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



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



Adult – £12

Concession (u17 and 65+) – £6

Additional £1 for stand

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.


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

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.


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


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