

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Steven McLean

Assistant Referee 1 – Dougie Potter

Assistant Referee 2 – Gary Hilland

Fourth Official – Greg Aitken

 

Admission:

Adult – £18

Concessions – £12 (Over 65s / Students / 18-21 / Wheelchair Users / Certified Ambulant)

U18’s – £6

 

Please note: Season Tickets & Half-Season Tickets are NOT valid for this match.

 

To avoid queues on match day it is strongly advised to purchase your tickets online before arriving at Somerset Park. Supporters will receive an e-ticket on completion of order which they should show on arrival at the ground. The Turnstile Operators will scan in the barcode via a handheld scanner to allow admittance to the ground. Each ticket has its own unique barcode and once scanned in it will not allow admittance again.

 

Click below to purchase tickets:

Home Fans – https://tickets.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/packages/221/e/93

Away Fans – https://tickets.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/package_link/221/AYRvsStJohnstone

Connor Malley signs

Mark Kerr has made a deadline day move by signing highly rated Middlesbrough midfielder Connor Malley to the end of the season, subject to international clearance.

Mark said :”Connor is one of Middlesbrough’s top prospects and is very close to breaking into their first team. I have been down to see him several times and he is a very exciting attacking midfielder. He travels well with the ball, goes by players and is a goal threat. Now this gives us really good depth in the middle of the park and I am delighted to get this over the line”

Partick match preview

Match Preview
Partick Thistle vs. Ayr United

Ladbrokes Championship
Friday 31st January 2020. Kick-off 7.05pm

Tonight (Friday), Ayr United have the opportunity to go second in the Championship table when they take on botton-of-the-league Partick Thistle in Glasgow. The Honest Men travel to Firhill on the back of three consecutive 1-0 victories, most recently at home to Inverness. It is set to be a busy day for player-manager Mark Kerr, who will also be looking to further strengthen his squad ahead of tonight’s transfer deadline.

Opponents: Partick Thistle slumped to the foot of the table on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at Arbroath. Brian Graham scored a 90th minute goal on his Partick Thistle debut but first-half strikes from McKenna and Wighton condemned the Jags to their third consecutive defeat after losses to Celtic in the Scottish Cup and a 4-1 reverse at the hand of leaders Dundee United last time out in the league.

Ian McCall has been busy in the transfer market this month with no fewer than 15 players either leaving or joining Thistle in recent weeks. High profile departures include Sean McGinty, Gary Harkins and Kenny Miller. Darian McKinnon – once on loan at Somerset Park – has been brought in from Hamilton Accies to stiffen up the Jags midfield, Zak Rudden joins Brian Graham in providing striking options while Darren Brownlie will hope to help out a defence that is yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this season.

 

Team News:. Andy Murdoch, Craig Moore and Andy Geggan are out with injuries.

Mark says: :”There is no doubt we are playing with confidence just now, that comes naturally when you win games and keep clean sheets. However just because it has been three 1-0 wins doesn’t mean we have stopped playing football, far from it. The boys are really looking forward to the game tonight, of course there is an extra wee edge to it but our focus all week has been on ourselves. Training has been top class and it always helps getting some new faces in to add competition. It is a big game and hopefully we have a really big away support making a lot of noise!”

Championship Form:

Ayr United: WLLWW

Partick Thistle: LWDLL

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 50

Draws – 30

Partick Thistle wins – 57

 

United have won six of the last seven meetings between the sides since the start of last season and four-in-a-row at Firhill.

 

Previous Meeting:

Ayr ran out 4-1 winners on Ian McCall’s return to Somerset Park in November. Craig Moore and Michael Moffat had Ayr two in front after 20 minutes, with Moore again and Alan Forrest on the scoresheet in the second-half before Joe Cardle’s late consolation.

 

The Honest Men were also winners at Firhill earlier in the season. United twice came from behind to run out 3-2 winners in a game that saw Thistle end with 9 men.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Euan Anderson

Assistant Referee 1 – Andrew McWilliam

Assistant Referee 2 – Kevin McElhinney

Fourth Official – Lloyd Wilson

 

Admission:

Adult – £20

Concessions (Over 65 & Students) – £15

U16’s – £5

 

Away fans will be housed in the north end of the Jackie Husband Stand entering the stadium via turnstiles 40 and 41 only.

 

There is a cash gate for Ayr United supporters and a card payment option will be available at the Jackie Husband Stand ticket booth.

 

Doolan released

Kris Doolan has today been released from his contract with Ayr United.

Manager Mark Kerr said :”Kris is 33 and he needs to be getting game time which is something I can’t guarantee him here for the rest of the season. We both agreed that the best thing for both parties was to part ways so Kris can get back on the pitch and we wish him all the very best for the future.”