Arbroath 1 Ayr Utd 1

Arbroath 1 v 1 Ayr United

by AUmedia

 

Ayr left it late to grab the point which took them back to the top of League 1 on a windswept night against a determined Arbroath side that United manager Ian McCall rates as one of the top teams in the division.

The first half saw both sides struggling to come to terms with the windy conditions but Arbroath, having the advantage of the wind at their backs, had much of the play.  Despite this, United’s defence looked in control restricting Arbroath to shots from distance (Denholm 4mins, Whatley 27 mins, and Martin 35 mins) and working manfully to block any clear-cut chances.

Surprisingly it was Ayr who looked more likely to score, carving out some good chances. A delightful cross in by Geggan on 10 mins found Moffat unmarked but his header was superbly saved at full stretch by on-form keeper, Ricky Gomes.  Gomes again came to Arbroath’s rescue with a fingertip save from Shankland on 21 mins turning the ball wide. 2 mins later Adams could only look on in disbelief as a curving ball into the box from Kerr smashed off his knee and went agonisingly wide.  With 38 mins gone, Crawford jinked into the box from the left and curled a delicious shot just past the far post with the keeper beaten. Then it was again Shankland’s turn to see his shot saved by the keeper.

Just as it looked like Ayr would reach halftime without conceding, and with a warm dressing room beckoning as just rewards for their efforts, Arbroath took the lead. Rose’s attempted clearance was blocked by Swankie and he found Denholm free to his left.  The wide-man then unleashed a swerving drive around the advancing Geggan and past Ruddy at his left-hand post.

As the second half got underway the wind strengthened to the stage that play, at times, became farcical and United found little advantage.  Arbroath were reduced to a handful of breakaway chances with only 2 shots on target in the second 45 mins while Ayr became more and more frustrated.

Enter Craig McGuffie as a substitute on 77mins. The youngster’s introduction changed the game for Ayr as he kept the ball close, dribbling through the ranks of Arbroath players who seemed unable to counter his skills. United became much more of a threat and with Moore, McDaid and Shankland all being denied by the impressive Gomes. Ayr were turning up the heat.

It was no surprise when it was McGuffie who found the way to goal. With 86 mins on the clock McGuffie played a one-two with Bell before surging behind the Arbroath backline and slamming the ball into the net from a narrow angle.

It could have been 2 only 2 mins later when a McGuffie cross found Shankland but, with Gomes reduced to an on-looker, the ball crashed against the post before being cleared.

United, back on top of the league on goal difference from Raith, now find themselves with another journey to Angus on Saturday where the face Forfar Athletic.

Arbroath

Gomes, Little, Hamilton, O’Brien, Yule, Whatley, Linn, Martin, Wallace, Swankie, Denholm Substitutes: Hutton (GK), Kader, Gold, McCord, McIntosh, Skelly.

 

Ayr United

Ruddy, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, Crawford, McDaid, Adams, Shankland, Reid, Kerr, Bell Substitutes: Hart (GK), Moore, Forrest, McGuffie, Ferguson, Docherty

 

Referee: Colin Steven

Attendance: 653

Arbroath match preview

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

Tonight, Ayr United travel to Gayfield to face Arbroath – with the huge incentive of needing just a point to return to the top of the league table. Three consecutive 3-0 wins at home, including over title rivals Raith Rovers on Saturday, coupled with the Kirkcaldy side’s loss at Forfar last night mean Ian McCall’s side are just a point behind Rovers going into tonight’s game.

The match will see Dick Campbell return to the dug-out following his ban for storming on to the Somerset Park pitch when the sides last met, in the Scottish Cup in December. His temporary absence from the touchline hasn’t upset the Red Lichties too much, with Campbell even picking up the Manager of the Month award for February.

Arbroath are undefeated at home since before Christmas (five matches), including a fine 2-0 win over Angus rivals Forfar at the weekend.

Team News: Paddy Boyle is out with the knock he picked up on Saturday however we are hopeful he will be ok for the weekend.

Ian says: “Of course it’s a help to us but last nights result won’t even come into our thinking. I’ve always said we only concern ourselves with what we are doing and tonight’s game will be extremely tough, we know that. In saying that we are in great form and just like every single game we have played this season we will be going there to try and score goals and win the game.”

Head to head (League):
Ayr United wins – 51
Draws – 17
Arbroath wins – 27

United have won six of their last seven visits to Gayfield, scoring 22 goals.

Last Meeting: Arbroath are the only side to record two league wins at Somerset Park this season, beating the Honest Men 2-1 in August and January, coming from behind on both occasions. United reaped a measure of revenge when they knocked the Red Lichties out the Scottish Cup with a 4-1 win also thanks to goals from Declan McDaid (2), Lawrence Shankland and Craig Moore.

Ayr also recorded a 4-1 victory over Dick Campbell’s side when they travelled to Gayfield in November. Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring the the first half before a devastating spell of 3 goals in 5 minutes – from Shankland again, Moore and a David Gold own goal – put United four goals to the good before the hour mark. Gavin Swankie got a late consolation.

On this day: in 1959, Ayr beat Arbroath 3-1 at Gayfield to open up an eight point advantage over the Red Lichties at the top of the old Division 2. The goals took United’s tally to 96 in just 27 league matches.

Match Officials:
Referee – Colin Steven
Assistant Referee 1 – Graham McNeillie
Assistant Referee 2 – Gordon McCabe

Admission:
Adult – £14
Concession – £8
Adult & Child – £17

Raith match preview

Match Preview

Ayr United vs. Raith Rovers

Ladbrokes League 1

Saturday 10th March 2018. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United host league leaders Raith Rovers in what could prove to be a massive game in the League 1 title race.  The Kirkcaldy side currently hold a four point advantage over the Honest Men but have played a game more as we enter the final quarter of the season.

Postponements at Arbroath and Coatbridge in the last seven days mean its Ayr’s fifth consecutive home fixture and Ian McCall’s side thankfully appear to have returned to form, recording 3-0 wins over East Fife and Airdrieonians most recently at Somerset Park, chalking up 100 goals in all competitions in the process.

Rovers have lost just once in the league since their last visit to Somerset Park in November but have dropped four points in their last two games, conceding in the 90th minute at Albion Rovers and at home to Arbroath to draw both games 2-2.

Barry Smith is without captain Iain Davidson and midfielder John Herron through suspension.  French midfielder Willis Furtado picked up League 1’s Player of the Month Award for February and already has a goal to his name at Somerset Park this season, for previous club Airdrieonians in October.

 

Team News: Chris Higgins is out and everyone else is fit and available.

Ian says: “After not having a game for two weeks we are absolutely desperate to get back out there and what a game to come back to. Thankfully we haven’t had too much disruption due to the weather, we trained indoors at Toryglen on Monday and Tuesday to ensure our preparations weren’t affected. Training has been excellent and there is a great mood in the squad just now. We are still of the back of two 3-0 wins and with a fully fit squad other than Higgy there is no doubt that there is plenty of confidence. The previous 3 games with Raith have all been eventful and with one win a piece and a draw between the teams there is everything to play for. This match will decide nothing yet in terms of the title however it goes without saying it is a game we want to win. There should be a good crowd, a fantastic atmosphere and this is the kind of game you are involved in football for.”

 

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 50

Draws – 45

Raith Rovers wins – 50

Rovers have won two of their last 10 trips to Somerset Park, both games finishing 2-0.

Last Meeting: United have scored first in the three previous meetings between the sides this season. Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring at Starks Park in September – his first of 23 goals so far this season – but second-half goals from Lewis Vaughan and Jason Thomson saw all three points remain Fife.

January’s fixture at Starks Park finished all-square, with Shankland and Greig Spence on the scoresheet but November’s game at Somerset Park was a more one-sided affair, Lawrence Shankland again scoring the first goal of the game, with Robbie Crawford and Craig Moore rounding off a dominant 3-0 victory.

 

On this day: in 2000, United won a rescheduled Division 1 fixture at home to Partick Thistle. Veteran midfielder Steve Bowey scored the only goal of the game with a shot off the crossbar.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Gavin Ross

Assistant Referee 1 – Gary Hilland

Assistant Referee 2 – David McKniff

 

There will be a presentation at half time from the AU500 fund which brings the total raised to £20’000 since August 2016. A fantastic achievement and thank you to all involved.

Admission:

Adults – £16

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

Under 18s – £5

Cash for Kids Easter egg Appeal

Every year there is the CFK Easter Egg Appeal to bring a little bit of chocolate cheer to children around Ayrshire.

Once again our catering manager Lynne Watson is leading the Ayr United appeal. 

Last year we delivered well over 200 easter eggs to West FM.

This year we want to set another record and get close to 300 eggs.

If you would like to help then we can take easter eggs anytime from now until the Queens Park match on the 24th of March.

If you would like to donate an easter egg(s) then please bring it to the front door of the main stand, the club shop or the main office.

Fixtures rescheduled.

After the postponement of tomorrows match at Albion Rovers we can now confirm the dates of our two outstanding matches.

Wednesday 14th March 7.45pm – Arbroath v Ayr United

Tuesday 20th March 7.45pm – Albion Rovers v Ayr United

Match postponed

Tomorrow’s match at Arbroath has been postponed due to the weather. We will update as soon as we know the rescheduled date.

Ayr Utd 3 Airdrie 0

Ayr United 3 v 0 Airdrieonians

by AUmedia

 

Ayr United took their goal tally for the season to 102 against a difficult Airdrieonians side and it was that man, Andy Geggan, who started off the scoring with the winner against Kilmarnock back in July, who claimed the landmark 100th with a strike in the 50th min. Lawrence Shankland added two more goals to the tally to secure a 3-0 win to the home side.

With Robbie Crawford and Ross Docherty returning to the squad from long-term injuries, Ayr manager Ian McCall had an almost full squad to pick from. The Gaffer shuffled the pack,

Alan Forrest and Craig Moore recalled to the starting eleven with Michael Moffat and Craig McGuffie on the bench.

Both teams found the going tough early in the first half and failed to get a grip on the game. Attempts weren’t clear-cut, possession was constantly handed over and neither side were able to convert chances into goals. Airdrie held the upper hand in possession while United appeared uncharacteristically nervous in front of goal through-out the half, the monkey on their back hanging heavy as they tried to bag their century goal.

On 29 mins Airdrie gave Ayr a real scare. A long looping freekick from the left evaded the United defence, McGregor sneaked in between the centre-backs and from 5 yards out flicked the ball over the bar as he stretched.

Ayr saw their best chance of the half with 32 mins on the clock. Breaking from an Airdrie attack, Craig Moore made a great run down the left and crossed to Shankland inside the box. His shot was well saved by Diamonds’ keeper Ferguson, denying the home side the lead.

36 mins into the game and Ayr again failed to deal with a long freekick into the box and the ball fell to Tom Fry who attempted to lob keeper Ruddy but watched as the ball dropped onto the top of the netting.

A last-gasp attempt by Ayr to take the lead before the half time whistle saw Moore getting through the defence and going one-on-one with the keeper. As he went forwards he failed to get full control with the ball bobbling off the turf, and this allowed Ferguson to dive at the striker’s feet and save.

The teams went into half time 0-0 and whatever Manager McCall said it worked as Ayr came out a different entity and turned the first-half possession, heavily balanced towards Airdrie, on its head.

Ayr started the second half strongly and after just 5 mins, scored the opening goal of the game and the landmark 100th goal of the season for the Honest Men.

 

A McDaid corner was only half-cleared by Airdrie allowing Mark Kerr to slide the ball back to McDaid now some 18 yards out on the left. The winger then whipped in a cross to the front post which bounced off Dean Cairns’ back as he turned when Moore dived in to head. The ball arrived at Andy Geggans’ feet just 5 yards out and the midfielder smashed the ball home. Cue celebration and a collective sigh of relief from players and fans alike.

Both teams started to find their way into the game and showed a massively improved performance compared to the first half. With almost equal possession and both teams pressing forward, either side looked capable of grabbing the next goal.

United may have been in the lead but Airdrie were certainly not out of this game and immediately went on the attack. Diamonds’ captain Scott Stewart, played an inch perfect pass to Fry in space some 25 yards out and his swerving drive was saved at the second attempt by Ruddy.

Ayr responded with Moore clipping the ball just past the post from the edge of the box. This game had really come to life.

On 56 mins, Stewart created another chance for the Diamonds, barrelling down the wing, evading Paddy Boyle and cutting into the box before hitting the ball at pace towards the front post where he found Darryl Duffy who just failed to turn home.

In the 58th min, Ayr came close to doubling their lead. A poor clearance found Alan Forrest at the edge of the box, who sent a left-footed screamer towards goal but a superb acrobatic save by Ferguson turned the ball past the post.

Two minutes later, and it was United keeper’s turn to show off his skills. As Ayr failed to clear, the ball reached Fry in the box. The Airdrie man stepped inside and drove the ball between Steven Bell’s legs and somehow the unsighted Ruddy managed to get down and block with one hand. The danger wasn’t over and only quick reactions from Michael Rose allowed him to flick the ball away as Dale Carrick looked odds-on to score.

Airdrie increased the pressure when they sent in a freekick into the box in the 75th minute and forced Steven Bell to a great header to put the ball over the bar for a corner.

Then came an additional boost to United’s run-in chances, when on 72 mins United fans welcomed back Robbie Crawford for his first appearance since being injured at Alloa in November. He was later joined by club captain Ross Docherty to similar applause.

On 77 mins Ayr had two loud shouts for penalties. First, Andy Geggan appeared to have his jersey pulled and then was tripped as he moved towards the front post to meet a McDaid corner. With referee Alan Newlands waving away appeals, Ayr again put the ball into the box eventually reaching substitute Michael Moffat who swivelled at shot only to see Kieran MacDonald’s raised hand whipping ball away. No penalty said the whistler.

2 mins later and Ayr were awarded a spot kick, Jordan McGregor handling as he tried to stop Shankland going around him. The striker stepped up and made no mistake, slamming the ball straight down the middle to double the United’s side’s lead.

Only 180 seconds passed and it was 3 -0 to the Honest Men and number 2 for Shankland. Keeper Ferguson dashed to the edge of the box and only just got to the ball before Moffat. Ferguson couldn’t clutch the ball which bounced out to Shankland, who controlled, turned across the edge of the penalty area, leaving three in his wake and the keeper in no man’s land, before powering the home with a left foot strike.

And so finished an eventful day, 3 – 0 victors, that 100th goal achieved, and Raith’s lead in the league reduced to 4 points and United having a game in hand.

Ayr travel to Arbroath on Saturday hoping to close the gap further but the Red Lichties will provide a stern test to the Ayrshire men.

Ayr United

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

Airdrieonians

Ferguson, O’Neil, MacDonald, McGregor, Brownlie, Cairns, Stewart, Brown, Duffy, Carrick, Fry Substitutes: Muir (GK), Higgins, Edwards, Brown, Hastie, McIntosh, Russell

Referee: Alan Newlands

Attendance: 1,456

Airdrie match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs Airdrieonians
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 24th February 2018. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, we play the fourth of four consecutive home games at Somerset Park as we take on Airdrieonians. Ian McCall’s side are just one strike away from a landmark century of goals in all competitions this season but are up against the only side to keep a clean against the free-scoring Honest Men – and the only side they have failed to beat so far. United will be looking to address that with all three points which will see them keep pace, at worst, with league leaders Raith Rovers.

Title rivals Rovers face a testing encounter at home to in-form Arbroath; Dick Campbell’s side are unbeaten in their last 8 league matches, albeit it was the Kirkcaldy side who inflicted that last defeat at Gayfield in December.

Visitors Airdrie were 2-1 winners over Queen’s Park last time out and occupy sixth place in the table, seven points adrift of the final promotion play-off spot. If the Diamonds have any aspirations of going up they will need to improve their away form – they possess the division’s worst record on the road this season with just nine points from a possible 39.

Manager Stephen Findlay, who along with assistant Marc Fitzpatrick signed new 18 month deals at the Excelsior Stadium this month, has strengthened his attacking options recently, adding Dale Carrick and the experience Darryl Duffy. Former Hearts and Livingston striker Carrick has already been among the goals with 3 in 5 games.

Team News: Chris Higgins is out for the season. Everyone else is available for the squad.

Ian says: “It just has the feeling of a pivotal time in a Championship race. Last week was obviously very good for us and again the key is not to worry about anyone else and just focus on what we need to do. There will be plenty of talk about the 100th goal however for us it is business as usual, we are going for back to back home wins. It is a massive confidence boost to have had some key players back in training and an even bigger boost to be able to include them in the squad for tomorrow.”

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 12

Draws – 9

Airdrieonians wins – 11

 

There has been very little between the two teams in the 32 previous matches since the current incarnation of Airdrieonians – then Airdrie United – were formed in 2002. The Diamonds have had the upper hand in fixtures at Somerset Park, winning six games to Ayr’s five, with five draws.

 

Last Meeting: Ayr put in a hugely disappointing performance when the sides last met, at the Excelsior Stadium in December. Early goals from Cammy Russell and David Brownlie gave the Diamonds all three points as United uncharacteristically couldn’t find the back of the net.

 

Earlier in the season at Somerset Park, an Andy Geggan double in the second-half put United ahead after Jordan McGregor opened the scoring but Willis Furtado – now at Raith – grabbed an equaliser.

 

Goal Statistics

Ayr United stand on 99 goals in all completions so far with:

–          58% of those goals scored away from home

–          44 goals scored in the first-half, 55 in the second-half

–          9 goals have been scored after the 85th minute

–          United have scored the first goal of the game in 28 of their 35 fixtures

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Alan Newlands

Assistant Referee 1 – Ivan Stankovic

Assistant Referee 2 – Finlay Currie

 

Admission:

Adult – £16

Concession (OAPs, Students, 18-21) – £10
Child (Under 18) – £5

Player of the Year Awards 2018

The Player of the Year awards 2018 will be held on Saturday 14th April. The event will begin at 7.30pm and will be held at the Carlton Hotel.

Tickets will cost £30 each and will include a delicious buffet. On the night we are going do the first release of our new strips for the 2018/19 season which should be a fantastic addition to the event.

Live professional function band Audioclass will be performing on the evening and are sure to keep everyone entertained until closing time.

Commercial manager Graeme Miller said :”We have had no option but to change venue for our player of the year awards as we can only get around 70 fans in when we hold it in our own hospitality suite.

The Carlton Hotel have been great with us from the start and there will be numerous drinks promotions on the night and for any fans that would like to stay in the hotel then discounted rates are available at £100 for a triple room, £80 for a double and £65 for a single. All these rates include breakfast and if you would like to book please contact the Carlton and let them know you are attending the event.

This event should be the pinnacle of every season and we are now able to have 250 of our players, staff and supporters in the one place. It should be a special night and one I am hugely looking forward to.”

Tickets will be on sale in the club shop from Wednesday 21st February.

Voting information will be available in due course and keep an eye out for Ayr United Medias goal of the season competition!

Ayr Utd 3 East Fife 0

Ayr United 3 v 0 East Fife

by AUmedia

Ayr closed the gap on Raith at the top of the table to six points with a game in hand after comfortably beating East Fife at Somerset Park. Declan McDaid fired the Honest Men into the lead on 32 minutes with Lawrence Shankland and an Alan Forrest penalty adding to the score line in the second half.

East Fife had arrived without their troubles to seek.  A growing injury list, to rival that of United’s over recent weeks, allowed them to name only 3 outfield players on their bench, but they still set up to stifle Ayr with a high work rate and catch the home side out with quick attacking breaks.

The opening 10 mins of the match was disappointing with both teams failing to get a grip on the game or come to terms with the soft and bobbly surface. There was a lack of control, with passes going astray from both sides, possession being handed over, and moves breaking down with regularity.

Ayr then gained momentum, creating multiple chances but it took 32 mins before they finally got the ball in the net. East Fife failed to fully clear a corner and Mark Kerr slipped the ball to his right to Declan McDaid who cut inside the box and released a stinging drive which swerved into the net with the slightest of deflections off defender Dunsmore’s hip. Cue a novel celebration with the winger placing his hand over his eye and smiling toward the eye-patched Ian McCall sitting in the directors’ box as he recovers from surgery to repair a detached retina.

Ayr intensified their efforts in the second half and Lawrence Shankland grabbed the 2nd in 53 mins. A sublime solo effort saw the striker turn goalwards 25 yards out, go past three and into the box, before rounding keeper Goodfellow and thumping the ball home.

6 mins later, McDaid, sprinting into the box to receive a return pass from Shankland, was blocked and flattened by central defender Jonathan Page, penalty Ayr. Just minutes after coming onto the park, substitute Alan Forrest stepped up to the spot and casually sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-0 and take United’s goal tally for the season to 99.

East Fife threw players forward, but it was testimony to the hard work of the United defence that it took ‘The Fifers’ 69 mins to get their first attempt on target; striker Chris Duggan’s downward header from a Kevin Smith cross, saved at full stretch by Ayr keeper, Jack Ruddy.

In the last 10 mins Ayr went all out to try and reach that 100-goal tally with Forrest, McDaid, Shankland, Adams and Moore all going close, but that century strike just didn’t materialise.

Ayr are visited by Airdrieonians this Saturday with the Honest Men looking to get revenge for their 2 – 0 away defeat in December and to rack up that 100th goal.

 

Ayr United

Ruddy, Geggan, Bell, Rose, Boyle, McDaid, Kerr, Adams, McGuffie, Moffat, Shankland

Substitutes: Hart (GK), Moore, Forrest, Ferguson, Faulds, McCowan, Reid

 

East Fife

Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Watson, Kane, Page, Slattery, Allardice, McManus, Millar, Jones, Duggan Substitutes: MacKenzie (GK), Smith, Linton, Knox

Referee: David Lowe

Attendance: 1,170