QofS match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Queen of the South

Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 28th December 2019. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United bring 2019 to a close with a home fixture against Queen of the South. Despite a strong first-half showing at Tannadice Park seven days ago, the Honest Men were comprehensively defeated by runaway league leaders Dundee United and will be looking to bring in the new year with all three points here against the Doonhamers.

 

Opponents: Queen of the South travel to Somerset Park on the back of a 2-0 win over Arbroath last weekend. Dan Pybus put Queens ahead in the first-half and the points were secured with a late Ricky Little own goal. Allan Johnston’s side lie six points adrift of the promotion play-offs in sixth place but have a game in hand on the sides around them.

 

Team News:. Andy Murdoch and Jamie Adams are out with injuries. Mark Kerr serves a one match suspension.

Mark says:”We are hugely focused on finishing the year on a high. Queens have been on a decent run and have some top players but we need to start the game the way we did last week, we need to be more clinical in the final third. Of course we need to ensure that we eradicate individual errors, it’s a really big game for us and one we are hugely looking forward to.”

Championship Form:

Ayr United: LLDWL

Queen of the South: WLWLW

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 38

Draws – 17

Queen of the South wins – 37

 

United have scored exactly one goal in the last five matches between the sides (2 wins, 2 draws, 1 defeat)

 

Previous Meeting:

Queen of the South were 3-1 winners at Palmerston Park in the last meeting between the sides, last month. Left-back Kevin Holt opened the scoring in the 18th minute with Michael Moffat equalising 20 minutes later but the Doonhamers went on to dominate the second-half, scoring through Connor Murray and Gary Oliver. United’s woes were exacerbated when forward Luke McCowan was shown a straight red card.

 

It was the Honest Men who took all three points at Somerset Park in August, Stephen Kelly with the only goal of the game.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – David Lowe

Assistant Referee 1 – Graeme Stewart

Assistant Referee 2 – George King

 

Admission:

Adult – £18

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

U18’s – £6

 

Supporters are encouraged to purchase their tickets online in advance of kick-off to avoid queuing on matchday.

Dundee Utd 4 Ayr Utd 0

Dundee United 4 v 0 Ayr United

by AUmedia

 

Ayr suffered a frustrating 4-0 defeat to Championship leaders Dundee United on Saturday. Sam Stanton opened the scoring before Ayr were reduced to 10 men in a controversial penalty incident. Lawrence Shankland converted from the spot to double the hosts’ lead and further goals from Nicky Clark and Ian Harkes sealed victory for the home team at Tannadice Park.

Ayr had the better start to the game and dominated in the early stages with good passing and delightful one-touch football across the park.

The Honest Men looked up for it and recorded their best chance on 12 mins when Daniel Harvie sent a stinging shot from 20 yards goal-wards, but saw his effort kept out of the net by a great one-handed save from Terrors keeper Benjamin Siegrist.

Dundee United were sitting deep to defend Ayr’s attacks and didn’t create significant chances themselves. With about half an hour gone, the hosts started to look more controlled in midfield, but despite signs of improvement, Ayr kept the upper hand and remained the stronger side.

On 42 mins, however, Dundee United broke the deadlock against the run of play. Paul McMullan stole the ball from Steven Bell and cut in from the left to play it into the path of Sam Stanton who flicked in from close range and put the Tangerines 1-0 up at the break.

Dundee United had a more spirited start to the second half and now looked a real threat going forward.

On 57 mins, Stanton attempted a shot inside the box and as Mark Kerr came in to take the ball off him, both players lost their balance and went down. Referee Greg Aitken pointed to the spot. The decision appeared extremely harsh and United players surrounded the official. Daniel Harvie was booked and moments later, as Mark Kerr walked away, he was called back and given a straight red card apparently as a result of something that he had said.

Lawrence Shankland stepped up to take the penalty and slammed it into the top right-hand corner to make it 2-0 Dundee United.

Shortly after, on 61 mins, a cutback from Shankland set Nicky Clark up 8 yards out and he hit a first-time strike into the net to put the result beyond doubt.

Ayr looked rattled and the game went flat with Dundee United now in absolute cruise control.

The Terrors added a late goal to their tally on 87 mins when Stanton intercepted before Harkes broke forward to launch the ball into the net from 25 yards and seal the 4-0 victory.

Ayr now sit four points behind Inverness in the table and on equal points with Dundee but remain third on goal difference.

Next up, Ayr return to Somerset Park on Saturday where they host Queen of the South in the Championship.

 

Dundee United

Siegrist, L. Smith, Reynolds, McMullan, Clark, Stanton, Robson, Butcher, Harkes, Shankland, Watson

Substitutes: Mehmet (GK), Sporle, Connolly, C. Smith, Brown, King, Appéré

 

Ayr United

Doohan, Muirhead, Harvie, Kerr, Moore, Forrest, McCowan, Houston, Bell, Docherty, Kelly

Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Roscoe, Geggan, Moffat, McGuffie, Ecrepont, McKenzie

 

Referee: Greg Aitken

Attendance: 7744

Dundee Utd match preview

Match Preview
Dundee United vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 21st December 2019. Kick-off 3pm


On Saturday, Ayr United travel north to face league leaders Dundee United. After four
games without a win, Mark Kerr’s men were boosted by a strong performance and all three
points against Alloa Athletic last week.


Opponents : Eight wins in-a-row have seen Dundee United open up a commanding 13 point
lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Championship. No opposition player has scored against
Robbie Neilson’s side side mid-September, with Mark Reynold’s own goal for Alloa Athletic
one of only two goals that Dundee United have conceded – home or away – during their
current run.

Last Saturday saw the Tangerines make the short journey to Arbroath where Sam Stanton’s
early goal was enough to earn a victory against the Red Lichties.


Team News : Andy Murdoch, Jamie Adams and Kris Doolan miss out with injuries.


Mark says :”Dundee United are obviously on a good run and strong at home but this week we have been focusing on ourselves. We know over the last season and a half that we have the players that can hurt them so we are going there with plenty of confidence. We had a good result and performance last week and that certainly lifted everyone here. Training has been excellent this week and there is now competition for places which is something we were struggling for a few weeks ago. It makes a big difference and we have noticed it in training. It’s a big game for us and one we are hugely looking forward to.”


Championship Form :
Dundee United: WWWWW
Ayr United: LLLDW
Head to head (League) :
Ayr United wins – 31
Draws – 15
Dundee United wins – 29


Saturday is the 100th meeting between the Ayr United and Dundee United/Hibernian. The
Honest Men have lost just one of the last six meetings between the clubs.

Previous Meeting :
The first meeting of the season between the sides was at Somerset Park in September and
saw the home side take all three points. Daniel Harvie opened the scoring in the 9th minute,
winning the ball in his own half before running onto a Mark Kerr through ball and slotting
under the Tangerines’ keeper Benjamin Siegrist.
Our advantage was doubled in the second-half, when Alan Forrest cut in from the left and
was brought inside the box by ex-Ayr man Liam Smith. Referee Bobby Madden pointed to
the penalty spot and Forrest made no mistake, sending Siegrist the wrong way and firing the
ball into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 2-0 to the Honest Men.

Match Officials :
Referee – Greig Aitken
Assistant Referee 1 – David McGeachie
Assistant Referee 2 – Craig Ferguson

Admission :
Adult – £24
Concessions – £12 (under 18’s and over 65s)

Ayr United supporters will be housed in the upper sections of the Fair Play Stand and enter
via turnstiles 13 and 14 on Tannadice Street. Tickets are on sale at these turnstiles.
The away coaches can park in Neish Street, which is opposite the stadium. Cars will have to
park outwith the no waiting coned areas, as there is no parking facilities for supporters.
Random searching will take place for both sets of fans, surfing flags are not permitted, other
flags will be allowed in once they are checked to ensure they are neither offensive or
derogatory.
Drums are not allowed into the stadium.
Tannadice is a no smoking stadium, including e-cigarettes.

Moorey signs new deal

Ayr United are delighted to announce that Craig Moore has signed an 18 month extension to his current contract which runs until January.

The deal means that Craig will be at Somerset Park until at least the end of the 2020/21 season.

‘Moorey’ first signed for United on loan from Motherwell in 2015. Since then he has scored an impressive 51 goals in 122 appearances for the club including 27 during the title winning season 2017/18.

Manager Mark Kerr said :”It is extremely important to get this over the line because we know that others were interested in Moorey. Obviously he had a tough time with injury towards the end of last season but then he worked extremely hard over the Summer and throughout this season to be able to get back onto the pitch at the end of September. He got his first start against Morton and scored and then followed it up with a double the following week. We know what he brings to the team both on the pitch and in the dressing room and to get him tied up for 18 months means we are starting the planning for next season as well. We are only a couple of weeks away from January and are very hopeful of further strengthening the squad.”

 

Ashleigh’s Smith joins Board

We are delighted to confirm that David Smith has joined the Ayr United Football Club Board of Directors.

David is currently the Managing Director and Majority Shareholder of Ashleigh Building and has been a lifelong Ayr supporter.

David’s early career saw him work as a Quantity Surveyor with WT Partnership and Gaffney of Maybole before joining Barr Construction where he enjoyed a number of successful years as Area Surveyor covering South Ayrshire.

He joined Ashleigh in its initial year, 2001, as Commercial Manager becoming Commercial Director shortly after that. David became Managing Director in 2012 and Majority Shareholder in 2018.

Ashleigh continues to grow with a turnover exceeding £60m and over 150 employees. The Ashleigh reputation has never been stronger with commitment to quality, local employment opportunities and enhancing communities. David is particularly passionate about providing opportunities for young people.

David is a family man living in Ayr, happily married to Lesley with three children, Gavin, Rowan and Charlie. He has been an Ayr supporter since 5 years old and his favourite all time player is Ian McAllister. Outwith Ashleigh, David is the chair of DYW Ayrshire.

Chairman Lachlan Cameron said :”We are absolutely thrilled to have someone of David’s stature come on to our Board of Directors. It is something we have been working towards and now is the right time. He brings an initial financial injection for the club however overall he will bring a lot more than that. He is a top class businessman, a great guy and a huge Ayr supporter.”

Volunteer Recognition Award

On Saturday we were delighted to present Eric Belton with the first of our Volunteer Recognition Awards. The award, in association with McDonalds Ayr, will now become a regular feature at Somerset Park.

Eric has been with Ayr United for over 5 years and he has volunteered a huge amount of time working on the Football Memories programme and our Walking Group. Eric puts in a tremendous amount of work to what he does and engages with a wide variety of people such as people with dementia, long term illness, disabilities and those who are lonely.

Eric’s people skills and personality make him very likeable and easy to get on with and he is hugely deserving of this award.

Scott McNeill the assistant manager at McDonalds Ayr and Ayr United’s Head of Youth David White made the presentation prior to Saturdays 2-1 over Alloa.

Alloa match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Alloa Athletic

Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 14th December 2019. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Alloa Athletic are the visitors to Somerset Park for our last home match before Christmas. Supporters will be hoping for some festive cheer after a run of four games without a win. A draw on Tuesday night against Arbroath in difficult conditions halted a three game losing streak but Ayr need to get back to winning ways to rebuild confidence heading into the new year.

 

United’s poor run of form means we are in danger of dropping out of the top four, with fifth place Arbroath and sixth place Dundee sitting just three points behind the Honest Men, albeit Mark Kerr’s side has a superior goal difference.

 

Opponents: Alloa Athletic have dropped to tenth place in the Championship table after back-to-back defeats at home to Inverness then away to Dundee United last Saturday. Alan Trouten opened the scoring at Tannadice in the 12th minute, but goals either side of half-time by Louis Appere and Nicky Clark condemned the Wasps to their eighth defeat of the season.

 

The Wasps only away win the Championship this season came at Queen of the South at the end of August, following which they have taken six points from a possible 18 on the road.

 

Team News:. Jamie Adams and Andy Murdoch are out with long term injuries.

Mark says: “We need to build up the confidence again and a couple of good results in a row will do that. The spine of the team is beginning to look stronger again and we will certainly be looking to create more in the forward areas. Tuesday night was played in extremely difficult conditions and of course when we got ahead we wanted to go on and get the three points but conceding so quickly into the second half made things even tougher. We are really looking forward to Saturday, I had to change the team late on due to the conditions on Tuesday and tomorrow we will be looking to get our best team on the park and play with a tempo from the start. Hopefully our fans get behind us, they have a huge part to play and we will be doing everything we can to send them home happy.”

Championship Form:

Ayr United: WLLLD

Alloa Athletic: LWDLL

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 60

Draws – 24

Alloa Athletic wins – 27

 

United are unbeaten in the last five meetings between the sides (four wins, one draw)

 

Previous Meeting:

Ian McCall’s final match in charge of The Honest Men saw his side put in a scintillating performance against the Wasps at Recreation Park in September. An Alan Forrest double, Sam Roscoe and Luke McCowan saw United race to foul-goal lead within in just 31 minutes, effectively killing the game as a contest. Kevin O’Hara did net a second-half consolation for Alloa.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – David Munro

Assistant Referee 1 – Douglas Ross

Assistant Referee 2 – Blair Fraser

 

Admission:

Adult – £18

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

U18’s – £6

 

Supporters are encouraged to purchase their tickets online in advance of kick-off to avoid queuing on matchday.

Game on

Referee Colin Steven has inspected the pitch and the weather conditions and decided that barring any significant change tonight game will go ahead as planned.

Arbroath match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Arbroath

Ladbrokes Championship
Tuesday 10th December 2019. Kick-off 7.45pm

Tomorrow night (Tuesday), Ayr United return to action looking to bounce back from three consecutive defeats. Mark Kerr’s side returned from Inverness empty handed on Saturday and, following defeat at home to Dunfermline last Tuesday and away to Queen of the South at the start of November, will hope to put three points on the board against Arbroath under the lights at Somerset Park.

 

Dunfermline moved ahead of United at the weekend with their win over Greenock Morton, but the Honest Men can retake third place and move within two points of second placed Inverness with victory.

 

Opponents: Arbroath continued their positive start to the season on Saturday, holding near-neighbours Dundee to a draw at Gayfield. Bobby Linn opened the scoring during a dominant first-half performance from the Red Lichties, his eighth goal of the season, but there were no complaints from manager Dick Campbell when Kane Hemmings’ second-half header salvaged a point for the visitors.

 

A win for Arbroath in Ayrshire would see them draw level on points with the Honest Men and move above Dundee in the league table into fifth place.

 

Team News: There are no new injury concerns for Mark Kerr who is boosted by the return of Luke McCowan from suspension.

Mark says: “There is no question there will be a few changes for the game as the last couple of displays have not been good enough. The goals we lost on Saturday were very poor but going forward we didn’t do enough. Luke comes back into the squad for this game and there is no doubt we have missed him. We need to make sure that we still pick up points even when the performance isn’t great as that is something we have been failing to do. With home games tomorrow and Saturday we have an opportunity to get back to winning ways and we will be doing everything we can to do just that.”

Championship Form:

Ayr United: WWLLL

Arbroath: LWWLD

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 56

Draws – 20

Arbroath wins – 28

 

Arbroath won both league meetings between the sides at Somerset Park the season Ayr were promoted from League 1 – despite United taking the lead in both games.

 

Previous Meeting:

The Honest Men were comfortable winners over Arbroath in the first meeting of the season between the two clubs. An Alan Forrest double and Stephen Kelly strike completed the scoring within the first 27 minutes at Gayfield, United’s first match under the interim management of Sandy Stewart and Mark Kerr following Ian McCall’s departure.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Colin Steven

Assistant Referee 1 – Michael Banks

Assistant Referee 2 – Gary Hanvidge

 

Admission:

Adult – £18

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

U18’s – £6

 

Supporters are encouraged to purchase their tickets online in advance of kick-off to avoid queuing on matchday.

Inverness match preview

 

Match Preview
Inverness Caledonian Thistle vs. Ayr United

Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 7th December 2019. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel north to take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats – three weeks apart. It is 2nd versus 3rd in the Championship, with Caley Thistle overtaking the Honest Men by two points in the league table last weekend.

Inverness has not been a happy hunting ground for United in recent years, but a win for Mark Kerr’s side will see us regain second place ahead of Tuesday night’s home game versus Arbroath.

Opponents: Inverness go into the game on the back of back-to-back victories, without conceding a goal. John Robertson men followed up a 1-0 home win over Dundee with a 2-0 win on the road at Alloa last weekend. Midfielder Aaron Doran scored in both fixtures.

 

Team News: Steven Bell returns to the squad after illness but Kris Doolan and long-term absentees Jamie Adams and Andy Murdoch remain on the sidelines. Luke McCowan serves the second game of his two match ban.

Mark says: “We were extremely disappointed on Tuesday night with the result and the performance so it’s good to have another game quickly to try and rectify that. It is never easy playing against Inverness but we have a big incentive knowing a win will put us back into second place. We are heading up this morning and training this afternoon so we will be well prepared.”

Championship Form:

Ayr United: LWWLL

Dunfermline: WLLWW

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 7

Draws – 12

Inverness wins – 17

 

United have just one win in the last 18 meetings between the sides – a League Cup win at Somerset Park in August 2011. The Honest Men have lost on each of their last four visits to the Caledonian Stadium.

 

Previous Meeting:

Inverness were 2-0 winners when the sides met at Somerset Park in October. Goals either side of half-time from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney gave the visitors from the Highlands all three points.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Gavin Ross

Assistant Referee 1 – Jordan Stokoe

Assistant Referee 2 – Chris Phillips

 

Admission:

Adult – £20

Seniors and 16-25 – £15

U16s – £6