Ayr Utd 4 Queens Park 0

Ayr United 4 – 0 Queens Park

by AUmedia

 

United maintained their 6-point lead at the top of League 1 with an emphatic 4 goal victory over bottom club Queens Park. A 34 min hattrick by Lawrence Shankland had put the Honest Men on easy street by halftime and a Craig Moore second half penalty wrapped up proceedings at a sun washed Somerset Park.

 

Ayr were forced into some reorganisation without a ball being kicked when Andy Geggan felt a reaction to a calf injury during the warm-up and he was replaced by Craig Reid.

 

Fighting for their league survival, Queens Park adopted a positive attitude with an attacking 4-3-3 formation, but Ayr carefully managed the early stages of the match and were content to deal with The Spiders opening forays forward. In truth, Queens rarely caused any real concern in the opening 45 mins and the only attempts of note were; a Brady shot straight at Ruddy on 12 mins, a curling Brady freekick which was missed at the back post by Magee on 16 mins, and, 10 mins later, a Keena shot which was well saved by Ruddy.

 

With only 8 mins on the clock United Ayr gave a hint of what was to come when a glorious 30-yard pass from Rose picked out McDaid in the box, but his shot on the turn went just wide of the far post.

 

On their next move forward, Ayr took the lead. From a Reid throw-in on the right United worked the ball forward, McDaid then flicking the ball over the head of three defenders and into the path of Shankland in the box, where the striker slotted home past keeper White.

 

On 29 mins 1 became 2 for United. Ayr broke at speed down the right from the edge of their own penalty area and McDaid again found Shankland in the box, with a looping 35-yard pass. The striker controlled the ball on his chest and despite an attempt to pull him back by Fortheringham, he turned the ball home as he fell.

 

The best was still to come from Shankland with a stunning strike just 4 mins later. A McDaid freekick into the box bounced just before reaching Shankland who readjusted at speed before launching himself into a perfect side volley, smashing the ball into the net. A sublime 34-min hattrick for the on-form Honest Man.

 

The 2nd half was a much less exciting affair with United comfortable and confident as Queens huffed and puffed but only managed one attempt on a target, a header by Keena from a Brady corner which was easily held by Ruddy.

 

Twice, Ayr were frustrated as referee Cook waved away claims as Ayr players appeared to be deliberately blocked in the box and on 66 mins, substitute McGuffie’s shot after a turn inside from the right appeared to be stopped by defender Summers’ arm but again the official saw nothing amiss.

 

McGuffie had been introduced by Ayr as a 61st min substitute for Forrest and Queens Park were now being tortured on both sides by McGuffie and McDaid.

 

On 75 mins McGuffie picked up the ball some 25 yards out on the left, darted inside the box, turned inside one defender before being agriculturally upended by defender Fortheringham: penalty Ayr.  Fellow substitute Moore then stepped up to smash truly unstoppable spot kick into the back of the net. 4 – 0 and it was all over.

 

Next up a visit to Methil to face East Fife on Saturday.

 

Ayr United

Ruddy, Reid, Bell, Rose, Boyle, Forrest, Crawford, Kerr, McDaid, Moffat, Shankland Substitutes: Hart (GK), Moore, McGuffie, Ferguson, Faulds, Murphy

 

Queens Park

White, Millen, Gibson, Fortheringham, Cummings, Magee, Leitch, Docherty, Keena, Brady, Burns Substitutes:       Orr, Donnelly, Summers, Green, Foy, Mortimer, Millar

 

Referee: Barry Cook

Attendance: 1,600

Queens Park match preview

Match Preview

Ayr United vs. Queen’s Park

Ladbrokes League 1

Saturday 24th March 2018. Kick-off 3pm

 

On Saturday, Ayr United will look to maintain their six point advantage at the top of League 1 when bottom side Queen’s Park are the visitors to Somerset Park. After a busy spell of three away games in seven days, United return home in a good run of form; 16 points from a possible 18 since the start of February have put Ian McCall’s side in a strong position with just six games of the league campaign to go.

 

Opponents Queen’s Park are battling for their League 1 survival and currently sit two points from the safety of eighth place. The Spiders have fared better away from Hampden Park this season, with 17 of their 26 points coming on the road, three of those points came last Saturday with a 3-2 win at Stranraer.  On loan Hearts striker Aidan Keena netted twice in the first half for the Spiders – the Irishman’s sixth and seventh goals in just 8 appearances for Gus MacPherson’s side – with Sean Burns’s second-half strike proving decisive after Scott Robertson pulled one back for the Blues and Scott Agnew scored a penalty in the final minute.

 

Former United defender Gerry McLauchlan has been added to the Queen’s Park squad.

 

Team News: Jamie Adams is suspended for one match.

 

Ian says: “After 3 away games on the trot it is good to be back at Somerset as we had really started to pick up our form here with three 3 nil wins in a row. We had a very tough fixture during the week and at this stage of the season it is all about getting wins any way possible. We should have won more comfortably however again the players showed great character to win after being pegged back. Queens PArk are a good side and they always give us a tough match so today will be no different. We need the fans behind us from the start, 6 huge games left and this is the first of them.”

 

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 45

Draws – 23

Queen’s Park wins – 31

 

Saturday’s match will be the 100th league meeting between Ayr United and Queen’s Park.

 

The Spiders have just one win in the last 26 meetings between the clubs in all competitions, that victory coming in Division 2 at Somerset Park in August 2007.

 

Last Meeting: United have won all three meetings between the sides this season, most recently recording a 4-1 win at Hampden Park towards the end of December. Craig Moore opened the scoring for the Honest Men in the fifth minute before Lawrence Shankland capitalised on some slack defending to set up Alan Forrest to double the advantage just before half-time. Two stunning strikes from substitute Craig McGuffie put Ayr four goals ahead before a late Adam Cummins consolation.

 

United were required to stage a comeback when the sides met at Somerset Park earlier in the month of December. A Craig Moore penalty put Ayr ahead but Gus MacPherson’s side battled back to take the lead in the 48th minute after Connor McVey and a Craig Reid own goal found the back of the net. Goals from Declan McDaid and Alan Forrest two minutes from time eventually secured all three points for the Honest Men

 

On this day: in 1934, United recorded their biggest ever victory away to Celtic, defeating the Parkhead side 3-0. The result ensured that we took full points off Celtic in season 1933/34 having already beat them 3-1 at Somerset Park in November 1933. Johnny Holland opened the scoring in the 17th minute, with goals either side of half-time from Terry McGibbons completing the scoring in-front of a crowd of 6,000. The result saw United occupy fifth position in the First Division table behind Rangers, Motherwell, Aberdeen and Queen of the South.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Barry Cook

Assistant Referee 1 – Alan Mulvanny

Assistant Referee 2 – Ross Birrell

 

Admission:

Adults – £16

OAPs, students and 18-21 year olds – £10

Under 18s – £5

Fixture amendment

Our game at Alloa, originally scheduled for Saturday 21st April has now been moved to Sunday 22nd April and will be broadcast live on BBC Alba. Kick off is 4.10pm

Lost Property

Over this season so far a number of items have been lodged as found property and are held at the club. If any person has lost items please contact our Safety and Stadium manager Roy Provan at the club on 01292 263435 or by email royprovan@yahoo.co.uk

Player of the Year Voting

This seasons Player of the Year awards are now only 3 weeks away taking place on Saturday 14th April at the Carlton Hotel in Prestwick. Tickets, priced £30, are still available from our club shop.

Voting for the awards is now open and can be done via email to commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk or by using the voting forms in the club shop. Please remember to confirm which category your choice is for – Player of the Year or Young player of the year.

The criteria for Young Player of the Year is that the player be under 23 on 14th April 2018 and have made at least one first team start in the league this season. The players that meet the criteria are as follows :- Jordan Hart, Michael Rose, Alan Forrest, Declan McDaid, Craig McGuffie, David Ferguson, Lawrence Shankland and Jack Ruddy. There is no age limit on the Player of the Year.

We will be accepting votes until 7pm on Thursday the 5th of April.

Game on.

Tonight’s game with Albion Rovers has passed a pitch inspection and will go ahead at Cliftonhill at 7.45pm

Pitch Inspection 4.30

There will be a pitch inspection at Cliftonhill at 4.30pm today to determine whether tonights game can go ahead.

There is a problem with a strip of ground next to the stand.

We will update on all our channels immediately a decision is made.

Albion match preview

Match Preview
Albion Rovers vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Tuesday 20th March 2018. Kick-off 7.45pm

Ayr United have the opportunity to open up a six point gap at the top of League 1 tonight (Tuesday) when they travel to Cliftonhill to face Albion Rovers. Ayr’s win at Forfar on Saturday, coupled with the postponement of Raith Rovers’ match on Sunday, has put the Honest Men in the box seat with seven games to go.

After a promising start to the season, Albion Rovers have found the going tougher in recent weeks, dropping down ninth place. Rovers sit just one point ahead of bottom side Queen’s Park, albeit with a couple of games in hand on both the Spiders and eighth-placed Forfar Athletic.

Brian Kerr’s side have won just one of their last 13 games – away to Stranraer – and have only one win to their name at home since the end of September. With 27 goals in 33 games, former United forward Alan Trouten remains a key threat and he opened the scoring on Saturday at home to Arbroath, but the Red Lichties hit back to inflict defeat on the Coatbridge side.

Team News: Jamie Adams comes back into the squad giving a full team other than Chris Higgins.

Ian says: “There are 7 games to go and of course we have got ourselves in a nice position 3 points clear however this season has had many twists and turns so we are keeping fully focused on one match at a time. Forfar was always going to be a difficult game on Saturday with the conditions and them being in good form but we put in a professional display and we were delighted with the win. We won’t have to contend with the wind tonight like we have in our last two matches, the pitch will be heavy but we know what to expect and we are hugely looking forward to it.”

Head to head (at Coatbridge):

Ayr United wins – 18

Draws – 5

Albion Rovers wins – 20

 

None of the last 17 meetings between Ayr and Albion Rovers have ended in a draw (10 Ayr wins, 7 Albion).

 

Last Meeting: Ayr opened the season with a convincing 5-1 win at a sunny Cliftonhill in August. Declan McDade opened the scoring in just the 2nd minute, with Michael Moffat and Craig Moore both adding goals before half-time. Moore would go on to complete his hat-trick before Connor Shields netted a late consolation for Brian Kerr’s side.

 

December’s clash at Somerset Park was a more tightly contested affair; Craig Moore gave Ayr the lead in the 16th minute but Sean Higgins equalised for the visitors nine minutes later. Three goals in five crazy second-half minutes saw Ayr go 2-1 up through Lawrence Shankland, Alan Trouten counter only for Chris Higgins to score what prove to be the winner.

 

The final fixture between the two sides is at Somerset Park on the final weekend of the season.

 

On this day: in 2010, Ayr defeated Queen of the South 3-0 at Somerset Park with goals from Tam McManus, Danny McKay and Mark Roberts. Current United players Craig Reid and Jamie Adams featured for the Doonhamers, while assistant manager Neil Scally was among the substitutes.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Stephen Finnie

Assistant Referee 1 – Andrew McWilliam

Assistant Referee 2 – David Dunne

 

Admission:

Adult – £14
Concession – £7
Children under 12 – £2

Concession entry covers Senior Citizens (65+), Unemployed (on production of the appropriate benefit card), students with student ID and Disabled  (Carer Free).

Forfar 0 Ayr Utd 2

Forfar Athletic 0 v 2 Ayr United

by AUmedia

 

United went three points clear at the top of League One as they eased to a 2-0 victory at Station Park against Forfar.  Moffat opened the scoring early on before Moore wrapped things up with a penalty late in the second half.

Almost from the kick-off United caused panic in the Forfar defence when keeper McCallum rushed out of his box to shepherd a log Ruddy kick-out out of play. He hadn’t reckoned on the determination of Lawrence Shankland who sneaked in behind him, stole the ball and was only prevented from causing further damage by fullback Whyte slamming the ball out for a corner.

 

Forfar were showing nervousness and disquiet at the back with centre-back Munro and keeper McCallum resorting to yelling at and shoving each other over a failure to clear after McDaid went close just 2 mins later. Loons’ handbags discarded, United kept up the pressure.

 

On 10 mins Ayr went ahead following some dazzling skill by Moffat.  Moffat received the ball from Boyle, wide on the left, then nutmegged Millar before surging into the box and curling a shot across the face of goal and in at the back post. In what was to be a tricky game, Ayr had made the perfect start.

Forfar’s first chance of the game came on 18 mins when Easton found space in the box but Geggan was quick to react and blocked his shot from close range.  The home side were beginning to grow in confidence and almost found an opening on 28 mins.  Again, it was Easton who was causing problems but when Dingwall passed the ball into his path he blazed well over from almost the same position as before.

The last chance of the half fell on 43 mins to the impressive Forrest. Forrest worked a quick one-two with McDaid some 25-yards out before darting to the edge of the box where his curling drive caught was caught by the wind to drag it wide of the post, much to the relief of the well beaten McCallum.

Forfar had the first chance of the second half when Ruddy fumbled a 30-yard wind-assisted driven freekick from Millar but the United grasped the ball back as it tried to squirm goalward.

Ayr’s first opportunity of the second half came to Shankland on 51 mins.  Boyle’s cutback to Shankland in the box was slightly behind the striker who couldn’t get a proper connection but still forced the keeper McCallum into an acrobatic one-handed save at his near post.

 

McDaid was then put through into the box on the right by Forrest but under close attention from Whyte he could only drive his shot high.

Forrest had been causing the Forfar defence problems all game and he almost picked up a goal of his own on 62 mins. Receiving a pass from Shankland, Forrest side-stepped Whyte to create a space but the defender reacted well to get back and block the shot.

 

Ayr were on fire and moments later when the tireless Shankland burst down the left before sending a looping and curling cross to the back post where McDaid volleyed first-time but again saw his shot rise over the bar.

 

Ayr were to wrap up the three points when they were awarded a penalty on 80 mins.   Shankland sprinted past Munro in the box who saw no other option than to drag the United man back.  A penalty was awarded, and Munro was dismissed for his troubles.  Substitute Moore stepped up and slammed the ball down the middle to give Ayr a two goal cushion.

 

On 85 mins it looked like Ayr had another penalty when defender Bain barged Moore in the back as he drove into the box going one-on-one with the keeper. Referee Kevin Graham saw nothing amiss and waved the claim away.

 

Forfar could have grabbed one back at the death, Miller doing well to get down to the line before finding fellow substitute Hurst just 7-yards out, but he fluffed his shot well wide when it looked easier to score.

It was a hard shift for United but a well-deserved three points. Ayr now travel to Albion Rovers in Coatbridge on Tuesday for their 3rd consecutive away game as they seek to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

Forfar Athletic
McCallum, Whyte, Munro, Travis, Bain, Mackintosh, Dingwall, Millar, Easton, Aitken, Hilson.  Subs Peters, MacIver, Hurst, Allan, McNaughton, Miller, Adam.

Ayr United
Ruddy, Boyle, Rose, Bell, Geggan, McDaid, Kerr, Crawford, Forrest, Moffat, Shankland.  Subs Hart, Moore, McGuffie, Ferguson, Docherty, Reid.

Referee:  Kevin Graham
Attendance:  629

Forfar match preview

Match Preview
Arbroath vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 14th March 2018. Kick-off 7.45pm

On Saturday, league leaders Ayr United return to Angus to face Forfar Athletic at Station Park. Ian McCall’s side battled Arbroath – and the elements – to earn a point on Wednesday night at Gayfield which saw them overtake Raith Rovers on goal difference at the top of the table. With the Kirkcaldy side not playing until Sunday, United have the opportunity to open up a three point advantage with a win against the Loons.

The Honest Men were given a helping hand by Forfar during the week when Jim Weir’s side defeated Raith 2-1. That result saw Forfar climb out the bottom two as they attempt to stave of the threat of relegation. Their previous home game was their biggest of the season – a 5-1 demolition of Stranraer – while in between those two result they drew at Queen’s Park and lost at Arbroath.

Former United defender Eddie Malone will miss the game through suspension.

Team News: Jamie Adams will miss out and will be back for Tuesday at Albion Rovers. Paddy Boyle should be able to play after missing Wednesdays match at Arbroath.

Ian says: “Every single match at this stage of the season is very difficult. Wednesday night was crazy conditions with the wind as strong as it was so hopefully this match will be played in better conditions. Forfar are in much better form now and of course they had a good result during the week so they will be full of confidence. We will look to utilise the squad over the next few games so it is great to have a very strong looking bench.”

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 52

Draws – 16

Arbroath wins – 28

 

October’s 5-0 win over Forfar Athletic was our biggest win at Station Park since February 1985.

 

Last Meeting: The Loons shocked the Honest Men at Somerset Park when the sides last met, at the end of December. Michael Moffat’s goal on the stroke of half-time and Lawrence Shankland’s strike in the 67th minute put United into a seemingly comfortable lead only for goals by Jordan Hornby and a Matthew Aitken double gave the the visitors all three points.

 

Earlier in the season, United had netted eight goals with no reply over the two fixtures between the sides.

 

On this day: in 2002, United played Rangers in the League Cup final, eventually losing out 4-0 to the Ibrox side.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Kevin Graham

Assistant Referee 1 – Stephen Mitchell

Assistant Referee 2 – Fillippo Mazzoni

 

Admission:

Adult – £12

Concession (u17 and 65+) – £6

Additional £1 for stand