Livingston match preview

Match Preview
Livingston vs. Ayr United

Betfred Cup Second Round

Saturday 28th November 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, the Honest Men travel to the Tony Macaroni Arena to take on managerless Livingston in the last sixteen of the Betfred Cup. Mark Kerr’s side go into the game boosted by a 2-0 win over Dundee last weekend which saw United climb into the top four in the Championship table.

 

Opposition: Livingston will have interim management duo David Martindale and Tony Caig in the dugout on Saturday following the resignation of head coach Gary Holt on Thursday. The former Norwich and Scotland midfielder was appointed Livi manager in August 2018, replacing Kenny Miller, and guided the Lions to Premiership safety in his first season in charge. Further success followed last season when Holt steered the club to fifth, its second-highest ever league finish, however, with Livi sitting 10th out of 12 in the top flight and 12 points from 15 matches, Holt felt it was time to step away from the Tony Macaroni Stadium hotseat.

 

Holt leaves a squad that features former Ayr United fans favourites in the shape of Nicky Devlin, Robbie Crawford (currently on loan at Motherwell) and Alan Forrest. Ayr United Football Academy graduate Forrest has adapted well to life in the top flight following his summer move and has eight goals to his name so far including doubles in his last two League Cup outings. Other men to watch for the homeside include striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who started his career at Arsenal, however former Rangers and Hearts midfielder Jason Holt misses out after being hit with a retrospective two-game ban for a challenge in Livingston’s 1-0 loss at home to St. Mirren on Saturday.

 

The Lions eased through the Group Stage of the Betfred Cup, with four wins out of four against Alloa Athetlic, Edinburgh City, Airdrieonians and Stenhousemuir scoring 15 goals into the bargain.

 

Team News: Tom Walsh misses out through injury.

Mark says: :”We had a good result and performance last week and we really want to build on that. It is important to build momentum and get a run of positive results going. We know how tough it will be, Livingston are a good Premiership side however we won’t be going their to defend. ”

 

League Form:

 

Livingston: LLLDL

Ayr United: WDLDW

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 21

Draws – 13

Livingston wins – 19

 

There have been four meetings in the League Cup between the sides, with each side recording two wins.

 

Previous Meeting: United and the Lions met in the Group stage of the Betfred Cup last season at Almondvale. Goals for Aymen Souda and Ricki Lamie gave Livi all three points, with Andy Murdoch netting a consolation for the Honest Men.

 

Team: Doohan; Ferguson, Harvie, Bell, Roscoe (Muirhead); Murdoch, Docherty, Kelly, McCowan; Moffat, Doolan (Forrest).

 

On this day: in 2001, the Honest Men defeated Inverness Caledonian Thistle 5-1 in the quarter-final of the League Cup, setting up a semi-final appearance against Hibernian. Ross Tokley scored the first goal of the game at Somerset Park for the visitors in the 9th minute but James Grady, John Robertson, Pat McGinlay and a Eddie Annand double sent the Honest Men to Hampden ater Tokely was sent off shortly after scoring.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – David Munro

Assistant Referee 1 – David McGeachie

Assistant Referee 2 – Aklan Mulvanny

Fourth Official – Steven McLean

 

Streaming:

The live stream of Saturday’s game is available to purchase now at https://ppv.livingstonfc.co.uk/events. The price is £15.00

Supporters will need to set up an account prior to buying a game pass then will login to their account on Saturday to view the game.

Please note that PPV purchasing cuts off at 14:30 on Saturday, so please purchase your pass before then. PPV purchasing will open back up after KO for anyone who may have missed the deadline.

HonestMen Picks:

Download the new HonestMen Picks app on Apple or Android and predict Saturday’s match action for a chance to top the live leaderboard and win cash prizes.

 

Honestmen Picks winners

On Saturday we had our first HonestMen Picks questions and over 400 of you entered for a free shot at £500.

Congratulations to all our winners, the prize pot is being reset and we will have new questions shortly for Saturdays Betfred Cup tie at Livingston.

1st – £250 – csmith1910

2nd – £75 – afwhitefield

2nd – £75 – MonAyr

2nd – £75 – pauline-86

5th – £12.50 – Gr4mmy

5th – £12.50 – tinthehibbie

After winning £75 for a share of second place we caught up with afwhitefield who said :”I was shocked when I saw I was leading at half time and didn’t expect to stay in the top 5 by full time but I was really happy I managed to finish 2nd. Knowing that entering the competition helps out the club meant it was a no-brainer to get involved. I love the fact that it is free to enter but it also offers so much more detail than you can usually get on the Scottish Championship. I was at home when I found out, told my Dad and now he is going to enter this week! I will be using the winnings to buy some Christmas presents and look forward to hopefully winning again!”

Club Shop Update

We would like to thank everyone who has been into our Club Shop over the last couple of days prior to this lockdown.

Our Club Shop must now close as per the Government Guidelines however we want to make sure that we are still there for you during the next 3 weeks.

We are going to be in the Shop on Monday 1-5 and Thursday 1-5 and during that time you can call us if there is anything you would like, pay over the phone, and then come to the car park give us a call and we will give you your order.

Alternatively our online shop is still open. We will be posting out orders on Mondays and Thursdays, or if you choose local pick up you can come to the shop, call us from outside and we will give you your order.

Get in touch if we don’t have your size as we will be receiving all missing sizes at the beginning of December (unfortunately not for the away kit)

The phone number for the shop is 01292 263435 ext 5 and find us online – https://ayrunitedfc.co.uk/club-shop/

Thank you again to all our customers for the support.

Dundee match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Dundee

SPFL Championship
Saturday 21st November 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, the Honest Men take on Dundee at Somerset Park looking for both an improved performance and result against an opponent with similar promotion play-off aspirations. Both sides have five points from their opening four league fixtures, with Ayr in fifth place and Dundee sixth.

 

With a number of players unavailable last weekend due to being cup tied, suspended or on international duty, Mark Kerr has more options to choose from as the Honest Men look to return to winning ways.

 

Opposition: Dundee took on Hibernian last Sunday at Easter Road with their place in the next round of the Betfred Cup guaranteed but looking to top Group B. The Dees held their own for large periods of the game against Premiership opponents after Stevie Mallan’s long range opener put Hibs ahead and Christie Elliot scored an equaliser with twenty minutes remaining but the Dens Park side lost three goals in six minutes late on to lose 4-1.

 

Their last Championship fixture was away to Alloa Athletic where a late Charlie Adam penalty earned them a point. An Alan Trouten double had the Wasps 3-1 in front after Declan McDaid cancelled out Robert Thomson’s first-half goal before Cammy Kerr then Adam meant the Dark Blues avoided their second defeat of the season.

 

Former Ayr winger McDaid and former Scotland internationalist Charlie Adam – who joined his boyhood club in the summer in a coup for manager James McPake – will be well known to United fans. Defender Lee Ashcroft is another new face following his move from Dunfermline Athletic and is set to return on Saturday after missing the last three matches following a positive COVID test. McPake last week also added goalkeeper Adam Legzdins to his squad. The former Birmingham and Derby keeper could make his debut for the Dark Blues at Somerset Park having spent the last three years with English Premier League side Burnley.

 

Team News:  Aaron Muirhead returns to the squad after suspension. Paddy Reading returns from International duty and Cammy Smith & Innes Cameron return after being cup tied. Tom Walsh misses out with injury.

Mark says: “We have been working on a plan all week to come out of the game with a positive result. We want to be more on the front foot and show how good we can be going forward. Dundee will fully expect to be up there at the end of the season so we are really looking forward to playing against them. We need to take advantage of being at Somerset and build momentum.”

 

Championship Form:

Ayr United: WDLD

Dundee: LWDD

 

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 24

Draws – 21

Dundee wins – 52

 

Previous Meeting: The Honest Men faced Dundee in back-to-back games immediately prior to the cessation of the Championship season in March. Kane Hemmings and a late Oli Cranshaw goal gave the Dark Blues all three points at Dens Park on Tuesday 10th March, four days on from a goalless draw at Somerset.

 

James McPake’s side won the first two match-ups of the last season, 1-0 at Dens Park in August 2019 and 2-1 at Somerset Park in October 2019 – Luke McCowan’s consolation our only goal in four matches against Dundee.

 

On this day: in 1936, United defeated Stenhousemuir 8-3 in a Division 2 match at Somerset Park.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Graham Beaton

Assistant Referee 1 – Graeme Leslie

Assistant Referee 2 – Colin Drummond

 

Streaming:

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:

Download the new HonestMen Picks app on Apple or Android and predict Saturday’s match action for a chance to top the live leaderboard and win cash prizes.

Club Statement

Ayr United have been offered and accepted the resignation of Director Jim Kirkwood from the Board of Directors.

 

Stranraer match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Stranraer
Betfred Cup Group F
Saturday 14th November 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, the Honest Men go head-to-head with familiar foes Stranraer at Somerset Park with a place in the last 16 of the Betfred Cup at stake.

A shock win at a rain lashed Stair Park on Wednesday night for League 2 Stranraer over Premiership strugglers Hamilton Accies sets up a winner takes all clash in Group F. Both clubs have six points from their three matches in the competition and the winner will overtake current section leaders Annan, who have completed all four of their fixtures.

Since the group stages were introduced for season 2016/17, we have only failed to progress to the last 16 once – Stranraer’s penalty shootout win at Somerset denying Ian McCall’s side progression last season. Mark Kerr will be looking to avoid a repeat in what is sure to be a
tough encounter for the Honest Men.

Opposition : Along with Heart of Midlothian and Partick Thistle, Stranraer were the third casualties of the premature cessation to league football in March and were relegated to League 2 this summer. The Blues were demoted with a record of 0.59 points per game after
27 matches, eight points behind ninth placed Forfar Athletic. Stevie Farrell’s side were on a run of 14 matches without a win when the season ended.

Stranraer’s 2020/21 campaign started with back-to-back draws against fellow League 2 sides in the Betfred Cup. They took the bonus point after a 1-1 draw at Galabank against Annan, Ruari Paton on the scoresheet, but it was Albion Rovers who won an epic shootout at Stair Park three days later. Defender Aryton Sonkur and Paton again scored in a 2-2 draw against the Wee Rovers, setting up a penalty that the visitors edged 15-14. They have started life in League 2 with four points from their four games, winning 2-0 last time out at
home to Cowdenbeath before humbling Hamilton Accies on Wednesday.

United will come up against former goalkeeper Greg Fleming, who joined the Blues in the summer replacing Max Currie between the sticks following his move to Airdrie. Experienced striker Darryl Duffy netted the winner on Wednesday night, with fellow new signings Ruari
Paton, Tom Orr and Joao Victoria also contributing in forward areas. Familiar faces Scott Robertson, Grant Gallagher and Andy Stirling also remain on Stevie Farrell’s roster.

Team News : Aaron Muirhead is suspended. Paddy Reading is on international duty. Innes Cameron and Cammy Smith are cup tied.

Mark says :”It is a good opportunity for us. We would all have taken having to win our final game at Somerset to qualify for the next stage and now the equation is simple for both teams. Win and qualify. We have played Stranraer at this stage a couple of times recently so we know they will be up for it and it will be a tough game. After the last couple of games we are now looking to build momentum and go on a winning run and we have been looking forward to the game all week. With a few players out there is opportunities for others and they need to come in and impress.”

Head to head (at Somerset Park) :
Ayr United wins – 31
Draws – 7
Stranraer wins – 10

The Blues have departed Somerset Park victories in their last two visits. In April 2018, a 85th minute Scott Agnew penalty put a serious dent in the Honest Men’s League 1 title aspirations, earning Stranraer a 2-1 win in a match which saw Lawrence Shankland sent-off
in the first-half after Jamie Adams cancelled out Grant Anderson’s opener.

Previous Meeting :
More recently, the two sides met in the final group match in last season’s Betfred Cup, in July 2019. With United needing a win to confirm progression to the next round of the competition as one of the four best runners-up, the Honest Men were held to a 2-2 draw by their League 1 opponents who went on to take the bonus point in a penalty-shoot out after Daniel Harvie missed United’s sixth kick. Adam Cummins netted twice for the Blues after Michael Moffat and Stephen Kelly had twice put Ayr ahead during the 90 minutes.

On this day : In 2017, United defeated title rivals Raith Rovers 3-0 at Somerset Park thanks to goals from Lawrence Shankland, Robbie Crawford and Craig Moore.

Match Officials :
Referee – Barry Cook
Assistant Referee 1 – Craig Ferguson
Assistant Referee 2 – Michael Addy

Streaming:
Supporters of both sides can purchase a PPV Pass to watch this game for £10 by visiting https://ayrunitedmedia.co.uk/live-streaming . A reminder that season ticket holders QR codes are not valid for this game.

Live Streaming Update

We are aware that some of you had issues prior to or during Saturday’s live stream with Dunfermline.

 

We would like to apologise to anyone that had problems and assure all supporters that we are doing everything possible to eradicate them.

 

During the night on Friday we experienced a server issue which meant that on Saturday morning many season ticket holders had problems trying to log in. This was fixed around an hour before kick off however we are aware that some supporters still experienced an issue.

 

The server issue also meant that for a period of time supporters who were buying the game on a PPV basis did not receive their code.

 

We have been testing this on Sunday, all day today and will continue to do so for the rest of the week however we are as close to certain as we can be that the problem is now solved.

 

There were also complaints around some of the camera work on Saturday, that the action seemed far away. Normally we have three cameras available to us, one following the action and two others on the goalmouths at each end, but on Saturday only the live action camera was available for use. We will have the additional cameras back for this weeks and subsequent games. 

We are also working on improving the support available to fans who are having issues with the live stream as we are aware that on Saturday it wasn’t possible to respond to everyone.

 Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure the smooth running of the live streaming service. We will be working through everyone who has contacted us over the next couple of days so please bear with us while we do so.

 

Dunfermline match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Dunfermline Athletic
SPFL Championship
Saturday 7th November 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, United return to Somerset Park with league leaders Dunfermline Athletic the visitors for our latest Championship fixture. The Honest Men looked to be on course for all three points at Cappielow last weekend despite being reduced to 10 men following Aaron
Muirhead’s red card. However, a disastrous five minute spell saw Mark Kerr’s side fall to their first league defeat of the season and a record of four points from a possible nine. Four of our next five games are at home, including next week’s Betfred Cup tie against Stranraer.

Opposition : Dunfermline have started the season strongly with six wins out of six. They are yet to concede a goal in the Betfred Cup, recording wins over Dumbarton, rivals Falkirk and a coronavirus-hit Kilmarnock side. Their league campaign started with a 3-1 win over
Inverness at East End Park and they went one better a week later at Alloa, Kevin O’Hara coming off the bench to score a 23 minute hat-trick.

Last weekend, the Pars saw off Queen of the South at home. Defender Euan Murray netted his fifth goal in six games in the first-half, with Declam McManus doubling the home side’s advantage before the break. Paul Watson’s strike on the hour mark was ultimately the
winner, coming either side of Joe McKee’s goal and a Stephen Dobbie penalty.

Sixteen players left East End Park permanently in the summer, most notably striker Kevin Nesbit who moved to Hibs in a £250,000 transfer after scoring 23 goals in 32 appearances last season. Experienced defender Stephen Whittiker made the opposite journey across to
the Queensferry Crossing and forwards Declan McManus, Kevin O’Hara and Dom Thomas have all contributed this season since joining the club, Thomas’s set piece delivery in particular being a dangerous option for Stevie Crawford’s side.

Team News : Tom Walsh misses out with injury. Aaron Muirhead is suspended. Everyone else is fit and available.

Mark says : “It is another big game for us. We know we should be in a better position than we currently are however we have worked extremely hard to tidy up the areas that have spoiled what have been, in the main, good performances. Dunfermline have had a good start and we need to make sure we deal their threats, especially from set pieces. As frustrated as we have been with Saturdays defeat we must also look at the fact there were so many really good performances and move forward.”

Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 38
Draws – 30
Dunfermline Athletic wins – 58

Four of the last five fixtures between the teams have ended 1-0.

Previous Meeting :
Craig Moore’s first half goal was enough to give the Honest Men all three points in the last meeting between the sides, at East End Park in January. Dunfermline won both of the first two encounters of last season. Kevin Nisbet scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for the Pars at Somerset in December while in October 2019 Stevie Crawford’s side were victorious in a five-goal thriller in Fife. Greg Kilite opened the scoring with Andy Ryan making it 3-2 late on after Lee Ashcroft cancelled out his first-half own goal with a spectacular volley and Alan Forest had put the Honest Men ahead.

On this day : In 1959, Ayr defeated Celtic 3-2 at Celtic Park in Division One.

Match Officials :
Referee – Craig Napier
Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Stevenson
Assistant Referee 2 – Steven Traynor

Streaming:
Non-season tickets holders can purchase a PPV Pass to watch this game for £12.50 by
visiting https://ayrunitedmedia.co.uk/live-streaming

Morton match preview

Match Preview
Greenock Morton vs. Ayr United
SPFL Championship
Saturday 31st October 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, United are on the road again for our third Championship fixture of the season, a short trip along the coast to take on Greenock Morton. A late Nikolay Todorov goal denied the Honest Men all three points – and a rare win in the Highlands – last weekend, but Mark
Kerr’s men will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the league campaign.

Opposition : Morton have opened the Championship campaign with a 1-0 win and a 1-0 defeat – three points that sees David Hopkin’s side sit in fifth place in the early standings. A 10th minute Cameron Salkeld goal was enough to give the Ton a win on the opening weekend of the season over Alloa Athletic at Cappielow but it was an early goal by the home side Dundee that saw Morton fall at Dens Park last Saturday. Both matches have seen red cards shown to Morton players: Josh McPake was ordered off against Alloa while Robbie Muirhead picked up two yellow cards for dissent against Dundee and will miss tomorrow’s game through suspension.

Morton’s summer signings include 6ft 3in defender Markus Fjørtoft, son of former Norweigian international Jan Åge Fjørtoft; 20 year-old goalkeeper Aidan McAdams, who takes over from Danny Rodgers between the sticks, and striker Gary Oliver who swaps Queen of the
South for the Ton for a second time in his career.

Team News : Tom Walsh misses out through injury. Luke McCowan comes back into the squad after suspension.

Mark says : “We were frustrated last week as we felt that we should have came away with 3 points so we can’t wait to get back out there. Cappielow is always a tough place to go and we know they will be well organised. There is a huge incentive tomorrow to go out and get the win as 7 points out of 9 would be a pretty decent start. Our creative players will need to be at their best and we will be looking to create opportunities.”

Head to head (League) :
Ayr United wins – 63
Draws – 35
Morton wins – 50
The Honest Men are unbeaten in their last four visits to Cappielow Park.

Previous Meeting :
Morton won the last meeting between the sides, which took place at Somerset Park in February. Connor Malley opened the scoring for United with a neat finish over Danny Rodgers in the 22nd minute after the on loan Boro midfielder was played in by Aaron Drinnan. Ayr could only hold on to the lead for six minutes, however, when Kalvin Orsi scrambled home an equaliser and the Ton would go on to win the game; Nicky Cadden racing onto to a long ball out of defence to net the winner in the second half.

Earlier last season we recorded two wins over Morton, a 4-2 victory at Somerset Park in August 2019 and a 3-2 win at Cappielow in October, Mark Kerr’s first in charge of the Honest Men.

On this day : In 1936, Ayr defeated Brechin City 8-1 at home in Division Two.

Match Officials :
Referee – Greg Aitken
Assistant Referee 1 – Alastair Mather
Assistant Referee 2 – Jonathan Bell

Streaming :
Saturday’s game can be streamed for £14 at: https://tv.gmfc.net/

Inverness match preview

Match Preview
Inverness Caledonian Thistle vs. Ayr United

SPFL Championship
Saturday 24th October 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United make the long journey north to take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle in their second Championship fixture of the season.

Mark Kerr’s men opened the campaign with a narrow win over Queen of the South at Somerset Park last Saturday; Michael Miller benefiting from the dangerous set-piece delivery of former-Inverness man Joe Chalmers to net twice against the Doonhamers, ensuring the Honest Men kicked off with a league win for the fourth consecutive season.

United head north boosted by the additions of forwards Cammy Smith and Innes Cameron.

 

Opposition: After taking two points from their opening two Betfred Cup games, Inverness started their league campaign with a defeat at the hands of Dunfermline last weekend. Despite taking a second minute lead through Bulgarian forward Nikolay Todorov, the Pars responded with three goals to send John Robertson’s side home empty-handed.

Robertson was without a number of first-teamers for the trip to Fife, with Lewis Toshney, David Carson, Kai Kennedy, Aaron Doran, Shane Sutherland and Miles Storey all unavailable. There was further injury woe for Caley Thistle when goalscorer Todorov was forced off after 20 minutes following a collision.

While important players in the shape of Shaun Rooney, Carl Tremarco, Charlie Trafford and Jordan White – a regular thorn in United’s side during his time at Inverness – departed the Caledonian Stadium in the summer, Robbie Deas (Celtic), Danny Devine (Dunfermline Athletic), Wallace Duffy (St. Johnstone) have all joined to bolster the defensive line for a club that will again be looking to finish in the play-off positions.

 

Team News: Cammy Smith and Innes Cameron are added to the squad. Tom Walsh misses out through injury. Luke McCowan is suspended.


Mark says: “We have watched the Dunfermline Inverness game from last weekend and Inverness were in control for most of the match but lost goals at crucial times. They are very good at stretching the game and we know from recent seasons that it is always a very hard place to go. We go there with confidence. We have had a good weeks training with a week between matches and also a couple of new faces into the squad.”

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 8

Draws – 12

Inverness wins – 18

The Honest Men have just one win in 18 matches at the Caledonian Stadium. That win came in January 2003 and since then it has been five draws and four defeats under the shadow of the Kessock Bridge.

Previous Meeting: United’s victory over Caley Thistle last time out ended a eight-match streak without a win over the Highlanders. Stephen Kelly’s 61st minute goal was enough to give Mark Kerr’s men all three points at Somerset Park in January. Inverness won both the two earlier encounters last season 2-0.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Alan Muir

Assistant Referee 1 – John McCrossan

Assistant Referee 2 – George King

 

Streaming:

Saturday’s game can be streamed on the SPFL’s Match Centre website. Register for an account and buy the match for £10 at: https://matchcentre.spfl.co.uk/subscribe