Brechin 2 Ayr United 4

Brechin City 2 v 4 Ayr United
Trouten 48′ McLaughlin 53′ (pen), 86′ (pen)
Masson 59′ Beattie 73′, 90′+3

Glebe Park was a beautiful setting for an afternoon of football with the sun shining, blue skies and a lush and immaculate playing surface providing the conditions for what would be an entertaining and exciting match. With Brechin City buoyed by an emphatic 5 – 0 against Stirling Albion (maintaining their unbeaten run) and Ayr United licking their wounds after defeat at the hands of Stranraer, all was set up for a game in which pride was at stake.

From the start both sides showed their intent to attack and within one minute Brian Gilmour had struck the ball from 20 yards out but the drive ended up narrowly over the bar. Not to be undone, Brechin pushed forward and in four minutes Andy Jackson pounced on a loose ball, as the unfortunate Kevin McKinlay slipped on the greasy surface, and then sprinted goalwards before crashing a shot inches over.

In the seventh minute Alan Forrest picked up the ball on the right hand side and made a darting run into the Brechin penalty area only to be stopped by a strong and accurate last-ditch tackle. Unfortunately for the Ayr winger he landed awkwardly, injuring his shoulder. As he hadn’t recovered, six minutes later he was replaced by last week’s trialist Paul Slane.

Brechin created a number of good chances with former Ayr midfielder Alan Trouten causing difficulty for the United defence. On two occasions he drove straight into the box his first attempt going straight into the arms of a keeper Hutton whilst the second narrowly sliding past the post.
The last 20 minutes or so of the first half developed a little bit of niggle with a number of crunching tackles, unnecessary fouls and some off the ball incidents which the referee failed to pick up. Brechin’s Craig Molloy and Ayr’s Paul Slane were both lucky not to receive the referee’s attention in what appeared to be their own personal macho contest that was to continue for the rest of the game.

Although Ayr seemed to have most of the possession it was Brechin who created the majority of chances as the half moved towards its end. Bobby Barr twice went close as quick passing interplay created space and allowed him to break into the box, firstly dragging the ball past the post and secondly finding Hutton equal to his flashing shot. In the 43rd minute Scott McLaughlin’s pass was short of its mark and Andy Jackson pounced on the ball, taking the opportunity to hammer it towards goal, leaving Hutton watching helplessly as it squeezed narrowly wide.
As the whistle went for the end of the first half there was a feeling that Brechin city were on the ascendancy and that Ayr would need to be stronger in defence and much more purposeful in the second half if they were going to come away with three points.

The second half started as the first had left off, with Brechin pressing hard for an opening goal. Within one minute they went close. Breaking with speed, the ball was delivered to the feet of Andy Jackson in the penalty area and with only Hutton to beat. The odds were on Jackson but somehow he contrived to blast his shot well wide of the keeper and past the post. Ayr should have heeded the warning as Brechin’s opener was only delayed for a short while.
In the 48th minute Jackson found himself played onside well inside the Ayr United penalty area. As the Ayr back line rushed back to defend, Jackson made his way to the goal line and then slid an inch perfect pass to the on-rushing Trouten who side footed the ball into the net from 5 yards.

Before the restart Kevin McKinlay, who had played Jackson onside, was substituted and it transpired that he had difficulty moving after receiving a dead leg right at the end of the first half. Mark Roberts shuffled things around a bit with Mikey Donald filling in at the left back position with Dale Shirkie entering the play in a left side, forward position.

Ayr immediately went on the attack and when Martyn Campbell knocked the ball towards the Brechin net right back McCormack blocked the ball with his hand. Referee Gavin Duncan showed no hesitation and pointed to the spot for a penalty to Ayr United. Brechin players immediately surrounded the referee and in the confusion Duncan was unable to identify the player who had handled. He asked for the opinion of both his assistants but they also failed to spot the culprit. The referee decided to cut his losses and ask for the penalty to be taken. Brechin midfielder Greg Cameron did find his name in the book for repeatedly harassing the referee and, when given a final warning to walk away, again said something and found himself cautioned. This impetuosity would come back to haunt Greg and the Brechin team.

Unperturbed by this three minute hiatus, on 50 minutes captain Scott McLaughlin smashed the ball past Graeme Smith and into the net for United’s equaliser.

If the first half was entertaining the second half had burst into life and exploded to a higher level. Brechin attempted to respond immediately, again pressing towards the United goal. In the 15th minute Campbell slipped and Jackson picked up the ball, cut round the Ayr United defence and, in an almost duplicate version of Brechin’s opening goal, placed the ball at the feet of Trouten but this time his shot was spectacularly saved by Hutton. Again this was only a temporary delay for Brechin’s intent.

On 59 minutes the talented young midfielder Jamie Masson collected the ball on the right, in line with the edge of the United penalty area. Out turning two players he ran parallel to the edge of the box, found himself unchallenged, and with time to change back onto his right foot. Seeing his chance he hit the ball powerfully into the top right-hand corner. This was, without doubt, a spectacular effort from the youngster.

With 62 minutes gone, Brechin leading 2 -1 and with their players appearing confident that they could move on to victory, came the moment that turned the match on its head. Greg Cameron, booked earlier for dissent, lunged in on Dale Shirkie, rolling over the top of the ball and into his shins. Receiving his second yellow card Cameron made the long walk back to the changing rooms and to severe words from his manager Ray McKinnon. Shirkie, to his credit, did not make a meal of the challenge, pausing only to check that his legs were still attached and then returning to action.

Ayr started to pile on the pressure. A Donnelly header from 8 yards out resulted a good save from Smith. Shirkie followed this by shooting just over, and shortly after Smith again came to Brechin’s rescue diving at Donnelly’s feet as he darted into the box.

In the 64th minute Martyn Campbell was replaced by Craig Beattie as Ayr showed their attacking intent. Paul Slane and Jon Paul McGovern were becoming more and more influential, with McGovern spraying passes and creating space and attacking opportunities. Slane began running the ball from deep, both in wide positions and cutting inside, flying past players and linking well with the other forwards.

It looked certain that Ayr would get their just reward for this attacking play and it arrived in the 73rd minute. Following a corner, the ball was flicked from head-to-head and finally reached Craig Beattie near the back post and his header lobbed slowly into the net past the despairing hands of keeper Smith.

With Ayr’s dominance increasing it may have been expected that Brechin would go for a more defensive strategy but this did not happen. Following the replacement of Bobby Barr and Alan Trouten by Robert Thomson and Ryan Ferguson, Brechin maintained a three-man attacking force and continue to attempt to win the match.
This had become a pulsating encounter with end-to-end action but with the extra man giving Ayr a massive and clear advantage. But it wouldn’t be from open play that United took the lead.

In the 87th minute, after a period of sustained Ayr United pressure, the impressive Dale Shirkie found himself inside the box, and as he looked for support, he spotted an opportunity and blasted the ball towards the net. The one remaining defender, McCormack, blocked the attempt with two raised arms, giving the referee no other opportunity but to award another penalty and produce a yellow card. Scott McLaughlin stepped forward, and for the second time in the match, slammed the ball past Smith. Ayr were in front.

The icing on the cake for Ayr came in the third minute of added time as Craig Beattie showed all of his skill and experience to chalk up his second and Ayr’s fourth goal of the match. With the goals behind him, and a defender tight in on his back, Beattie received the ball just inside the penalty area. He flicked the ball to his left and rolled round his marker, who was left treading water, and having created acres of space Beattie blasted the ball into the Brechin net.

And so the game ended Brechin City 2 v 4 Ayr United and as the fans celebrated another three points the long journey home didn’t feel so bad.

Brechin City
1 Smith
2 McCormack
3 Hamilton
4 McLean
5 McCormack
6 Cameron
7 Trouten (Ferguson – 79′)
8 Molloy
9 Jackson
10 Barr (Thomson – 75′)
11 Masson

Substitutes
12 Jackson
14 McLauchlan
15 Ferguson
16 Thomson
17 Tough
21 O’Neil

Ayr United
1 Hutton
2 Devlin
3 McKinlay (Shirkie – 50′)
4 Murphy
5 Campbell (Beattie – 64′)
6 Gilmour
7 Forrest (Slane – 13′)
8 McLaughlin
9 Donnelly
10 McGovern
11 Donald

Substitutes
12 Beattie
14 Slane
15 Shirkie
16 Muir
17 McGill
18 Crawford
19 Newman

Referee: Gavin Duncan
Attendance: 537
Match Report AUmedia

Club shop Opening Hours

The club shop will be open from 10am-12 tomorrow (Saturday 20th September) to allow the staff to travel to Brechin.

Match Preview v Brechin

Ayr United will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they travel to Angus to face Brechin City. The Honest Men fell to their first league defeat of the season last weekend, a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Stranraer, a result which saw Dunfermline and Forfar join them at the top of the table on 10 points.

Brechin sit a point behind Ayr in fourth spot but remain unbeaten, with two wins and three draws from their five fixtures. Last weekend they ran out comfortable winners against Stirling Albion, winning 5-0 at Forthbank.

Team News: We have a full squad available for selection.

Marko says: “The players have been really upbeat in training this week and are really looking forward to getting back on the pitch. Against Stranraer we just didn’t quite have the same spark that weve had in previous games and we have worked on getting that back. We are under no illusions as to how difficult it will be up there but if we play to our capabilities then we know teams will fear us rather than the other way around.”

Head-to-Head (at Glebe Park):
Ayr United wins: 21
Draws: 7
Brechin wins: 19

Brechin City have not lost to Ayr United since Ray McKinnon took charge of the team in October 2012. United are lost five of the seven meetings between the sides since but have scored in each game.

Last Meeting: An Alan Forrest goal with 15 minutes remaining was not enough to earn Ayr a point the last time the sides met, at Glebe Park in April. Goals from Robert Thomson in the 6th minute and Craig Molloy after an hour gave the home side a 2-1 victory. Ayr team: Hutton; Pope, Campbell, Lithgow, Hunter (McAusland, 76); McGowan, Gilmour, McLaughlin, Malcolm; Moffat, Kyle (Forrest, 45)

Stats:
– Saturday is the 80th league meeting between Ayr United and Brechin City. The first was in 1937 and ended Ayr United 8, Brechin City 1
– Brechin City manager Ray McKinnon was in charge of Lochee United when the Dundee Junior side played Ayr in the Scottish Cup in 2008/09.

On this day: Ayr United has a 50% win rate on 20th September and an overall record of P14, W7, D2, L5. The last match the Honest Men played on this date was away to Ross County in 2003. Stephen Whalen and Scott Chaplain scored for Ayr in a 2-2 draw. Sean Higgins had put the Staggies 2-0 up after just 14 minutes.

Match Officials:
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Assistant: Gavin Harris
Assistant: Chris Fordyce

Match Info:
Admission:
Adults: £12
Concessions: £6
Parent & Child £15

Travel:
A supporters bus is leaving the River Cottage at 10.30am. Contact the River Cottage on 01292 287923 or Jamie on 07792747354 for details.

Manager wins award

We are delighted to announce that manager Mark Roberts won the SPFL League One manager of the month award for August.

After a month that saw us start the season with a hard fought 1-0 home win over Morton we then went to Stirling Albion and comfortably won 3-1. Another win followed with a 2-0 home win over Forfar and the month ended unbeaten with a 1-1 draw away to Stenhousemuir and sitting 3 points clear at the top of the league.

The award is Mark’s first as manager.

Match report v Stranraer

Ayr United 0 v 2 Stranraer
Gallacher 65’
Longworth 81mins

Ayr United lost their unbeaten league record to a doggedly determined and well-organised Stranraer team in the blazing sunshine at Somerset Park. It had been expected that Ayr would return from the international break refreshed and back to their peak and so it seemed in the early exchanges of this match.

After only two minutes tricky Alan Forrest made the best of some confusion in the Stranraer back four inside the box and played the ball to Brian Gilmour who saw his flick goal-ward from four yards instinctively, and brilliantly saved by David Mitchell in the Stranraer goal.

Three minutes later Peter Murphy rose to meet a corner from the right and, although seeming certain to end in the back of the net, the ball was blocked and scrambled from the line by the Stranraer defence.

In the 13th minute Donnelly found space in the box and rose to meet a long cross, his perfectly timed header beating Mitchell hands up but as he turned to celebrate the far side linesman raised his flag as he had just strayed offside.

Stranraer were beginning to come into the game with some probing passes from Gibson, Gallagher and former Ayr player Anthony Marenghi causing some concern for the United defence as Longworth and Stoney attempted to get behind Ayr’s back four.

In the 15th minute Ayr raced forward down the left hand side, Devlin’s pass reaching McGill who flicked the ball around Stranraer’s right back Scott Robertson and span past him as he’s made his way towards the penalty area. Unfortunately for the defender he turned sharply as he tried to match McGill’s run and collapsed on the ground in some pain having dislocated his knee. This forced Stranraer into substitution, bringing on former Ayr youngster Jackson Longridge who moved into the left back position while Craig Pettigrew moved from his central defensive role to cover the right back slot.

The game settled into a lacklustre spell while, with both teams trying to press forward, lack of control and accuracy of passing let both sides down. Though Ayr had more possession, Stranraer’s players harried and chased for every ball in midfield, not letting Ayr settle to their usual passing style of play, while their deep and well-disciplined 4-4-2 formation denied Ayr much space or chances.

In the 38th minute Alan Forrest picked up the ball wide on the right and drove towards the Stranraer penalty area, cutting inside, turning the defenders on their heels and creating space for himself. With the ball on his left foot, Forrest saw space opening up and slammed the ball towards the goal only to watch it slide past Mitchell’s right-hand post.

The referee’s whistle for half-time couldn’t come quick enough for both teams as they had the chance to take on much-needed fluids and give their managers the opportunity to come up with a plan to break the deadlock. For fans it was a chance to applaud local hero, and Commonwealth games gold medallist, Paul Foster and to be amazed by the ball juggling skills of Scotland’s ‘keepy-uppy’ king Graeme Lightbody.

In the second half Ayr came firing out of the traps winning two corners in quick succession and having a Michael Donald flicked header from the centre of the box going close. But then Stranraer posted a warning with a quick breakaway resulting in a cross into the box finding Jamie Longworth un-marked in the centre but his header just strayed right. Stranraer’s speed on the break should have acted as a warning to Ayr and it acted as a precursor of what was to come.

Ayr continued to press forward and were awarded a freekick in a dangerous position just outside the box. In an attempt to confuse keeper Mitchell, three possible freekick takers stood around the ball, McGovern, Murphy and McLaughlin. It was McLaughlin who struck the ball sweetly lifting and curling it towards the top corner but Stranraer keeper Mitchell saved acrobatically.

In the 54th minute Peter McGill was replaced by the trialist, Paul Slane in attempt to freshen things up and find a way through the Stranraer rearguard.

The game started to open up and Stranraer’s speedy breaks were causing more and more problems for the United defence with, yet again, Jamie Longworth going close with a flicked header from inside the 6 yard box, scraping the post to the keeper’s right.

Ayr’s attacking intent was signalled with a substitution in the 64th minute when Brian Gilmour was replaced by new signing Craig Beattie who moved into the forward line. The addition of Beattie was to have little time to influence the match is within 40 seconds Stranraer pushed down the left-hand side with the ball reaching midfielder Grant Gallagher who cut inside, into what seemed like acres of space, and moved unchallenged towards the United penalty box. With the Ayr defence backing off he released a screamer of a drive from 20 yards, past the despairing Hutton and in to the bottom left corner.

The game then became frenetic with a cut and thrust of forward and backward movements. Stranraer’s Scott Rumsby was booked in the 68th minutes for a tackle from behind on Donnelly. A couple of minutes later Peter Murphy went in the book for a similar offence against Stoney.

Ayr’s captain Scott McLaughlin was left holding his head in disbelief as a neat pass by Beattie played him in behind the Stranraer defence and saw him clear in the box, but somehow he managed lose control and mistime a shot at the same time and the opportunity was lost.

Both teams started to change things around with Stranraer appearing to attempt to prevent Ayr winning the ball in midfield or scoring an equaliser with Sean Winter replacing Marenghi in midfield and Barry Russell coming on for the influential midfielder Willie Gibson, then slipping in to defensive possession. Ayr went out for the equaliser bringing Dale Shirkie on to partner Beattie up front with the tiring Ryan Donnelly replaced.

Things didn’t go to plan for Ayr as it was Stranraer who pushed forward with Stephen Stirling hitting a left-footed shot from the edge of the box but it rose high and wide. But Stranraer were only going to be denied for one more minute. With Ayr pushing forward they were caught on the break and Daniel Stoney released the ball to Jamie Longworth who had beaten the offside trap and was left one-on-one with keeper Hutton. Longworth expertly sidestepped Hutton, ran past him and stroked the ball into the net much to the joy of the travelling Stranraer support. With 80 minutes gone and only 10 minutes remaining Stranraer were not going to let this slip.

Jackson Longridge found his name in the book, as following Stranraer’s celebration in front of their fans, he did not heed the referee’s instruction to cross back across the halfway line but instead decided to over casually tie his shoelaces.

Although Ayr did not give up and continued to press, this game was well and truly over and as the full-time whistle sounded the Ayr team left the pitch disappointed men.

Hugh Clarke, director of Restoraroof.co.uk chose JP McGovern as the man of the match. image

Ayr United
1 Hutton
2 Devlin
3 Donald
4 Campbell
5 Murphy
6 Gilmour
7 Forrest
8 McLaughlin
9 Donnelly
10 McGovern
11 McGill

Substitutes
12 McKenzie
14 McArthur
15 Shirkie
16 Beattie
17 Muir
18 Trialist
19 Newman

Stranraer
1 Mitchell
2 Robertson
3 Rumsby
4 Pettigrew
5 McKeown
6 Gallagher
7 Gibson
8 Stirling
9 Stoney
10 Longworth
11 Marenghi

Substitutes
12 Longridge
14 Aitken
15 Winter
16 Forde
17 Russell
18 Tobin
19 McCloskey

Referee: Calum Murray
Attendance: 1,414
Report by AUmedia

CLUB SHOP MATCHDAY OFFERS

AYR UNITED V STRANRAER CLUB SHOP MATCH DAY OFFERS

1. DOUBLE 6 CHALLENGE
Spend £20 or more on shop merchandise in store on Saturday 13th September then roll the dice for a chance of a full refund on your purchased goods. Roll a double 6 and we will refund the full cost of your purchase.

2. FREE MUG WITH EVERY BOOK
Buy Gerry Ferrara`s new book `A season with Ayr United` priced £14.99 and get a FREE Ayr United FC mug (value £6.99). gerry mug

*These offer / promotions are for one day only (Saturday 13th September).

We are open from 10am on Saturday.

The Official Ayr United FC Club Shop
Somerset Park
AYR
Phone: 01292 263435 Ext 5
Email: shop@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

Match Preview v Stranraer

Ayr United welcome Stranraer to Somerset Park on Saturday as the League 1 campaign resumes after the international break. The Honest Men will remain top of the table if they can extend their unbeaten start to the league campaign to five games.

Stranraer sit ninth in League 1 with two points from four games. Former Ayr United striker Craig Malcolm will sit out Saturday’s game through suspension after being sent off in the Blue’s last league game, a 2-1 defeat at home to Dunfermline Athletic in which Malcolm’s ex-strike partner Michael Moffat scored the winner.

The Stair Park side were in action on Saturday, wining through to the semi-finals of the Petrofac Training Cup with a 1-0 victory over Championship side Falkirk. Anthony Marenghi scored the only goal in the first-half, one of six former Ayr United players to feature for the home side.

Read on for our match preview:

Marko says: Stranraer had a great result last weekend which will give them confidence after a poor start however after the start we have made our boys are very confident. Our games with Stranraer always have a wee edge to them and this one will be no different with a few of our ex players in their team. We want to make Somerset Park a difficult place to come and we have done that so far this season with not conceding a goal. I have been delighted with the support we have had this season and last time out at Stenhousemuir our fans really got behind us with 20 minutes to go. We were disappointed not to get the win but that shows how far we have come.

Team news: Martyn Campbell and Kevin McKinlay are both doubtful for the match however they are the only injury doubts in the squad.

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 27
Draws – 7
Stranraer wins – 6

The last six fixtures between the sides at Somerset Park have averaged 4.83 goals per game.

Last Meeting: Ayr gained some revenge for two heavy defeats earlier in the season with a 5-0 win over the Blues the last time the sides met, which was in March. Michael Moffat (2), Craig Malcolm, Michael Donald and Alan Forrest were on the score sheet at Somerset Park while the visitors had captain Frank McKeown sent off.

Stats:
– Stranraer have played 9 matches this season but only one away from home: a 4-0 defeat at Greenock Morton;
– The Blues had a similarly slow start to last season, drawing one and losing four of their first five league games before going on to secure their highest league position since 2006;

On this day: Saturday will be the 20th fixture Ayr have played on the 13th September. Stranraer were also the opponents the last time United played on this date when Chris Aitken, Ryan Borris and Bryan Prunty scored in a 3-1 win at Stair Park which saw Stranraer’s Gregory Tade sent off for two bookings in quick succession. The sides also played out a 0-0 draw on 13th September 1986.

Match Officials:
Referee: Calum Murray
Assistant Referee 1: Steven Reid
Assistant Referee 2: Liam Butler

Match Info:
Adults £15
Concessions £8 (OAPs, students and under16s)
Parent and child gate £18

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Dunfermline game rescheduled

We are delighted to announce that our game at home to Dunfermline, initially meant for Saturday 11th October has now been moved to a 7.45pm kick off on Friday 10th October.

We felt that with Scotland playing at home to Georgia at 5pm on Saturday 11th that this would be the best solution for our fans and ensure that no one has to choose between club and country.

Development League game rescheduled.

The first home game in the Development League West is now tomorrow night at Somerset Park, Tuesday the 9th of September at 7.45pm v Airdrie. Entry to the game is free.