Forfar match preview

Match Preview
Forfar Athletic vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 21st October 2017, Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, the Honest Men hit the road when they travel to Station Park to face Forfar Athletic. Ian McCall’s men will be looking to extend a four match unbeaten run in League 1 against a Forfar side without a win since the start of August.

Gary Bollan paid for a run of five consecutive league defeats, including a 5-0 reverse at home to Angus rivals Arbroath, with his job last month. New boss Jim Weir took charge of the Loons for the first time against Queen’s Park last weekend at Hampden Park. Forfar came close to all three points after Mark Miller’s second-half penalty but an 89th minute Spiders equaliser meant a point apiece for the division’s bottom two sides. Forfar prop up the table with five points from nine games, four points behind 8th place Alloa.

Weir, who has now managed all four Angus clubs in addition to Elgin City, will be looking to add goals to his team; Forfar have netted just 6 times this season.

Team News: Craig Reid is out with injury and Jamie Adams won’t be risked due to the surface.

Ian says: “Every game is difficult and this will be no different. The league table means nothing, Forfar have a new manager and will be really up for the game so we need to make sure we are at our best. It’s crucial that we cut out the mistakes at the back and start taking more of the many chances we are creating.”

Head to head:
Ayr United wins – 56
Draws – 18
Forfar Athletic wins – 31

Last Meeting: The Honest Men defeated the Loons 3-0 at Somerset Park in August, Craig Moore, Declan McDaid and Robbie Crawford netting the goals. Ayr’s last match at Station Park was in March last year and saw the home side end up victorious. An Andy Ryan double and Steven Craig goal cancelled out Ryan Stevenson’s strike.

On this day: in history United have a 42.8% win rate and have lost just four of 14 games. Our most recent fixture on 21st October came in 2006, a 1-1 draw away to Cowdenbeath in which Chris Strain scored a late equaliser.

Match Officials:
Referee – Steven Kirkland
Assistant Referee 1 – John McCrossan
Assistant Referee 2 – Simon MacLean

Adult – Ground £12 / Stand £13
Concessions – £6 / £7


The AU500 Fund sparkles again

At Saturday’s match against Airdrie, AU500 Fund representatives Steve and Alan Clark presented a cheque for £1000 to Ayr United Director Willie Houston. The brothers are lifelong Ayr United supporters, who live in Glasgow, but have deep Ayrshire roots.

Steve is a partner in the group which owns the Sparklehorse bar in Glasgow’s west end as well as being a member of well known Scots indie band Bis who are working towards the release of their next album.

This latest donation takes the total contribution from the AU 500 Fund to an impressive £14,400 since launching in August last year all going towards the playing budget. 

If you’d like to learn more about the AU 500 Fund please visit

Ayr Utd 3 East Fife 0

Ayr United 3 v 0 East Fife

Report by AUmedia


The Honest Men made it two wins on the bounce as they defeated East Fife 3-0 at Somerset Park.  Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring early on before goals from Andy Geggan and Chris Higgins sealed the win in the second half.   Ayr started the better of the two sides with Shankland getting keen to get involved.  His curling strike from the edge of the area on 4 mins had to be palmed away at full stretch by keeper Mark Hurst to prevent Ayr going ahead.

It wasn’t long before United’s striker got himself on the scoresheet. On 7 mins, Brian Gilmour took a short corner on the left to Declan McDaid who returned the ball. Gilmour then whipped the ball in and it was met by Michael Rose whose header was acrobatically saved by Hurst but the ball fell free.  Shankland, lurking at the back post, was first to react and poked the ball under the keeper and just over the line for 1-0.

East Fife almost got themselves back on level terms two mins later when Chris Kane’s head flicked effort in the box went straight to keeper Jordan Hart, causing him no problems.   Shankland, who has now netted 5 goals in 4 games, had a chance to increase his impressive goal tally since joining when, on 15 mins, good play with Michael Moffat set the striker through into the box with time and space but his shot blazed over the bar.

20 mins gone and East Fife had another chance to level the scores when midfielder Pat Slattery got the ball on the edge of the area and his volleyed effort went harmlessly over the bar.   Declan McDaid was next to have an effort on goal when he sent a curling shot from 20 yards which was almost knocked in by the on-rushing Moffat but fell straight into the hands of Hurst.

On 33 mins McDaid then turned provider when his freekick was met by Rose whose powerful header smacked back off the bar.   On 42 mins Ayr had a glorious chance to increase their lead when Shankland dispossessed defender Chris Kane, charged into the box then rounded keeper Hurst before seeing his effort from a tight angle hit the base of the post and out for a goal kick.

It didn’t take long into the second half to double their lead when Geggan made it 2 – 0. Paddy Boyle sent a delicious cross-field ball from the left to Shankland just inside the penalty box on the right. Shankland nodded into the path of Geggan who smashed the ball into the net from 15 yards giving Hurst absolutely no chance. 49 mins gone and it was 2 – 0 Ayr.

It got from bad to worse for East Fife when their captain, Jonathan Page, was sent off for a high studded challenge on McDaid on 59 mins.   The visitors continued to plug away and on 61 mins striker Chris Duggan found space 20 yards out and took a powerful drive that fizzed over the bar. Michael Moffat, desperate for his 100th goal, was next to try and get his name on the scoresheet for Ayr when on 72 mins he found himself through one-on-one with the keeper but Hurst did well to block and turn the ball past for a corner.

From the resultant corner Ayr did make it 3 through Higgins.  The initial delivery was cleared and Docherty sent the ball back into the box for Higgins whose flicked header found the back of the net after a deflection. 73 mins gone and it was 3 – 0 Ayr .

The final real chance of the game fell to McGuffie on 75 mins as he worked his way into the box before unleashing a powerful strike that smacked into the side netting.   Ayr are back in action a week on Saturday, after the International break, when they welcome Airdrieonians to Somerset Park.

Ayr Untied Hart, Higgins, Boyle, Gilmour, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, McDaid, Shankland, Docherty, Reid.  Substitutes Avci (GK), McGuffie, Ferguson, Balfour, Murphy, McCowan.   East Fife Hurst, Dunsmore, Linton, Watson, Page, Flanagan, Kane, Docherty, Millar, Duggan, Slattery.  Substitutes Goodfellow (GK), Reilly, Willis, Lamont, Hurst, Mutch, Wilson.

Attendance:  1382 Referee:  Barry Cook

Queens Park 0 Ayr Utd 2

by AUmedia
The first real chance of the game fell to the home side after only 5 mins. Midfielder David Galt found space and time in the box and his curling effort smacked off the post as Ayr scrambled the ball to safety. On 14 mins, with the Spiders continuing their early pressure, Luke Donnelly was next to try his luck, this time with a header that flew over the top of Hart’s goal.

Despite a flurry of chances for the home side, the opening goal of the game came for United on 23 mins through Adams. Gilmour picked the ball up midway through the Queen’s Park half and primed himself to shoot before disguising a clipped ball to the back post for Adams to head back across goal and into the bottom right corner. 0-1 Ayr. Ayr hadn’t been at their best in the opening stages with Queen’s Park dominating possession but the quality of the goal’s construction, and not a little relief, brought the 500 plus travelling supporters to their feet.

Ayr began to grow in confidence and almost picked up a second just minutes later. Defender Ciaran Summer’s attempted headed clearance from a Geggan throw in fell to Michael Moffat in the box and the striker pounced, adjusting his body before firing towards goal on the volley. Just as Ayr fans were preparing to celebrate, keeper Willie Muir (a former Honest Man) got down well to save.

On 32 mins, Ayr’s stopper, Jordan Hart was called into action with a double save. First, at full stretch, he palmed away a close-range header from striker Luke Donnelly before recovering swiftly to stop Dominic Docherty’s follow-up drive at the front post.

Into the second half and Queens Park found themselves a glorious chance to get back into the game. On 55 mins, they were awarded a penalty after Rose was adjudged to have fouled Donnelly in the box. This seemed a harsh decision with Rose appearing to have made contact with the ball and not the man and, for the second week in a row, United feared the worst.

Ross Millen stepped up but saw his effort saved by Hart who dived to his left then reacted at pace to keep out the rebound attempt and ensure that Ayr maintained their lead.

Ayr were looking to try and kill the game off and on 59 mins almost did so when Moffat passed the ball to Shankland who from 20 yards out curled a shot just wide.

With 68 mins gone, Ayr gave finally themselves a two-goal cushion thanks to Lawrence Shankland. A through ball from Geggan reached Shankland, back to goal some 35 yards out, who delightfully stepped away and turned leaving midfielder Fotheringham bemused and trailing in his wake. The striker then veered left, creating space for himself, and moved just inside the penalty area before directing a low shot, through the narrow slot to keeper Muir’s right, and into the back of the net. This was no less than the industrious Shankland deserved and Ayr were two up.

The home side were not giving up in this game and continued to press for a route back into the game. On 77 mins Orr saw his shot from close range blocked by Rose. On 86 mins, centre half, Adam Cummins thought he had headed Queens Park back into the game from an in-swinging free kick but his effort was ruled out for offside.

2 mins later it was United defender Chris Higgins who was called into action when he had to clear the ball off the line to ensure that Ayr finished the game with a clean sheet and 3 points.
Ayr now welcome East Fife to Somerset Park on Saturday.

QUEENS PARK – Muir, Millen, Cummins, Iredale, Summers, Docherty, Fotheringham, Brady, Bailey, Donnelly, Galt. Substitutes Orr, Duff, Green, Gibson, Burns, McVey, White (GK).
AYR UNITED – Hart, Geggan, Higgins, Rose, Reid, McDaid, Adams, Docherty, Gilmour, Moffat, Shankland. Substitutes McGuffie, Ferguson, Murphy, McCowan, Avci (GK).
Referee: Gavin Ross
Attendance: 821

Queens Park match preview

Match Preview Queen’s Park vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes League 1 Saturday 23rd September 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Hampden Park to face Queen’s Park. The Honest Men remain in second place in the table after former Queen’s Park striker Lawrence Shankland’s late strike against Alloa last weekend rescued a point and are one of three teams who are six points behind leaders Raith Rovers. Another high-scoring match involving Ian McCall’s men means United’s six league games this season have averaged 4.67 goals.

Queen’s Park picked up their first league win of the season a fortnight ago when Ross Millen’s penalty earned the Spiders all three points at East Fife. Last Saturday, however, they were brought back down to earth when Raith put five goals past them with no reply at the National Stadium. Gus McPherson’s side occupy ninth place in League 1, a point ahead of bottom side Forfar, who dispensed with manager Gary Bollan this week.

Team News: Chris Higgins comes back into the squad. Craig Moore, Paddy Boyle, Robbie Crawford and Alan Forrest are still out.

Ian says: “We were hoping to have at least a couple of the injured boys back however we do have Chris Higgins back and Jamie & Doc have both had an  extra weeks training. We need to defend better and stop conceding goals as we do look very dangerous going forward. It is extremely frustrating to have taken 1 point from the last two games when I felt it should have been a lot more. Queens Park haven’t been in the best of form however they are a good side and it will be a difficult match. Hopefully we take a good number of fans through to Glasgow and they get right behind us.”

Head to head (League):

Ayr United wins – 42

Draws – 23

Queen’s Park wins – 31


United have lost just one of the last 23 meetings between the sides, a record stretching back to 1982.


Last Meeting: Ayr United and Queen’s Park met last season in the Scottish Cup. After a goalless draw at Somerset Park in January, United edged through to the Fifth Round at Hampden Park in the replay. Paul Woods put the Spiders ahead in the 4th minute and Gus McPherson’s side scored again before half-time through Bryan Wharton after had Craig Moore equalised. A Conrad Balatoni goal in the 83rd minute forced the game into extra-time during which Sean Burns was sent-off for the home side. Greg Fleming then once again showed his penalty saving prowess, denying Wharton and Gregor Fotheringham from the spot to send the Honest Men through on penalties.


The last league game between the sides was at Somerset Park in 2009 and ended 1-1 after Ryan Borris equalised Steven Odenewo’s goal.


On this day: in history Ayr have a 55.56% win rate and have won their last four matches played on this date, most recently away to Brechin in 2006 when Paul Weaver and Jerome Vareille netted for the Honest Men at Glebe Park.


Match Officials:

Referee – Gavin Ross

Assistant Referee 1 – Andrew McWilliam

Assistant Referee 2 – Gordon McCabe



Adult – £14

Senior Citizen (over 65)- £5

Child (under 16) – £3

Student/Unemployed – £3

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day returns to Ayr United

After the success of last years Armed Forces Day we have agreed to make it an annual event and this seasons will be held on Saturday 30th September.

All serving personnel, regular and reserves. Cadets and veterans welcome. Entry is free and through gate H.

All serving personnel and cadets should wear MTP uniform.

All veterans in suitable Veterans Day attire with medals.

As with last year the point of contact for the event will be Capt Michael Green 6 SCOTS. If you would like to attend please contact Captain Green by phone (07739997964) or by email





Ayr Utd 3 Alloa Athletic 3

Ayr United 3 v 3 Alloa Athletic

Match report by AUmedia

A double from Lawrence Shankland on his home debut helped Ayr rescue a point at home to Alloa in a match marred by yet another poor refereeing decision when in the 84th min Alloa were awarded a penalty after United midfielder Jamie Adams clearly headed the ball.

Ayr had gone ahead early in the game through Shankland before being pegged back by goals from McKeown and Cawley.  Adams equalised late into the second half before Alloa took the lead through that controversial penalty. Ayr dug deep as the game moved into added time when Shankland salvaged a point for Ayr though with a solo effort.

On 4 mins, the first chance of the game resulted in the opener for United.  An Adams shot was blocked by a sliding tackle from Alloa player manager Jim Goodwin and spun upwards towards the keeper’s right-hand post. Michael Moffat was first to react and flicked the ball over the keeper into the goalmouth and Lawrence Shankland headed in from close range to make it 1-0.

Ayr almost doubled their lead on 10 mins.  A dangerous cross, whipped in by McDaid from the right, was flicked on by Moffat and scraped just wide of the far post.   Alloa’s first effort came on 13 mins.  From a corner, defender McKeown, in acres of space in the box, saw his powerful header flash wide of the right-hand post.  After United’s early dominance, Alloa were growing into the game and had another chance on 28 mins when Robertson took a drive from the edge of the area that went just wide of the target.

Alloa’s increased and sustained pressure was to pay off when they levelled on 35 mins albeit with a touch of good fortune.  A corner was cleared by the Ayr defence and fell to Robertson whose off target shot from 20 yards deflected off the grounded McKeown and rolled into the net for 1-1.

Ayr’s next best chance came on 55 mins. Moffat picked the ball up and drove into the Alloa box before lifting the ball towards the back post where McDaid who slid in and directed the ball onto the bar from no more than 3 yards.  3 mins later Shankland saw his header from a corner superbly saved by Alloa keeper Parry at point blank range.

Despite the promising start to the second half, it was Alloa who were to go ahead through ex-Ayr man Cawley on 61 mins.  One of the smallest men on the pitch, Cawley won a ball in from a corner on the right and managed to head into the top right-hand corner to give Hart and Docherty, on the line, no chance, 1-2.

One minute later and Ayr almost responded. Shankland held off then turned defender Frank McKeown in the box before seeing his stinging drive palmed away by Parry.  McDaid then fired well over the bar from the edge of the area.   The visitors almost doubled their advantage on 69 mins through another ex-Ayr player when Meggatt’s header from a corner had to be well saved by Hart in goal.

Alloa were made to pay for this missed chance as Ayr equalised through Adams on 79 mins.  McDaid passed the ball to Moffat on the right and his hanging cross was met by Adams at the back post and his shot went back across goal and into the bottom right corner for 2-2.  The big midfielder’s momentum carried him onwards and he had to jump over the wall and land in amongst the fans.

Hart was once again called into action, this time to deny yet another ex-Ayr man, Craig Malcolm, who made himself space in the box and curled a shot towards goal that was palmed away with expert agility by Hart on 83 mins.

From the resultant corner, Alloa were awarded a controversial penalty when Adams was deemed to have blocked a header with his hand despite the ball smacking off the side of the midfielder’s head.  Taggart stepped up and tucked away the penalty to hand the advantage back to Alloa at 2-3.

Ayr desperately tried to get themselves a leveller and it looked like it just ‘wouldn’t be their day’ when Moffat saw a shot in the box cleared off the line before Rose fired over at the back post in the dying minutes.   The Honest Men were to get the last say when Shankland, with an superb piece of individual play, struck his second goal of the game on 94 mins making it 3-3.  The striker picked the ball up on the left and cut into the box, evading a number of challenges before smashing the ball into the bottom corner to salvage a point for the home side.   United now travel to Hampden Park on Saturday to play Queens Park.

Ayr United  Hart, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, McDaid, McGuffie, Ferguson, Adams, Shankland, Docherty, Reid.  Substitutes Avci (GK), Gilmour, Waite, Murphy, McCowan.

Alloa Athletic Parry, Taggart, Meggatt, McKeown, Goodwin, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Renton, Fleming, Flannigan.  Substitutes Cook, Malcolm, Martin, Crane, Wilson (GK).   Referee:  Euan Anderson  Attendance:  1306

Raith match preview

Match Preview
Raith Rovers vs. Ayr United
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 9th September 2017. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to the Kingdom of Fife looking to wrestle top spot in League 1 back from high-flying Raith Rovers. United’s unbeaten start to the league campaign ended at home to Arbroath at fortnight ago will be looking to return to winning ways in this clash between the League 1 favourites.

Former Dundee, Alloa and East Fife manager Barry Smith was the man Raith Rovers turned to in the summer to lead them back to the Championship after their eight year stint in Scottish football’s second tier came to an end in May. A strong start to the season sees Rovers sit top of the table with 10 points from 4 games, a record which saw Smith collect the Manager of the Month award for August this week.

Raith have won their last five games in league and cup, scoring 18 goals and conceding just once. Lewis Vaughan – who spent last season on loan at Dumbarton – has scored in each of his last nine appearances, 13 goals in total for the season, and was unsurprisingly named August’s League 1 Player of the Month. Vaughan along with strikers Greig Spence and Liam Buchanan – both summer signings – and Bobby Barr make for an impressive attacking line-up which United will do well to keep quiet on Saturday.

Team News: Jamie Adams, Ross Docherty, Paddy Boyle and Craig Moore are all definitely out. Robbie Crawford and Alan Forrest have a 50/50 chance of making it. Lawrence Shankland goes straight into the squad.

Ian says: “We have had a break since our last match and it’s unfortunate that we have picked up some crucial injuries however it gives an opportunity to some of the other players that have been knocking on the door. We will still have a strong team out there and it’s a game we are really looking to. Raith are flying just now so it will be a very tough match however we had started the season very strongly until a couple of poor results last week and we go there with confidence.”

Head to head (League):
Ayr United wins – 49
Draws – 44
Raith Rovers wins – 49

United have a decent record in recent years at Starks Park, losing just twice in their last 11 visits.

Last Meeting: There was no lack of drama in the four Championship matches between Ayr United and Raith Rovers last season, with both clubs battling against each other to avoid relegation. The sides met on the opening and final games of the campaign, with Rovers winning both. A 2-0 victory at Somerset Park in August 2016 kick started a positive start for Gary Locke’s side it wasn’t to endure much longer than a month and while the Kirkcaldy side’s 2-1 win in May 2017 – a match which saw their Slovak keeper Pavol Penska sent off in just the fourth minute – ensured it was the Honest Men who would finish the season bottom of the league, Rovers, under the direction of John Hughes would quickly follow into League 1, losing to Brechin in the play-offs.

The other two fixtures between the sides were both played on a Tuesday night; it was 1-1 at Starks Park in November, with both sides finishing with 10 men while Ayr picked up all three points at Somerset Park in February.

In total Rovers fielded five different goalkeepers in four games against Ayr, including midfielder Ryan Stevenson in the 1-0 reverse at Somerset Park.

On this day: in 1978 Ayr United and Raith Rovers played out a goalless draw at Starks Park. Six years earlier The Honest Men defeated Kilmarnock 1-0 at Rugby Park.

Match Officials:
Referee – Alan Muir
Assistant Referee 1 – Brian Templeton
Assistant Referee 2 – Craig King

Adult – £15
Concession (12-16, Over 65) – £8
Junior (Under 16, accompanied by full paying adult) – £5
Full Time Student & Jobseekers – £10 (must be purchased at ticket office)
Disability & Carer Concession – £8

Shankland signs & Higgins extends deal

Lawrence Shankland this morning penned a deal until January with the Honest Men.

Manager Ian McCall said ” We may have quite a few injuries for tomorrow however this is not a signing that is down to the injuries. I have said for some time I was looking for another attacking player. Lawrence is a boy I’ve tried to sign 3 times previously. He is a goal scorer and just needs to find his way again. There is no doubting he has ability he just needs some game time. This also means there is potential for Moffat Moore and Shankland all to play together.”

Chris Higgins has signed a one year extension to his current deal keeping him at Somerset Park to the Summer of 2019. Manager Ian McCall has been delighted with what he has seen so far from the ex Queen of the South captain and wanted the deal done as quickly as possible.

Ayr Utd 1 Arbroath 2

Ayr United 1 v 2 Arbroath

by AUmedia

The Honest Men’s 100% start to the league campaign came to an end as Arbroath left Somerset Park with all 3 points thanks to goals from Kadar and Whatley after Higgins had opened the scoring for United.   The first chance of the match came for the away side after only 4 mins when striker Swankie met a free kick at the front post and his header fell just beyond the back post.  Ayr then had a chance 2 mins later when Forrest had a pop at goal however the shot was tame and easily saved by ex-Honest Man Hutton in goal.

Arbroath were causing Ayr problems early on and almost went ahead on 10 mins when O’Brien’s header was superbly saved by Hart at the bottom right corner and cleared off the line to safety by Docherty.  It was then Ayr’s turn to have a header cleared off the line when Geggan met a McDaid in swinger and saw his header cleared away by a defender on 21 mins.

The Red Lichties were playing a very effective counter attacking game and it almost earned them the lead on 37 mins.  Arbroath won the ball and broke quickly before setting Swankie through on goal however his shot was well saved by Hart from a one-on-one position.

Ayr were to take the lead on 41 mins through defined Higgins.  A corner from McDaid fell kindly to Moore at the back post whose shot was palmed away by Hutton but Higgins was there to sweep home the rebound to give Ayr the lead, 1-0.   Ayr upped the tempo in search for a second before halftime and almost doubled their lead on 43 mins.  Moore met the ball at the back post and his ambitious bicycle kick was well saved by Hutton from close range.

Ayr were preparing to go into halftime with a slender lead however the visitors got themselves on level terms right before the break.  Ayr failed to clear the ball in the box and Kader was lurking at the back post to fire home the equaliser, 1-1 on 45 mins.   Kadar almost netted his second of the match on 46 mins when his in-swinging corner almost crossed the line if it weren’t for Hart who did well to claw the ball away to prevent a potential freak goal for the away side.

Ayr were struggling to break down the well organised Arbroath who were creating more chances and this time Swankie had another glorious chance to score.  The Arbroath striker found himself with time and space in the box and his half volley had to be palmed away by Hart on 50 mins to ensure that the score line remained level.

Moffat then had a shot on the edge of the area on 53 mins that was tame and caused Hutton no problems at all as it rolled wide of the post.

Arbroath were to take a deserved lead on 59 mins through Whatley.  Doris the collected the ball on the edge of the area and lay the ball off for Whatley who sent in a high curling shot from 20 yards that Hart couldn’t keep out, 1-2.

Ayr struggled to apply any real pressure to the away side and Geggan had the only shot of note in the remaining half hour, one which went straight down the throat of Hutton on 69 mins.   Ayr slip down to 2nd place after this defeat and now take a break from league action as they welcome Montrose to Somerset on Tuesday evening in the second round of the Irn Bru Cup.

Ayr United  Hart, Higgins, Boyle, Rose, Geggan, Moffat, Crawford, Moore, Forrest, McDaid, Docherty.  Substitutes Avci (GK), Gilmour, McGuffie, Ferguson, Murphy, McGowan, Reid.   Arbroath  Hutton, Gold, Hamilton, Little, O’Brien, Whatley, Kader, Yule, Doris, Swankie, Denholm.  Substitutes Prunty, Linn, Henry, McCord, Skelly, Gomes.   Referee:  Mike Roncome Attendance:  1569