Queen of the South match preview

Match Preview

Ayr United vs. Queen of the South

Ladbrokes Championship

Saturday 16th March 2019. 3pm kick off

On Saturday, the Honest Men return to Somerset Park looking to underline their promotion play-off credentials by getting back to winning ways against Queen of the South. United have suffered three league defeats in-a-row for the first time in two years and with just two wins in 12 have seen Dunfermline and Inverness close the gap as the race for the play-off positions hots up.

The Opposition: Queen of the South find themselves sliding towards a relegation battle after seven consecutive defeats in the Championship. The Doonhamers have scored just two goals since Stephen Dobbie’s hat-trick saw them defeat Dundee in a Scottish Cup replay at Palmerston at the end of January. Saturday’s 2-0 reverse at home to Inverness was a third straight match without finding the back of the net after 1-0 defeats at Morton and Dunfermline.

Queen’s run of results means they have dropped to seventh place in the league table, just four points above bottom side Alloa Athletic, with much-improved Falkirk and Partick Thistle having closing in on Gary Naysmith’s side.

Former Ayr United goalkeeper Alan Martin was forced off at half-time against Inverness last weekend and is expected to miss Saturday’s game with a back injury while Josh Todd, Jordan Marshall and Nicky Low are also injury doubts. Prolific goalscorer Stephen Dobbie is without a goal in his last five games but has seven goals in seven appearances for the Doonhamers against Ayr.  

League Form:

Ayr United – WDLLL

Queen of the South – LLLLL

Team News:  Alan Forrest comes into the squad, Craig Moore and Andy Geggan miss out with injury but should be available for the Dunfermline game.

Ian says: “We are on a bad run at the moment, we are fully aware of that and of course all our aims at the start of the season have completely changed. Our aim now is to make the play offs and get back on a good run of form starting tomorrow. We are not looking any further ahead than tomorrow but we know if we can get a win it could spark a good run of form. It will be great to see Alan Forrest back in the squad, he could be crucial for us in this final quarter of the season.”

Head to Head (league games at Somerset Park):

Ayr United wins – 14

Draws – 8

Queen of the South wins – 14

United have just one win in the last 14 matches between the sides.

Last Match: The last two meetings between the sides this season have ended 1-1, at the end of December at Palmerston and at Somerset Park in November.

Match Officials:

Referee – John McKendrick

Assistant Referee 1 – Kylie Cockburn

Assistant Referee 2 – Ross Anderson

Admission:

Adults – £17

OAPs, students and 18-21 year olds – £11

Under 18s – £6

Falkirk 2 Ayr Utd 0

A poor display from Ayr United on Friday night meant their long run of games without a win continued as they left Falkirk with no goals and no points after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of a resurgent Bairns.

Heavy rain prior to kick-off had left the artificial pitch’s surface wet and sticky in places, resulting in awkward bounces and erratic movement of the ball for passes, something that both teams struggled with in the opening minutes of the game, but it was the Bairns that looked the stronger of the two teams in the opening salvos.

Falkirk nearly opened the scoring in only the second minute when a speculative dink forward by Paul Paton was not dealt with at the first ask by the Ayr United defence and the ball was pushed in to the path of Petravicius, but he also failed to control the ball and it was eventually cleared away Michael Rose.

On the three-minute mark the visitors had a chance at goal. Crawford picked up the ball at the half-way line and a neat header got the ball under control and allowed the player to race in to the penalty box where he got the cross away in to the path of the waiting Shankland, but the off form striker was unable to control the shot and it went sailing over the hosts cross bar and in to the crowd.

Ayr were causing Falkirk problems with Crawford and Harvie playing wide on the wings, and with Falkirk’s Paton playing on the right of the diamond formation, the defender was constantly having to make lung busting runs to intercept Ayr’s wingers.  Although Ayr had the bulk of the possession in the first twenty minutes, it was mostly confined to cross field passes as Falkirk continued to close down the strike force of Moffat and Shankland and restricted Ayr to speculative long-range shots.

It was the hosts that were to break the deadlock in the 27th minute, both against the run of play and with an outrageous attempted cross.  A throw-in on the right-hand side to Falkirk appeared to have been dealt with as Ayr pushed Falkirk back in to their own half, but McKenna worked the ball back up to Deimantas Petravicius who slid it through to captain Jordan McGhee. The defender looked goalward and seemed to be attempting a cross to the far post and the onrushing Zak Rudden, but the flight of the ball confused everyone and sneaked in to the top left-hand corner of the goal over the despairing Ross Doohan. 1-0 Falkirk.

The Bairns grew in confidence having taken the lead and proceeded to go up through the gears, putting Ayr under renewed pressure with Keillor-Dunn being the architect of things in the midfield. The Ayr defence was looking decidedly shaky and not sure how to deal with Petravicius and Rudden in the Falkirk attack.

The next goal was to be another one for the hosts as McGhee doubled his and Falkirk’s tally five minutes before the break.  Tommy Robinson crossed a high ball in to the box from the left-hand side but it sailed over the heads of both attackers and defenders and fell to McGhee loitering just outside the penalty box. A single touch to pull the ball down and under the control, and he hit a right footed half volley in to virtually the same place of the net as his first. 2-0 Falkirk and Ayr needed the next goal without question.

Ayr manager McCall rang the changes at half time, bringing on Declan McDaid to play on the left-hand side in place of Calvin Miller and Robbie Crawford pushing more in to midfield.  United did start to grow in to the match after the hour mark with both Shankland and Liam Smith causing problems in the box, but Harry Burgoyne was on top form making a couple of important saves to deny the Ayr strikers and keep Falkirk in the game.

Youngster Luke McCowan replaced Moffat on 61 minutes and Nicky Cadden got a run out as he replaced Murdoch on 75 minutes. Both substitutes brought vigour and determination to an Ayr side that were looking more and more shell shocked as the game progressed. McCowan in particular was chasing down every ball and clocking up the miles.

Ayr thought they had pulled one back in the 76th minute when a long, floating pass from Harvie far out on the left wing was met on the volley by Shankland and in to the net, but the Ayr striker was marginally offside and the assistant referee rightly had his flag up immediately to signify the transgression.

Falkirk held on for the remainder of the game and closed out the match with their two goal lead intact to record their eight unbeaten game on the bounce.

With only nine games left in the season, and a place in the play-offs still up for grabs, United are going to have to identify and resolve the issues they have encountered over the last few games as they look to regain some of the form they exhibited at the start of the season. The next game, at home to Queen of the South, whilst not being a season definer, is now of massive importance and a good performance is crucial if Ayr are not to slip further down the table and out of contention at the top.

Ayr United: Doohan, Harvie, Kerr, Rose, Moffat, Crawford, Shankland, Murdoch, Smith, Miller, Muirhead. Subs: Hare-Reid, McDaid, Adams, Docherty, Cadden, McCowan, Hilton

Falkirk: Burgoyne, McGhee, Edjenguele, Paton, Petravicius, Keillor-Dunn, Robson, McShane, Rudden, Osman, McKenna. Subs: Mitchell, Kidd, Todorov, Jarvis, MacLean, Brough, Waddington.

Referee: Alan Muir   Attendance: 4334 fffff

Player of the Year Awards 2019

We are delighted to announce the details for this years Player of the Year Awards night. The event takes place on Saturday 20th April.

The event will be held at Arthur Street Kitchen, right in the middle of Ayr town centre. Arthur St Kitchen along with the Stage Door and Hollybush Inn have supported the club with significant investment for several years now so it is fantastic that we are able to host an event of this size with them.

We have lined up two DJs who have an unbelievable pedigree. DJ Vance who will play between 11 and 12 and then Zander Nation who will play 1am to 2am. ASK’s own DJ Dean Burnett will play in between times.

There are two ways to attend this years event.

1- £30 ticket. The event begins 6.30 for 7 and you will have a 3 course buffet per table. The awards will follow dinner along with a variety of speeches. This ticket also covers the entertainment part of the evening which will begin at 10.30pm until around 3am.

2 – £10 ticket. You will gain access to Arthur St Kitchen at 10.30pm and this ticket covers the entertainment part of the evening.

The players will be in attendance all night and we hope it will be a very special night. We can have 170 for the first part of the night and a further 200 for the second part of the night so it could be our biggest event for many years.

Tickets will be available from the club shop by phone or in person from Monday March 4th and voting details for the Player of the Year will come out in the next couple of weeks.

Ross County match preview

Match Preview

Ross County vs. Ayr United

Ladbrokes Championship

Tuesday 26th February 2019. Kick-off 7.45pm

Tomorrow, Ayr United travel north to take on Ross County in a top-of-the-table clash in the Championship. It is a quick opportunity for Ian McCall’s men to reign back league leaders County, who capitalised on the Honest Men’s poor result at home to Dunfermline to open up a five point gap at the weekend.

Elsewhere in the Championship on Tuesday night, Dundee United – who are now level on points and behind Ayr only on goal difference – host fourth place Inverness at Tannadice. 

The Opposition: Ross County bounced back from the disappointment of being knocked out the Scottish Cup on penalties by near neighbours Inverness last week to take all three points from a tricky looking assignment at Firhill on Saturday. Indeed, Partick Thistle took a two goal lead into half-time only for County to come roaring back with four unanswered second-half goals to ensure the points returned to Dingwall.

Striker Ross Stewart helped himself to two goals in Glasgow, making it four goals in four games for the former Alloa and St. Mirren front man, while Billy McKay took his tally for the season to 17.

League Form:

Ayr United – WLWDL

Ross County – LLWWW

Team News:  Alan Forrest , Andy Geggan and Craig Moore miss out with injury

Ian says: “We are delighted to have a game so quickly after Saturday, it was a poor display

and something we didn’t expect. We didn’t show the urgency that we needed to and never played at a tempo that I would expect from us. Of course it is going to be a tough game but we showed in the second half up there the last time that we can cause them plenty of problems. It is a game we are really looking forward to.”

Head to Head:

Ayr United wins – 7

Draws – 9

Ross County wins – 18

United are without a win in the last 12 meetings between the sides, drawing three and losing nine.

Last Match: Josh Mullin put County ahead in the 12th minute at Somerset Park in mid-December the last time the sides met only for a Lawrence Shankland double and goal from Andy Geggan to give the Honest Men the advantage at the break. A second-half onslaught from the visitors and the conditions denied United all three points, however, with a Billy McKay penalty and Don Cowie strike earning County a point.

Earlier in the season, the Staggies won an equally narrow encounter 2-1 at the Global Energy Stadium; Billy McKay and Mullin gave the home side the advantage at half-time with United only able to reply with a second-half Shankland effort.

On this day: Nineteen years ago, Ayr defeated Motherwell 4-3 in an all-time classic Scottish Cup tie at Fir Park. A frantic first half saw six goals and two penalties.  Gary Teale opened the scoring in the 8th minute only for Lee McCulloch and Don Goodman to put Well 2-1 ahead. Two penalties within the space of 5 minutes made it 3-2 – Teale beating Andy Goram from the spot – before Neil Tarrant ensured the sides went into the break level. Just one second-half goal, Tarrant’s second, was enough to give the Honest Men the victory despite Mickey Reynolds seeing red in the 63rd minute for a crude challenge on Pat Nevin. Defender John Robertson also had a spell between the posts as keeper Craig Nelson was forced off for treatment in a game that will live long in the memory. 

Match Officials:

Referee – Nick Walsh

Assistant Referee 1 – Graham Chambers

Assistant Referee 2 – Steven Traynor

Fourth Official – John McKendrick

Admission:

Adults – £20

Concessions (Over 65s & Students) – £15

Under 18s – £5

Dunfermline match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Dunfermline Athletic

Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 23rd February 2019. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Dunfermline Athletic are the visitors to Somerset Park in another huge match as the Championship season heads towards the finishing straight. Ian McCall’s side kept a 12th clean sheet in 24 league games last week but were unable to find a winning goal against Morton at Cappielow. With Ross County in Irn-Bru Cup action, we missed the opportunity to return to the top of the table but did close the gap to the Highlanders to 2 points, with Dundee United a point behind.

The Staggies travel to Glasgow to face Partick Thistle this Saturday, while Dundee United take on Falkirk at the Falkirk Stadium. 

Opponents:Dunfermline picked up a vital three points at home to Inverness last Saturday, Stevie Crawford’s first win since taking over from Alan Johnston as manager last month. With Partick Thistle and Falkirk putting together a run of results to lift themselves off the foot of the table, The Pars find themselves nervously looking over their shoulder and currently lie five points clear of tenth place.

Young Aberdeen striker Bruce Anderson has given Dunfermline’s attacking options a fillip since his switch from Pittodrie on loan and the 20 year-old will be one to watch. There has also been a change between the posts with keeper Ryan Scully taking the gloves following his switch from Morton.

Form:

Ayr United – LWLWD

Dunfermline Athletic – DLDLW


Team News: Alan Forrest and Andy Geggan are out with injuries however are progressing well. Craig Moore injured his ankle ligaments in training during the week and will be missing for at least four weeks.

Ian says: “The fact a draw away to Morton last week has been considered a poor result just shows how far we have come in such a short space of time. Our own players expect to win games and that stands us in good stead for the run in. We are delighted to have Mark Kerr back available for the first team and he will be a crucial player for us for the rest of the season, unfortunately on the other hand Craig Moore took a bad one in training and will miss at least a month. Dunfermline had a good result last week and will be coming here looking to build on that and finish the season strongly, we know we will need to be at our best.”

Head to head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 23
Draws – 16
Dunfermline Athletic wins – 22

Saturday will be the 100th league meeting between Ayr and Dunfermline; after 11 wins in 13 games between 2010 and 2016, the Pars have just one win in the last six encounters, a 2-0 win at Somerset Park in January 2017 in which Andy Geggan and Nicky Clark scored for the visitors. 


Last Meeting:
It was 0-0 at East End Park when the sides last met, three days before Christmas in what was an instantly forgettable match. More memorable was United’s 4-1 win at Somerset Park earlier in August, when goals from Alan Forrest (2), Lawrence Shankland and Michael Moffat were countered by a solitary Jackson Longridge strike.


Match Officials:
Referee – David Munro
Assistant Referee 1 – David Doig
Assistant Referee 2 – David McKniff

Admission:

Adults – £17
Concessions – £11
Under 18s – £6

Morton 0 Ayr Utd 0

Spring may have been in the air at Cappielow, but this game was more reminiscent of a wet Friday night in December as both teams failed to ignite in a scoreless encounter. Ayr dominated the first half, but Morton edged it in the second, despite Lawrence Shankland hitting the post in the dying minutes of the game.

The first real chance fell to Shankland in 10 mins. Collecting the ball just outside the centre circle the striker drove forward at pace. A neat side-step took the ball past Morton’s Kerr Waddell and Shankland was into the penalty box, but the onrushing Gregor Buchanan proved enough of a distraction for Shankland to fire the ball into the defender and the ball ended up safely cradled in the arms of Morton keeper Robby McCrorie.

Six minutes later and Ayr created another opportunity. A headed clearance from deep in his own half by Harvie reached Shankland midway into the Morton half and his neat head flick fell in to the path of Michael Moffat. With Morton’s defenders struggling to get back into positions, it looked like all Moffat had to do was chip the keeper to put the ball in the net. Yet again McCrorie showed why he was a signing target for Ayr at the beginning of the season with a one-on-one block to push the ball away. Andy Murdoch was first to the loose ball, but McCrorie recovered quickly to save yet again.

United thought they had broken the deadlock midway through the first half, but the officials thought otherwise. Robbie Crawford won a free kick on the right after a clumsy challenge from Iredale.  Declan McDaid delivered a delightful ball into the box from the freekick that was met by Ross Docherty rising high above the Morton defence but as the ball hit the back of the net the referee’s whistle blew loud and clear. Sadly for Ayr it was to signal a push by Docherty rather than a goal and the deadlock remained unbroken.

Although Ayr continued to push forward for the remainder of the half, there were no further clear-cut chances for them as Morton defended in numbers and the first 45 mins petered to a close. Perhaps the most notable statistic was that Morton had no attempts on goal and had regularly squandered possession in the final third with misplaced and mistimed passes often ending up off the park.

Hopes of an exhilarating second half were soon to be dashed.  Morton were content to retain as much possession as possible with the aim of drawing Ayr forward against a wall of defenders then employ route one tactics to impose the ball on a thinner United backline.  The tactic showed some potential with the introduction of substitute Keelan O’Connell who added extra pace to the Morton front line, but in general Smith, Muirhead, Rose and Harvie were equal to all the ‘ton could throw at them. A spectacle of football it was most certainly not.

Ayr were being limited to longer range shots that did little to trouble the Morton keeper and even the double substitution of Nicky Cadden and Calvin Miller in the 67 mins for McDaid and Docherty did little to change the tempo of the game, although both showed a willingness to get on the ball and drive at the defence.

The final and perhaps closest chance of the game came in 86 mins. Harvie’s long throw into the penalty box was met by Shankland, bounced off two defenders to Craig Moore who touched it back to Shankland. Shankland struck cleanly and at pace and for once keeper McCrorie was beaten but the ball smashed off the base of the post and out, allowing Morton to clear. It seemed that luck was in short supply for the Honest Men.

A disappointing end to a game that had been devoid, for the most part, of incident, and certainly of goals as it ended 0-0.

Although United move to within two points of leaders Ross County they will need to find ways to goal against other sides who, as the league goes on, will employ similar tactics and try to stifle Ayr’s attacking intent.

Morton

McCrorie, Iredale, Buchanan, Waddell, Telfer, Millar, McAlister, McHugh, Dykes, Kiltie, Dallas Substitutes: Gaston (GK), Kilday, Thomson, Tumility, O’Connell, Lyon, McGrattan

Ayr United

Doohan, Harvie, Rose, Moffat, Crawford, McDaid, Shankland, Murdoch, Docherty, Smith, Muirhead Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Higgins, Moore, Bell, Adams, Cadden, Miller

Referee: Colin Steven

Attendance: 2335 3

Morton match preview

Match Preview

Greenock Morton vs. Ayr United

Ladbrokes Championship

Saturday 16th February 2019. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United have the opportunity to return to the top of the Championship when they travel to take on Greenock Morton at Cappielow. Both sides sat out last weekend as the Scottish Cup took centre stage and return to action looking to boost their promotion hopes. United were 3-1 winners last time out at Alloa and travel to Inverclyde boosted by the return of Jamie Adams from injury. 

Elsewhere in the Championship on Saturday, Dundee United travel to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South, Inverness are at Dunfermline but Ross County are not in action; they take on East Fife in the semi-final of the Irn-Bru Cup tonight (Friday) at the Global Energy Stadium.

The Opposition: Greenock Morton still have aspirations of making the promotion play-offs and currently sit four points adrift of fourth placed Inverness. Recent results, however, have not helped their cause with Jonatan Johansson’s side taking just one point from their last three league matches.


An improved second-half performance and Tannadice and a Bob McHugh goal was not enough to overcome Dundee United a fortnight ago, while their last home game was a goalless draw with Dunfermline Athletic. Defeat at Alloa Athletic preceded a shock Scottish Cup exit at the hands of East Fife.

Goalkeeper Robby McCrorie and striker Andrew Dallas have joined the Ton on loan from Johansson’s former side Rangers, along with midfielders Greg Kiltie from Kilmarnock and Dylan Dykes of Ross County, with all four new recruits featuring against Dundee United.

League Form:

Ayr United – LLWLW

Greenock Morton – WWLDL

Team News:Alan Forrest, Mark Kerr and Andy Geggan miss out with injuries.

Ian says: “After a Saturday with no game we are really looking forward to getting back out there. The boys have been

working really hard and coming off the back of a good win at Alloa we want to keep up the momentum. Every game in this league is tough and Morton have their own reasons for needing the 3 points. Injuries are starting to clear up and with the new additions we are now looking very strong on the bench again. Hopefully our supporters get right behind us the way they did the last time at Cappielow.”

Head to Head (league):

Ayr United wins – 61

Draws – 33

Morton wins – 49

United have scored 99 league goals at Cappielow.

Last Match: Morton held Ayr to a goalless draw at Somerset Park in the last meeting between the sides, back in November in a match that saw striker Craig Moore sent-off. Earlier in the season, Moore netted two of four unanswered second-half goals for the Honest Men in a thumping 5-1 win at Cappielow. 

On this day: in 2013, United defeated Albion Rovers 5-2 at Somerset Park with Michael Moffat helping himself to a hat-trick. Michael Donald scored the Honest Men’s first and third goals with Robbie Winters notching twice for the Wee Rovers.

Match Officials:

Referee – Colin Steven

Assistant Referee 1 – Sean Carr

Assistant Referee 2 – Ross Macleod

Admission:

Adults – £20

Concessions (Over 65s, Students, 18-20 year olds) – £15

Child (12-17) – £5

Child (u12) – £1

Advice for travelling support

For Ayr United fans travelling to Cappielow

  • There are no planned rail engineering works or road closures scheduled between Ayr and Greenock. Check www.scotrail.co.uk and www.trafficscotland.org for details.
  • The entry point for all away fans except wheelchair users are as follows: Enter via turnstiles at west side of the stadium (Wee Dublin End). Supporters buses can drop off on East Hamilton Street facing west just past the Arnold Clark showroom. The buses can uplift fans from there 15 minutes prior to end of game and continue to next roundabout (McDonalds) to return east.
  • Supporters will be accommodated in the covered west section of the terracing (standing only). There is also limited seating available in section G of the main stand. Both areas are accessed from west turnstiles.       
  • Prices for entry are Adult £20, Concession £15 (Over 65, student and 17 -20yrs. PROOF MUST BE SHOWN), Age 12-16yrs £5, Child under 12yrs £1 (must be accompanied by adult). Cash only at turnstile. No tickets available for away fans.
  • Wheelchair users pay but carer is free. 1 carer per wheelchair user unless there are special requirements for another carer. This is due to limited space.

Alloa 1 Ayr Utd 3

Alloa Athletic 1 v 3 Ayr United

by AUmedia

A chilly but bright sun shining day at the Indodrill Stadium provided perfect conditions for football and it would turn out to be a perfect day for the Honest Men running out 1-3 winners. Manager Ian McCall gave first starts to recent signings Aaron Muirhead and Calvin Miller with top striker Lawrence Shankland also returning to the starting line-up.

Ayr started brightly, with Miller on the right-wing keen to impress, and both Moffat and Shankland looking sharp and desperate to add to their tally of goals for the season.

Early skirmishes saw new boy Miller bring out a full length save from keeper Parry with a 22-yard drive. Alloa responded with Zannata getting onto a cross from the right but lifting the ball well over the bar when it seemed easier to hit the target. Moffat then linked up well with Shankland before dribbling past three men and into the box before dragging his shot just wide of the post. 

Ayr began to dominate, with Alloa content to sit back and rely on attacking on the break. Both Miller and McDaid on the wings were torturing Alloa’s backline and creating chances for those in and around the box.  Still, Alloa were dangerous and created chances on their forays up the field, Flannigan coming close with a flicked shot from on the penalty spot going wide.

On 28 mins United claimed the opening goal. After an attempt by McDaid was blocked, Smith played the ball back to the winger near the edge of the box. McDaid slid the ball to Moffat who controlled with the most delicate of touches to line up the ball for a 20 yard, left-footed pile driver that screamed into the top left corner of the net. 0-1 Ayr United and Moffat celebrated the birth of his daughter Mila, early that morning, in the finest of fashions.

The lead lasted only 90 seconds before Alloa grabbed the equaliser. Goalkeeper Parry rolled the ball out and Alloa worked down the right before knocking in a cross which was headed by Zannata to Flannigan on the left. Flannigan found Trouten at the edge of the box and the ex-Ayr man controlled the ball, stepped past Docherty into space and steered his shot in at the bottom left-hand post.  All square at 1 – 1, and so it remained until the interval.

The second half began with United continuing to press hard but Alloa using the slope to encourage a more attacking formation. Even with Alloa’s more offensive intent, the men from Ayrshire still maintained the majority of play and control, and it was no surprise when they took the lead again.

Parry’s long goal kick into the Ayr half was met solidly by the head of Aaron Muirhead and the ball returned over the Alloa backline and in nipped Moffat to race into the box. With Liam Dick failing to get to the ball, keeper Parry rushed from his goal and simply charged into Moffat sending him sprawling to the deck. Referee Roncone was left with the easy decision to point to the spot. Lawrence Shankland stepped up, sending the goalkeeper to the left while the ball nestled in the back of the net to the right. 52 mins gone, 1-2 Ayr.

The match upped in pace, Murdoch smashed the ball over from the edge of the box for Ayr, then Alloa responded. Muirhead blocked a Zanatta drive from 8 yards before Doohan made it look easy stopping a Kirkpatrick shot from the edge of the box in a frantic 30 seconds of action.

On 83 mins Ayr should have had a second penalty when Moffat broke into the box and, as he lined up one-on-one with keeper Parry, defender Andy Graham slid in from behind and clipped the striker as he prepared to pull the trigger. A stone wall penalty of granitic proportions except for in the eyes of referee Roncone. Shocked disbelief flooded the ground, and, for his protests, Ian McCall got a talking to from the referee.

The injustice would have become even more egregious a few minutes later had it not been for keeper Doohan.

Somewhat inspired by their let off, Alloa pushed forward and gained a corner on the left. The ball in was then nodded back across goal by Dick to Flannigan, in perfect position 10 yards out on the right of the box. Flanagan drove the ball goalwards but Doohan reacted at speed, acrobatically touching the ball off his near post and so averted the danger. This was a save of some quality.

On 88 mins the scales of justice were somewhat re-balanced, and it was that man Moffat again. Ayr were back in control and pushing towards the Alloa goal.  The Alloa defence was not allowed time on the ball as United pressed and a series of passes across their own box were hotly contested.

The ball took on all the attributes of a hot potato and, as passes became clumsier and clumsier, a mistake looked sure to come, and come it did. Docherty tipped the ball away from Kirkpatrick to Shankland who went to the line and cut back to new boy Nicky Cadden. Cadden appeared to be pushed from behind by Kirkpatrick but karma kicked in as the ball ricocheted off the shin of Taggart, back off Kirkpatrick and straight to Moffat who slammed the ball into the top of the net. 1 – 3 Ayr, and a second for Moffat who could now dedicate this one to his son Luka and rule out any early sibling rivalry.

Alloa had no way back and Ayr comfortably ran-down the final few minutes. United’s performance cemented second place in the league and gave notice that Ayr mean business and can maintain a top of the table challenge

With two weeks until the next game, away to Greenock Morton, Ayr now have time to allow players on the injury list to regain full fitness while integrating the new boys within the squad.

Alloa Athletic

Parry, Taggart, Graham, Dick, Robertson, Kirkpatrick, Shields, Hetherington, Flannigan, Zannata, Trouten Substitutes: Cawley, Aitchison, Brown, Hamilton, Peggie, Henry.

Ayr United

Doohan, Harvie, Rose, Moffat, Shankland, Murdoch, Smith, Muirhead, McDaid, Miller, Docherty Substitutes: Hare-Reid, Higgins, Bell, Moore, Cadden, Crawford, McCowan

Referee: Mick Roncone

Attendance: 957

Cadden signs on loan

Manager Ian McCall has made his second signing of the January transfer window to bring in winger Nicky Cadden (22) on loan from Livingston for the rest of the season.

Ian said “Nicky played a lot of games in the Championship last season when Livingston got promotion. He fits the profile in terms of the type of boy and age we are looking for. He can play on the left or the right and has real pace. Nicky is coming in on loan but you never know what might happen in the future. We are delighted to get him.”

Nicky was with Motherwell as a youth before signing with Airdrie in 2013. He left there at the end of the 2015-16 season and signed for Livingston. He then played an integral part in the Livingston team that won League One in the 2016-17 season and then won promotion to the Premiership after the playoffs in the 2017-18 season.

Burns Supper Cancelled

Unfortunately we have been left with no option other than to cancel our Burns Supper planned for the Friday in the Ally MacLeod hospitality suite.

We would like to thank everyone who was due to perform at the event and our MC who put in a large amount of time and effort as always.

Anyone who has already purchased a ticket can receive a full refund by contacting our club shop.