Dundee match preview

Match Preview
Dundee vs. Ayr United
SPFL Championship
Saturday 16th January 2021. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, the Honest Men travel to the City of Discovery to take on in-form Dundee in the Championship.

After two draws and three defeats in our last five games over December and Hogmanay, Mark Kerr’s side were denied the opportunity to get back to winning ways when last weekend’s Scottish Cup tie at Elgin and Tuesday night’s scheduled league fixture at home to Alloa were postponed.

United are in sixth place in the league table, two points behind Raith Rovers in fourth and Morton in fifth, albeit both sides have games in hand.

Opposition : Dundee escaped a Scottish Cup giant killing last weekend in one of the ties to beat the winter weather. The Dees needed a last minute equaliser from Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi to force extra-time against Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic at Dens Park and suffered a further
scare when a second spot kick put the Lowland League side ahead in the 105th minute. Goals from defender Lee Ashcroft and striker Osman Sow, however, his seventh in the last five games, saw a relieved James McPake’s team into the third round. The Dark Blues are unbeaten in their last six Championship fixtures, stretching back to their loss at Somerset Park in November. That run of form that has seen them take 14 points from a possible 18 and climb into third place behind Dunfermline – who face Morton tonight – only on goal difference.

Team News : Mark Kerr has a full squad to select from with on loan defender Corrie Ndaba included.

Mark says :”It was really disappointing to have the games called off last week as we were well prepared and ready to go. The weather has given us a few issues in recent times however the last week has been a bit better and we have had a really good week in the lead up to tomorrow. Things worked really well for us when Dundee came to Somerset and since then they have made a few changes and been on a really good run. It is normally a decent surface at Dens and the boys are really looking forward to getting back out there. We have found ourselves in a really good position in most of our games away from home and game management is something we have been working on.”

League Form :
Dundee : DDWWW
Ayr United : DLLDL
Head to head
Ayr United wins : 29
Draws : 25
Dundee wins : 62
The Honest Men have just a 15% win rate at Dens Park and our last league win away from home against the Dark Blues came in January 1981.

Last Meeting :
First half-goals from Michael Moffat – his 100th for the Honest Men – and Cammy Smith gave United a 2-0 win over Dundee at Somerset Park on 21st November.

Match Officials :
Referee – David Munro
Assistant Referee 1 – Calum Spence
Assistant Referee 2 – Michael Addy

Live Coverage:
Supporters can purchase a pay per view pass for Saturday’s match now from Dundee’s PPV site at the cost of £12.50. You must register a username and password before purchasing the event. Head to https://ppv.dundeefc.co.uk/register
If you require any technical support or help logging in you can contact live@dundeefc.co.uk

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Lottery Update

Stevie Corrigan from the Home Bakery, in Ayr, was our last £1,000 jackpot winner of 2020.

Since the lockdown began on 16th March 2020, we have still managed to complete our weekly draw for the full 42 weeks.

During that time we have paid out £56,700 in prize money and a further £10,000 has been donated to Ayr United Football Club.

We would just like to say a massive thank you to all our members and agents for continuing to support us through this very difficult time.

Concerned about how to pay your lottery money during this latest lockdown?

Contact us today via email at lottery@ayrunitedfc.co.uk, by phone to Janine on 07921 570667 or send us a pm on Facebook to discuss the different options as there are a few ways we can help you.

Thank you again for your continuing support during this time.

Message from Lachlan

Last week I stepped down as Chairman of Ayr United F.C. Then, we as a board unanimously voted to appoint David Smith as the new Chairman.

 

My father got involved here in the late eighties and it has been in my blood ever since my first game at Somerset soon after.  It has been a great pleasure to be involved at the football club over the last many years as a director and an even greater honor to be Chairman of this wonderful club.

 

When I became Chairman and majority shareholder, I realized what an enormous responsibility it was to become a custodian for a club that means so much to the local community. We aren’t just a football club playing for the enjoyment of spectators, we are the provider of so much more and I firmly believe that Ayr United are one of the top clubs in Scotland in bringing a benefit to the community and surrounding areas.  A lot of that is done through the Football Academy who are the main community outreach wing of the club.

 

I’ve touched on most of this before so I won’t bang on about all of it again but I just find that there are so many important people, too many to name individually who make the running of this club possible.  At every level there are people who make this club what it is.  All the volunteers, the employees and the decision makers as well as the footballers and management team who go between giving us great joy and abject misery on a regular basis. These are the parts that make up our club.

 

There are a few people in particular who have made my life easier while running the club and those people will remain in place to do the same going forward.  The only person we are losing is Lewis Grant who is resigning as a director of the club.  Lewis has been at the club for over fifteen years as a director and over eighty as a supporter. Lewis has always worked hard in the background and will be missed, but he decided that this was a good time to step down and go into a well-deserved retirement. I will miss working with Lewis and his presence and commitment will be missed by all. We would not be where we are today without the dedication and financial contribution from Lewis over the last fifteen years.

 

I have long said that I didn’t think the club could be run properly by me when I am living so far away but that I wouldn’t pass the club on to someone who I didn’t believe had the club’s best interests at heart.  You would be amazed at how hard it is to find someone who didn’t have other priorities.  I’ve had many opportunities to “get out” but none that I have felt comfortable with until now.

 

Since before David joined the board, we have been working towards a transition that would enable him to takeover as majority shareholder and Chairman. Originally the transition was going to take course over a few years but with all of the chaos etc. in the world, we decided to push that forward. I have agreed to step down as Chairman and will soon resign as a director as well.  I have transferred 51% of the total shareholding to David and also forgiven the majority of my debt. I have also handed over the house on the side of the parking lot that we will soon replace with the Somerset Hub. In exchange for this, David has committed to fund and build the Somerset Hub, remodel the area below the main stand that includes the kitchen, board room, players tea room and hospitality areas (already done), revamp the North Terracing (toilets, pie stalls, offices, gym, parking and potential covering) within the next three years and then within five years, further improvements to the main stand. He has also put in funds to pay off a portion of my debt and will allow me use of all of the facilities when I bring my youth football teams over from America.

 

All of this gives the club the opportunity to get out from under the weight of a nagging debt ratio and provides a pathway forward to improved facilities without slashing the playing budget.

 

I believe that David is the person best suited to take our club over going forward and that he will be an excellent custodian for the club.  I look forward to being able to travel to Scotland and attend games in person when all of this Covid lockdown is behind us and most of all, I am looking forward to Lynne’s chicken and haggis pie.

David Smith is new Owner & Chairman

Ayr United are delighted to announce that the Club have a new Chairman and Owner. David Smith, the current Vice Chairman has agreed a deal with Lachlan Cameron which sees him take the helm with immediate effect.

 

David is currently the Managing Director and Majority Shareholder of Ashleigh Building and has been a lifelong Ayr supporter. He is a family man living in Ayr, happily married to Lesley with three children, Gavin, Rowan and Charlie.

 

Lachlan became Managing Director in 2005 and has been Chairman of the Club since 2008 and has presided over 3 play-off victories against Airdrie, Brechin and Stranraer. Most importantly though was bringing the first trophy to Somerset Park in 30 years with the League  One title being won on a dramatic day in April 2018.

 

Ayr United are in a much better place now, on and off the field, compared to when Lachlan took over and the Club owes a huge debt of gratitude to Lachlan, and his family.

 

Incoming Chairman David said :”It is a huge honour to be the Owner of the Club I have supported my entire life. Since joining the Board I have been heavily involved and this seems like a natural step. I would like to thank Lachlan not only for everything that him and his family have done for Ayr United but also for how seamless he made the negotiations. Lachlan has written off a huge amount in loans to the Club and we are now in a really good place to move forward.”

 

To watch the interview with new Chairman David Smith on Black and White TV click here

Elgin match preview

Match Preview
Elgin City vs. Ayr United

Scottish Cup 2nd Round

Saturday 9th January 2021. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, the Honest Men travel north take-on Elgin City in the second round of the Scottish Cup, subject to an 8am pitch inspection.

 

The rescheduled date if the match is postponed is Tuesday 12 January 2021.

 

Opposition: Elgin City currently sit second in League 2, five points behind league leaders Queen’s Park.

 

City progressed to the second round of the Cup with a 4-0 home win over Civil Service Strollers on Boxing Day, their last competitive fixture.

 

Team News: Aaron Muirhead is suspended and Innes Cameron is injured. Providing clearance comes through in time Corrie Ndaba will be in the squad.

Mark says: “It’s a tough draw, Elgin are going well in their league and we have had a tough few weeks however it is a game we know we can win. The Scottish Cup is always special and everyone looks forward to it, it would have been a great trip for our fans so we want to get through for them and see who we get in the next round. Last week was incredibly frustrating after starting the game exactly as we had planned. We need to make it much, much harder for teams to score against us.”

 

League Form:

 

Elgin City: WWWLW

Ayr United: DLLDL

 

Head to head

Elgin City are out for a hat-trick of cup shocks over the Honest Men at Borough Briggs in just the third meeting between the sides.

 

In 1967, Division One United suffered a 2-0 midweek loss against the then Highland League club. More recently, following Elgin’s election to the SFL in 2000, City were again victorious over a visiting Ayr United side, winning a League Cup tie in extra-time. Steven McKeown opened the scoring in the 17th minute for Ayr but two Craig Gunn goals either side of half-time put City ahead. Aaron Connolly made it 2-2 and sent the game to extra-time only for Paul Miller to net the winner in the 112th minute.

 

On this Day: in 1993, Ayr defeated Dunfermline Athletic 2-1 at East End Park in the third round of the Scottish Cup and in 1988 won 3-2 over Queen’s Park in the second round of the competition.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Craig Napier

Assistant Referee 1 – Paul O’Neill

Assistant Referee 2 – John Stewart

 

Live Coverage:

The game will be available to stream for £9.99 at https://tv.elgincity.net/home

 

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Corrie Ndaba signs

Mark Kerr has made his first move during the January transfer window by bringing in highly rated 21 year old Ipswich Town defender Corrie Ndaba.

Mark said :”I have been down and watched Corrie live and also we have watched plenty of footage of him. We also got excellent feedback from the staff at Ipswich and every report on him is very positive. With the games coming thick and fast between now and the end of the season we need to make sure we have good defensive options. Corrie is a big, strong, athletic defender who is quick and good on the ball.”

Corrie started his career with Cherry Orchard in Dublin where Ipswich signed him from in 2016 and is under contract with them until 2022. He enjoyed a good pre season during August and impressed in friendlies against Tottenham and West Ham. Corrie has started several games for Ipswich this season and has received praise from manager Paul Lambert. He has signed on loan to the end of the season.

Queen of the South match preview

Match Preview
Queen of the South vs. Ayr United
SPFL Championship
Saturday 2nd January 2021. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, the Honest Men first foot the Doonhamers in the opening fixture of 2021. United travel to Dumfries looking to end an eighteen year wait for a win at Palmerston – and for a first league win in four. Ayr sit two points off the promotion play-off places in sixth place
in the league table following Tuesday night’s draw at home to Morton.

Opposition : Queen of the South ended a four match losing streak on Tuesday night, with their only league win away from home last year, defeating a Raith Rovers side who hadn’t lost at home in 2020. Forward Connor Shields scored in the 18th minute, with Tommy Goss
sealing the win in the final minute of a game which saw 16 year-old goalie Charlie Cowie keep a clean sheet on his debut after being unexpectedly called upon.

Team News : Innes Cameron misses out through injury.
Mark says :”The last few games haven’t gone as we would have liked and we need to get back to winning games again. There were aspects of the game on Tuesday that we were pleased with, we had a lot more possession of the ball and felt we were comfortable defensively. Considering how much of the ball we had we just lacked that bit of quality we needed in the final third. We have huge motivations heading to Palmerston tomorrow. We haven’t won there for a while and we want to start this New Year in a positive fashion. We know what it would mean to our fans to start the year with 3 points.”

League Form :
Ayr United : WDLLD
Queen of the South : LLLLW

Head to head (League) :
Ayr United wins – 29
Draws – 15
Queen of the South wins – 35

The Honest Men are without a win in their last 15 visits to Palmerston Park (5 draws, 10
defeats), a run stretching back to August 2002.

Previous Meeting : Two Michael Miller goals from set pieces handed the Honest Men an early lead on the opening weekend of the season, back in October. Queen’s hit back with a Stephen Dobbie penalty it wasn’t enough in a game that also saw red cards for James Maxwell and Luke McCowan.

Match Officials :
Referee – Greg Aitken
Assistant Referee 1 – Gordon Crawford
Assistant Referee 2 – Craig Macrae

Live Coverage:
The game will be available to stream for £10 at https://www.qostv.co.uk/
Supporters will need to register an account before purchasing or viewing the game and anyone considering watching Saturday’s game is asked to register as soon as possible.
Once you are logged in, you should see a purchase details under “Next Match”, if you don’t, make sure you’ve clicked the “CONTINUE” button after logging in. Click on the “Paypal Payments” icon to go to the Paypal page and pay for the match. You do not need a Paypal account, to pay with a debit or credit card, click on the “Pay by Debit or Credit Card” on the Paypal page. Once you have paid, you will receive a confirmation email.

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Morton match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Greenock Morton

SPFL Championship

Tuesday 29th December 2020. Kick-off 6pm

Tomorrow night (Tuesday), the Honest Men return to Somerset Park to face Greenock Morton in the Championship. On the back of two defeats either side of Christmas, Mark Kerr’s side will be looking to get back to winning ways to remain in touch with the battle for the promotion play-offs.

 

Losses at Arbroath and Heart of Midlothian have seen the Honest Men slide out of the top four over Christmas; United currently sit a point behind Dundee in fourth and Morton in fifth, with third place Raith Rovers a further point ahead.

 

Opposition: Morton travel to Somerset Park looking for a third consecutive win following the resignation of manager David Hopkin at the start of December. Anton McElhone, supported by senior players, Chris Millar, Jim McAlister and Brian McLean, remains in interim charge and will be looking to build on wins at Dunfermline and at home to Queen of the South.

 

Ayr United Football Academy graduate Craig McGuffie grabbed the winner at East End Park for the Ton in a 2-1 win before a Kalvin Orsi double saw them see off Queen of the South at home. Morton’s Boxing Day match at home to Inverness was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Cappielow.

 

Team News: Innes Cameron misses out through injury.

Mark says: “Saturday at Tynecastle was a hard one to take, for a large part of the game we had a good shape and had done really well to get in the lead. It was incredibly frustrating to then stop doing everything we had been doing right. Tomorrow is a really big game for us, we had it pinpointed as a huge game for us as we want to put right what happened at Cappielow the last time we were there. We know the last couple of games have not been good enough and we can’t wait to get back out there and do everything we can to get the three points.”

 

League Form:

 

Ayr United: WWDLL

Greenock Morton: LDLWW

 

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 63

Draws – 35

Greenock Morton wins – 51

 

The Honest Men have played more league games against Morton than any other Scottish club and Tuesday is the 150th league meeting between the sides.

 

Previous Meeting: Greenock Morton fought back from two goals down to snatch all three points in the last meeting between the sides at the end of October. A Lewis Strapp own goal and Cammy Smith strike either side of half-time and a red card for United’s Aaron Muirhead put United ahead but three goals in five minutes from Gary Oliver, Cameron Blues and Strapp handed the Ton an unlikely win.

 

Morton also came from behind to win their last visit to Somerset Park, in February. Nicky Cadden scored the winner for Morton after Connor Malley and Kalvin Orsi traded first-half goals.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Gavin Duncan

Assistant Referee 1 – Sean Carr

Assistant Referee 2 – Ross Birrell

 

Live Coverage:

Supporters of both sides can purchase a PPV Pass to watch this game for £12.50 by visiting https://ayrunitedmedia.co.uk/live-streaming. Season ticket holders should use their QR code to log-on to watch the match.

 

HonestMen Picks:

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Club Shop Update

As per the Government guidelines our club shop will now remain closed to at least the 18th of January. However we will still be able to offer a limited click and collect service.

On Monday 28th December and Monday 4th January we will be operating a click and collect service in store from 1pm to 5pm. During this time you can order online, contact the shop and come and pick up your order. Or phone the shop and you can make a purchase over the phone.

Our contact number is 01292 263435 ext 5 and we can also be contacted on shop@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

Hearts match preview

Match Preview
Heart of Midlothian vs. Ayr United

SPFL Championship

Saturday 26th December 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Boxing Day, Ayr United travel to Edinburgh to take on league leaders Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle. The Honest Men will be looking to bounce back from defeat at Arbroath last week which ended a four match unbeaten run in the league and 6 hours of Championship football without conceding a goal.

 

The Honest Men slipped out of the top four with the loss at Gayfield but remain just three points off second place in an increasingly tight play-off picture. Just five points separate Dunfermline Athletic in second and Dundee in seventh.

 

Opposition: Hearts return to league action after Sunday’s thrilling Scottish Cup Final at Hampden that saw the Jam Tarts lose out on penalties to Celtic. The match looked to be heading only one way in the first-half after goals from Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard put Celtic in a comfortable position but second-half goals from Liam Boyce and Stephen Kingsley set the final to extra-time, which the Jambos led through Josh Ginelly, only for Leigh Griffiths to send the game to penalties.

 

Hearts hold a three point advantage at the top of the Championship with a game in hand having won six of their seven matches so far. Their only defeat came at East End Park last month. Their last league game saw them rout Queen of the South 6-1 at Tynecastle.

 

Team News:  Innes Cameron misses out through injury.

Mark says: “We let ourselves down badly last week, we were nowhere near the standards that we expect of ourselves and sometimes having a game like this after a performance like that is a good thing. Hearts are obviously big favourites for the title and you saw last weekend how good they can be but we have good players in our team that can cause them problems. We had kept 4 clean sheets in a row prior to last weekend and had been on a good unbeaten run in the league, we need to build that momentum again.”

 

League Form:

 

Ayr United: DWWDL

Heart of Midlothian: WLWWW

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 27

Draws – 20

Heart of Midlothian wins – 47

 

Boxing Day will be the first league meeting between Ayr United and Heart of Midlothian since February 1983.

 

United’s last win over Hearts was over 40 years ago: the Honest Men won both legs of a League Cup 3rd round tie in September 1980.

 

Previous Meeting:

United won the last meeting between the sides, a League Cup third round tie in September 2011. Scott Robinson put Hearts in front with a 49th-minute strike at Somerset Park but Gareth Wardlaw levelled for Ayr on 63 minutes and neither side could find a winner in extra time.

 

Kevin Cuthbert was Ayr’s penalty shoot-out hero, saving Danny Grainger’s attempt while Rudi Skacel also missed from the spot, allowing Mark Roberts to send the Honest Men into the quarter-final. Michael Moffat, Jamie McKernan and Alan Trouten also successfully converted.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – David Munro

Assistant Referee 1 – Drew Kirkland

Assistant Referee 2 – Chris Philips

 

Live Coverage:

Ayr United supporters can register for PPV by visiting https://ppv.heartsfc.co.uk/events and registering your details in the top right of the screen. Once your details are registered and you are logged in, you can purchase the PPV by clicking on the graphic in the centre of the page and then selecting ‘Purchase Game Pass’.

 

Users are encouraged to remember their login details when registering. If there any issues logging in then please contact heartstv@streamdigital.tv ahead of kick off on Saturday.

 

Hearts have set the cost to stream this game at £18.50

 

HonestMen Picks:

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