Deadline day signings!

Today we are delighted to announce two big deals for the club. Firstly the signing of former Scotland internationalist Craig Beattie. 30 year old Beattie has signed for this season and boasts an Outstanding pedigree. He has played in the champions league, uefa cup, the Premiership on both sides of the border and has 7 caps for the Scotland national side. Craig has won 3 premier league titles, 4 Scottish cup medals and a championship play off winner with Swansea city. image

Last season he helped Dundee gain promotion to the Premiership. Craig has a record of scoring goals everywhere he has been and will be a huge asset to us this season.

Delighted manager Mark Roberts said “Craig is exactly the type of striker I’ve been looking to get in. He has so much experience of playing at a much higher level than we are currently at. Craig has played with some top clubs and even went to west brom from Celtic for 1.2 million. That shows the quality he will bring. He will give us a presence and a physical edge and everybody knows the ability he has. He has won titles and is hungry for more and at 30 years old he has a lot of football in him. He wants to bring success to Ayr United and we are delighted to have him.”

Secondly we are delighted to announce the extension of Alan Forrests contract on improved terms until the end of season 2015/2016. Alan is one of the top prospects this club has produced for a long time and last season became the clubs youngest ever goalscorer. He scored 8 league goals last season and scored a double at Stirling earlier this season with the finish for his second absolutely top class. image

Manager Mark Roberts said “I’m delighted to get wee Forrest signed up for another year. We had a chat last week and we both felt it was the best thing for him and his development to sign an extension. He is a pleasure to work with and he is the type of lad who just wants to play football every week,learn and get better. He is getting stronger and fitter and we know he is going to benefit and improve by playing first team football at Ayr United.”

AUFC team up with Digital Kitchens Factory Outlet

Commercial manager Graeme Miller has been in negotiations with local family company Digital Kitchens Factory Outlet who have agreed to fully refurbish the ailing snack bar in the main stand completely free of charge if we can simply have a big push to get them above 2000 face book likes. As soon as they hit the 2000 mark work will commence so we really need everyone to get behind the project and like their page.
snack bar

Graeme said “This is a fantastic gesture from Digital Kitchens who will be designing a new black and white look for the snack bar that badly needs completely redone! I met Daniel Bryson, who’s dad Craig owns the company, at Forthbank a couple of weeks ago as he follows United home and away as well. A couple of meetings later and we are nearly there. Craig and Daniel are both very keen to help the club and we are extremely grateful. We would ask our fans to click on the link below and like the Digital Kitchens facebook page.”
dig kitchens

Daniel, one of 8 fully trained designers at their impressive showroom just past Ayr hospital, added “As a local company we take great pride in helping the community and see this as a great opportunity to give something back to the town as a token of our thanks for their support. It will not only improve Somerset immediately but also boost match day catering revenue in the long term. The design has been a unique challenge but as we manufacture all of the units in our own purpose built 50,000 square foot factory, anything is possible! We’re not just going to work on the snack bar itself, we’re going to renovate and rebrand the surrounding area so hopefully the ‘Digital Kitchens Factory Outlet Snack Bar’ will help Somerset Boab sell plenty more of his famous pie’s!”

“We would like to wish Ayr the best of luck for the rest of the season and thank Graeme for his work.”

The Ayr United Football Academy are also going to be running a beat the goalie stand at the Digital Kitchens Family Fun Day in aid of Cash For Kids this coming Saturday so those of you unable to attend the game at Stenhousemuir are more than welcome to attend. Pandamonium may even make an appearance! dig fun day

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to like Digital Kitchens Factory Outlet on facebook –

MATCH PREVIEW v Stenhousemuir

On Saturday, top-of-the-table Ayr United travel to Ochilview to face Stenhousemuir. The Honest Men make the trip buoyed by a battling performance against Premiership rivals Kilmarnock on Tuesday evening.

Stenhousemuir were involved in a nine-goal thriller at the weekend, losing 5-4 to Stirling Albion at Ochilview. Also at Ochilview, the Warriors were narrowly defeated by Hearts in the League Cup, 2-1. Scott Booth’s side sit eighth in League 1 with three points.

Read on for our match preview:

Marko says: “I was proud of the boys on Tuesday night and although never happy with a defeat, especially to Kilmarnock, I am pleased we have come out of it unscathed with the confidence still in tact and no injuries. Saturday will be a very difficult game for us and we know how important it is with the international break giving us a chance to strengthen and open up a small gap already.”

Team news: We have a full squad available.

Ayr United wins – 39
Draws – 14
Stenhousemuir – 26

Ayr United have won just one of their last 10 games against Stenhousemuir. Both fixtures between the sides at Ochilview last season ended 1-1.

Last Meeting: Ayr had the chance to all but secure their promotion play-off place when the sides last met, at Somerset Park, at the end of March. United looked to be on course for victory after goals from Michael Moffat and Alan Forrest cancelled out the Warriors’ opener but the visitors grabbed a dramatic victory when Sean Higgins scored in the 87th and 90th minutes. Hutton; Hunter, Campbell, Lithgow; McGowan, Gilmour, McLaughlin, Marenghi (Forrest); Moffat, Malcolm (Kyle)

– Stenhousemuir have scored a late equaliser or winner in four of the last eight meetings between the sides.
– The last time Ayr started a league season with three wins they beat Raith Rovers in their fourth match, a 1-0 win in August 1995.

On this day: Ayr United have a 50% win rate on August 30th and have played 24 times on this date, winning 12, drawing 5 and losing 7. The Honest Men have lost just one of their last 10 games on this date.

Match Officials:
Referee: John McKendrick
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Hodge
Assistant Referee 2: Duncan Williams

Match Info: We will be in the terracing behind the goal.
Stand Adult £13 Concession (OAPs, Student Card) £8
Terracing Adult £12 Concession (OAPs, Student Card) £7

Travel to Stenhousemuir

The River Cottage Ayr United Travel Club are running a bus to Saturdays game to see top of the league Ayr United take on Stenhousemuir at Ochilview.

The bus will be leaving the River Cottage at 11.30am.

Contact Tam on 07585328685 or Jamie on 07792747354 to book seats or contact them through the River Cottage AUTC facebook page.

MATCH REPORT v Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock 1 Ayr United 0

The first ever Ayrshire derby to be played on an artificial surface ended with Kilmarnock progressing to the third round of the Scottish League cup at the expense of a valiant Ayr side who just didn’t carry enough of a threat to break through the Killie rearguard.

Ayr imposed themselves in the opening exchanges by taking the fight to Kilmarnock and created the first chance of the game in 3 minutes when Nicky Devlin latched on to a cross from the left to loop a header over Craig Sampson’s bar after good work by Donald.

Killie responded immediately by creating an opening for Jamie Hamill but his shot from 25 yards was partially scuffed and it trundled harmlessly wide with derisory cheers from the Somerset faithful, situated behind Hutton’s goal, ringing in his ears.

The pace of the game caught out Nicky Devlin who was booked in 8 mins for a lunging tackle on Kilmarnock’s McKenzie and from the resultant free kick Sammy Clingan crashed a curling shot off the crossbar.

Ayr regained their composure after this scare and showed that they would not be overawed by putting together some neat passages of play. However good pressure from Killie caused the occasional error which allowed them to break at pace creating chances for Pascali and then Obadeyi after a mistake from Devlin who redeemed himself with a great blocking tackle.

In 35 mins Alan Johnstone was forced into a change after Obadeyi picked up an injury and was replaced by Alexei Eremenko.

Ayr appeared comfortable as the game edged towards the mid-way point with Kilmarnock re-grouping after the enforced change. On the stroke of half-time Martin Campbell was booked for a late challenge but the teams went in at the break all square.

Kilmarnock started the second half with more resolve and took the game to Ayr. United seemed to struggle in the early stages but just as you thought they might crumble they found their feet again and came back into the game pinning Killie back in their own penalty area.

However it wasn’t long before Killie threatened again as Barbour found space on the right and raced down the flank stretching the Ayr defence. He found Eremenko in space and the classy midfielder showed just what he could do if given too much time on the ball by finding the head of Josh Magennis with a superb cross from 30 yards. Fortunately for Ayr Magennis made a complete hash of it completely fluffing his header from about 10 yards with Hutton watching as it bounced harmlessly wide.

But worse was to come for Ayr in the 69th minute when Rory McKenzie gave Killie the lead when he controlled a cross with his right foot before dispatching a low left foot shot past David Hutton.

Mark Roberts immediately changed things replacing Gilmour with McGill in the 70th min and followed this up 6 mins later by replacing a tiring Alan Forrest with Dale Shirkie.

Kilmarnock had further chances through Magennis and Eremenko but David Hutton saved well on both occasions before he pulled off the save of the night diving to his right to push away a Sammy Clingan free kick with one hand.

Ayr tried desperately to find that elusive goal that would take the game into extra time and in a grandstand finish almost sneaked an equaliser when Dale Shirkie had a goal bound shot blocked and another deflected over from close range by Jamie Hamill. However it wasn’t to be Ayr’s night and they went out of the league cup after a courageous effort, going down to a solitary goal at Rugby Park.

Attendance: 8,877

Ref: Craig Thompson

Ayr United
Hutton; Devlin; Mckinlay; Campbell; Murphy; Gilmour; Forrest; McLaughlin; Donnelly; McGovern; Donald
Newman; McKenzie; McArthur; Shirkie; Roberts; McGill; Muir

Samson; Barbour; Hamill; Connolly; McKenzie; Clingan; Obadeyi; Chantler; Magennis; Pascali; Muirhead
Brennan; Miller; Johnston; Cairney; Ashcroft; Slater; Eremenko

David Kennedy reporting for AU Media

Last minute tickets

We have just had it confirmed that if you phone the club shop today between 12 and 4 and buy a ticket over the phone you will be able to pick up the ticket at Rugby Park tonight.

Call the club shop on 01292 263435 ext 5 – you may need to need to be patient as it is very busy at the moment.

MATCH PREVIEW v Kilmarnock

One-hundred percent Ayr United travel to Rugby Park on Tuesday evening looking to shock old adversaries Kilmarnock. The Honest Men are riding high at the top of League 1 with three wins out of three and go into the match against the Premiership side full of confidence.

Like Ayr, Killie were 2-0 winners at home on Saturday, Allan Johnston’s side picking up all three points against Motherwell. It was a second consecutive victory which places them fourth in the league table, with seven points from four games.

Read on for our match preview:

Marko says: “Normally with derbies form goes out the window however after four wins on the spin its different this time. Our boys have confidence and momentum and they know what they can produce. We know we have to turn up and compete and we’ll do that.”

“Our fans have a huge part to play tomorrow. I know that they will give us incredible backing and its one of these games where our fans will be making themselves heard from the warm up. I cant explain how massive that is for our players to hear that before heading back into the dressing room to get ready for the match.”

Team news: Full squad to choose from.

Head-to-Head (League Cup):
Ayr United wins – 5
Draws – 5
Kilmarnock – 6

Eight Ayrshire derbies in the League Cup have been played at Rugby Park, each side winning four of them. United won the last such encounter 1-0 in August 1996 courtesy of a Robert Connor goal.

Last Meeting: 25,057 fans were at Hampden Park to witness the last meeting between the sides, which came in the semi-final of the League Cup in January 2012. The Honest Men took Killie to extra-time but were undone by a Dean Shiels goal in the 109th minute. United lined-up: Cuthbert; Tiffoney, Malone, Robertson, Smith; Geggan, Trouten (Tomsett – 113), McKernan (Dodd – 75), McGowan; Moffat; Wardlaw (Roberts – 60).

– United have begun a league season with wins in their first three games for the first time since 1991/92;
– It’s 20 years since Killie last defeated Ayr in a cup tie without the need for extra-time or a replay. The Honest Men have won four of six ties between the team since, but lost the last two.
– Ayr are unbeaten in over half of their meetings with Premier League opponents since 1996. Our record reads: P39, W15, D7, L17.
On this day: Ayr United and Kilmarnock faced each other on the 26th August 1978 in Division One. The game at Somerset Park ended 0-0. United have a 40.91% win rate on this date.

Match Officials:
Referee: Craig Thomson
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Mulvanny
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew McWilliam
Fourth Official: Euan Anderson

Match Info: Tickets will be on sale at the Ayr United club shop until 4pm Tuesday 26th.

Ayr v Killie Ticket Update

Ticket sales for the away end at Rugby Park stand at 1418. This is a great effort considering that we had 1100 home fans at both the Morton and Forfar games.

Our target for the game is 2000 away supporters and after Saturdays win, our third league win in a row and four in all competitions we hope that there is a late flurry of ticket sales today and tomorrow. The chairman is giving a 10k personal donation to the player budget if we can get to the 2000 mark.

We already know that the away end will be bouncing tomorrow night so the more we tickets we can sell today and tomorrow the louder we will be!

Club shop is open for ticket sales today 12-4 and tomorrow (Tuesday 26th) 12-4.

Ayr 2 Forfar 0 Match Report

Ayr United 2 v 0 Forfar Athletic
Somerset Park
Saturday 23rd August 2014

Ayr made it a hat-trick of league wins as they maintained their 100% league record after a hard fought 2-0 home win against a determined Forfar side. This victory stretched Ayr’s lead at the top of the SPFL League 1 to three points after Scott McLaughlin’s late brace saw United overcome a resilient Forfar.

Although this was billed as a top of the table clash the first half was a rather subdued affair as both teams attempted to dominate the midfield but only succeeded in cancelling each other out. However Ayr should have gone ahead after only 2mins when Brian Gilmour broke free from midfield to set up Alan Forrest but his angled drive from 12 yards was well saved by Rab Douglas in the Forfar goal.

There was concern on the Forfar bench a minute later after full-back Aaron James had to be stretchered off with a head knock and was replaced with substitute Mark Baxter, after a collision with Ayr’s Nicky Devlin.

The first half continued with both teams attempting to control the midfield as half chances came and went at either end but neither side had sufficient composure in front of goal to capitalise on the opportunities that came their way. Stephen Husband and Danny Denholm had the best of Forfar’s chances with Ryan Donnelly coming close for Ayr.

In the 37th min a superb four man break from the edge of Ayr’s penalty box almost caught out the Forfar defence as Mikey Donald’s dangerous cross was turned behind for a corner right in front of a gaping goal. Ayr had a good claim for a penalty ignored by referee Walsh from the resultant corner as Brian Gilmour appeared to be crudely challenged from behind right in front of the referee.

The first half ended with bookings for Ayr’s Devlin and Swankie of Forfar.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first with scrappy passages of play resulting, as both teams vied for dominance in the midfield area of the pitch. Forfar attempted to deny Ayr space in midfield by playing a high defensive line and as the game progressed and energy levels reduced the game began to stretch. This allowed the match to flow more freely but not before a number of fouls during this early spell saw referee Walsh finally lose patience and in the 62nd min he booked Forfar’s Templeman for persistent fouling.

In the 65th min Mark Roberts made his first change replacing Peter McGill with Dale Shirkie and 2mins later Forfar also decided to change tact by replacing the height of Templeman for the pace of Omar Kadir.

At this point tempers began to fray on the touchline as the game was stopped briefly to allow referee Walsh to have a quiet word in Ayr coach Andy Millen’s ear.

The game started opening up with 20mins to play and in the 77th min goalie David Hutton and defender Peter Murphy combined, to initially block and then clear from the goal line, a net bound volley from Forfar’s Danny Denholm.

Mark Roberts decided to add fresh legs for the last 10mins by introducing youngster Sean McKenzie for the hardworking Brian Gilmour and changing the formation to a 4-4-2. Forfar also tried to inject some more pace to the proceedings by replacing Dale Hilson with James Dale.

However it was the introduction of Dale Shirkie that would prove to be the more influential when in the 85th minute he latched on to a long pass and burst through the centre of the Forfar defence. His attempted lob was well blocked by the onrushing keeper Douglas. However the loose ball found its way to Scott McLaughlin who composed himself before drilling a sweetly struck right foot drive low to keeper Douglas’ right hand corner from around 22 yards. The keeper did his best and although he got a hand to the shot couldn’t prevent if from crossing the line as the Ayr support behind his goal erupted with delight as Ayr went one up with 5mins to play.

And like buses where you wait all day for one and then two come along at once it was the same for the Somerset faithful. They were rewarded for their patience in the 89th min when Alan Forrest was felled in the box after a jinking run. Scott McLaughlin stepped up to slot home the resultant penalty to score his and Ayr’s second goal of the game and ensure Ayr maintained their 100% league record and top spot in the SPFL League 1.

Ayr United
Hutton; Devlin; Donald; McLaughlin; McKinley; Murphy; Gilmour (McKenzie 81′); McGovern; Donnelly; Forrest; McGill (Shirkie 65′)
McKenzie; McArthur; Shirkie; Roberts; Muir; Newman

Douglas; Dunlop; James (Baxter 6′); Husband; Malcolm; Dods; Hilson (Dale 84′); Young; Swankie; Templeman (Kader 67’) ; Denholm
Kader; Dale; Malin; Fotheringham; Steeves; Baxter; Salmon

Attendance – 1156

Referee – Nick Walsh

Reporter: David Kennedy (AUmedia)


Ayr United welcome Forfar Athletic to Somerset Park on Saturday for an early season top-of-the-table clash. The Honest Men boast League 1’s only one hundred percent record after wins against Morton and Stirling while Forfar sit second. The Loons drew 1-1 at Stair Park on the opening day of the season and followed that up with a 2-0 win over title favourites Dunfermline on Saturday.

Read on for our match preview:

Marko says: “We’ve got off to a great start but its all about keeping that going now. I wouldn’t say ive been surprised, because I always knew we had the quality of player to compete. But we’ve certainly been comfortable in our games and we are not going to get carried away this early. We have Peter Murphy back this week and Kevin McKinlay looked nice and solid up at Stirling.”

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park):
Ayr United wins – 31
Draws – 8
Forfar Athletic – 7

Ayr and Forfar faced each other four times in League 1 last season, with both sides picking up six points.

Last Meeting:
Forfar Athletic have won the last two meetings between the sides. In April, United lost 4-2 at Station Park, conceding after just two minutes. A Michael Moffat penalty on the hour mark made in 3-1 and Brian Gilmour scored a late equaliser. Team: Hutton; Pope, McGowan, Campbell, Lithgow; Forrest, Gilmour, McLaughlin, Donald; Moffat, Malcolm.

– Forfar’s Dale Hilson made over 100 appearances for the Loons in three loans spells from Dundee United. The forward signed a permanent deal at Station Park in the summer.
– The Loons’ boss Dick Campbell is the longest serving manager in Scottish football. Campbell was appointed in May 2008.

On this day:
United are unbeaten in their last four matches played on August 23rd, the last game being a 2-2 draw away to Stirling Albion in 2008. Overall The Honest Men’s record on this date is P20, W8, D5, L7.

Match Officials:
Referee: Nick Walsh
Assistant Referee 1: Graham McNeillie
Assistant Referee 2: Colin Pensom

Match Info:
Adults – £15
OAPs, u16 and students – £8
Parent & Child – £18 (please enter via Gate 13)