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Division B – Its Nearly That Ellusive First Cup Final

tn_Dunfermline Athletic H) 19 Aug 50Season 1950/51 was so nearly United’s first ever cup final season. It had started well with good wins in the League section of the League Cup highlighted by a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on 30th August 1950. United repeated the scoreline a few weeks later in the ‘B’ division match before which Ayr had met Dundee United in a two legged League Cup Quarter Final which the Honest men won convincingly 3-0 at home and 2-1 away.

These results brought United to a Scottish League Cup semi – final match against Motherwell at Ibrox on 7th October which the Lanarkshire club won by 4-3. The score was even more sickening as United were 3-2 up with seven minutes to go.

League results had gone well and showed good away wins over Arbroath and Alloa although there had been some dour draws at home. However, by early December when United travelled to Tannadice Park, Dundee they had not been beaten since the opening game of the season in the league. The 3-1 defeat at Tannadice on 2nd December was only revenge for Dundee’s United losing in the cup competition.

It heralded an uncertain spell in league form, however, for Ayr and despite good wins over St Johnstone and Kilmarnock in the new year derby, there were further defeats at the hands of Dunfermline away on 30th December and the 2nd January match against Stenhousemuir. tn_Stirling Albion (h) 17 Feb 51Fortunes changed again for Ayr in January and more league defeats were recorded until the match against Queens Park at Hampden Park on 24th February.

In between times there had been Scottish Cup wins for Ayr against Stirling Albion and Queens Park (both away), the match having attracted 23,000 people. Having dealt with the minnows in the early rounds United now had have another cup skirmish with ‘A’ division Motherwell in the Quarter Final. The match on 10th March 1951 at Somerset Park eneded in a comendable 2-2 draw and a reply had to be endured at Fir Park on 14th March. For the second time in the season the claret and yellow of Motherwell recorded a close win – 2-1 after a last minute after extra time winner.

This further cup disappointment clearly had a psychological effect on the team as they lost two of their next three league matches and only drew the other – although it has to be said that one of these defeats was againt the eventual champions, Queen of the South at Dumfries. They came bouncing back with an all to late 8-0 win over Dunfermline on 7th April 1951 and then a good win over Hamilton at Douglas Park. By the time United lost 2-1 to Albion Rovers and recorded a 2-2 home draw with Dundee United in the final league match Queens had already won the league and United had to settle for third.

Two Ayrshire Cup matches saw Ayr concede the trophy to Kilmarnock in early May.

May 1951 was Festival of Britain time and football was not to be left out. United had set up four friendlies against English opposition. They travelled south for the first match againt Luton Town on 12th May 1951. Ayr lost 4-2 although the game hung in the balance until late on.

The English air was clearly not to Ayr United’s liking and they suffered consecutive defeats to non-league Bedford by 1-0, Plymouth Argyle by 2-1 and a horrendous 5-1 defeat at the Goldstone Ground, home of Brighton and Hove Albion.

Date

Opponents

H/A

Competition

Score – Ayr (First

Att

Programme Issued

Comments

12/8/50

Dumbarton

A

League Cup

4-1

 

Not Known

 

16/8/50

Kilmarnock

H

League Cup

2-2

 

Not Known

 

19/8/50

Dunfermline Athletic

H

League Cup

1-0

 

Yes

 

26/8/50

Dumbarton

H

League Cup

3-0

 

Not Known

 

30/8/50

Kilmarnock

A

League Cup

1-0

 

Not Known

 

2/9/50

Dunfermline Athletic

A

League Cup

5-2

 

Yes

 

9/9/50

St. Johnstone

A

B’ Division

1-2

 

Yes

 

13/9/50

Hibernian

H

Norrie McNeil’s Testimonial

5-5

 

Not Known

 

16/9/50

Dundee United

H

League Cup Quarter Final – 1st Leg

3-1

 

Not Known

 

20/9/50

Dundee United

A

League Cup Quarter Final – 2nd Leg

2-1

 

Not Known

 

23/9/50

Kilmarnock

A

B’ Division

1-0

 

Yes

 

30/9/50

Stenhousemuir

H

B’ Division

4-2

 

Not Known

 

7/10/50

Motherwell

N

League Cup Semi-Final

3-4

 

Yes

 

14/10/50

Dumbarton

H

B’ Division

3-1

 

Not Known

 

21/10/50

Cowdenbeath

H

B’ Division

0-0

 

Not Known

 

28/10/50

Arbroath

A

B’ Division

2-0

 

Not Known

 

4/11/50

Forfar Athletic

H

B’ Division

4-1

 

Not Known

 

1’1/11/50

Stirling Albion

A

B’ Division

1-1

 

Yes

 

18/11/50

Queens Park

H

B’ Division

2-2

 

Yes

 

25/11/50

Alloa Athletic

A

B’ Division

5-3

 

Not Known

 

2/12/50

Dundee United

A

B’ Division

1-3

 

Not Known

 

9/12/50

Queen of the South

H

B’ Division

2-0

 

Not Known

 

23/12/50

St. Johnstone

H

B’ Division

3-1

 

Not Known

 

30/12/50

Dunfermline Athletic

A

B’ Division

1-3

 

Yes

 

1/1/51

Kilmarnock

H

B’ Division

1-0

 

Not Known

 

2/1/51

Stenhousemuir

A

B’ Division

2-3

 

Not Known

 

6/1/51

Hamilton Academical

H

B’ Division

0-0

 

Not Known

 

13/1/51

Dumbarton

A

B’ Division

0-2

 

Not Known

 

20/1/51

Cowdenbeath

A

B’ Division

4-1

 

Not Known

 

27/1/51

Stirling Albion

A

Scottish Cup 1st Round

2-1

 

Yes

 

3/2/51

Arbroath

H

B’ Division

4-1

 

Not Known

 

10/2/51

Queens Park

A

Scottish Cup 2nd Round

3-1

 

Yes

 

17/2/51

Stirling Albion

H

B’ Division

2-0

 

Yes

 

24/2/51

Queens Park

A

B’ Division

0-2

 

Yes

 

3/3/51

Alloa Athletic

H

B’ Division

4-1

 

Not Known

 

10/3/51

Motherwell

H

Scottish Cup Quarter Final

2-2

 

Yes

 

14/3/51

Motherwell

A

Scottish Cup Quarter Final – replay

1-2    AET

 

Not Known

 

17/3/51

Queen of the South

A

B’ Division

1-2

 

Yes

 

24/3/51

Albion Rovers

H

B’ Division

0-0

 

Not Known

 

31/3/51

Forfar Athletic

A

B’ Division

2-3

 

Not Known

 

7/4/51

Dunfermline Athletic

H

B’ Division

8-0

 

Yes

 

14/4/51

Hamilton Academical

A

B’ Division

3-2

 

Not Known

 

21/4/51

Albion Rovers

A

B’ Division

1-2

 

Not Known

 

23/4/51

Buckie Thistle

A

Friendly

3-3

 

Not Known

Jim Leak’s testimonial

28/4/51

Dundee United

H

B’ Division

2-2

 

Yes

 

30/4/51

Kilmarnock

A

Ayrshire Cup Final – 1st Leg

0-2

 

Not Known

 

5/5/51

Kilmarnock

H

Ayrshire Cup Final – 2nd Leg

1-3

 

Not Known

 

12/5/51

Luton Town

A

Festival of Britain Match

2-4

 

Yes

 

14/5/51

Bedford Town

A

Festival of Britain Match

0-1

 

Yes

 

16/5/51

Plymouth Argyle

A

Festival of Britain Match

1-2

 

Yes

 

19/5/51

Brighton and Hove Albion

A

Festival of Britain Match

1-5

 

Yes

 

Division ‘B’

Pld

 

Home

 

 

 

 

Away

 

 

 

 

Overall

 

 

 

 

Pts

GA

1950/51

 

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

 

 

1

Queen of the South

30

 

12

1

2

40

15

 

9

2

4

29

20

 

21

3

6

69

35

 

45

2

2

Stirling Albion

30

 

12

1

2

47

22

 

9

2

4

31

22

 

21

3

6

78

44

 

45

1.8

3

Ayr United

30

 

10

5

0

39

11

 

5

1

9

25

29

 

15

6

9

64

40

 

36

1.6

4

Dundee United

30

 

11

0

4

52

27

 

5

4

6

26

31

 

16

4

10

78

58

 

36

1.3

5

St. Johnstone

30

 

10

2

3

37

23

 

4

3

8

31

30

 

14

5

11

68

53

 

33

1.3

6

Queens Park

30

 

9

4

2

30

19

 

4

3

8

26

34

 

13

7

10

56

53

 

33

1.1

7

Hamilton Academical

30

 

8

2

5

41

21

 

4

6

5

24

28

 

12

8

10

65

49

 

32

1.3

8

Albion Rovers

30

 

9

1

5

33

29

 

5

3

7

23

22

 

14

4

12

56

51

 

32

1.1

9

Dumbarton

30

 

7

3

5

25

21

 

5

2

8

27

32

 

12

5

13

52

53

 

29

1

10

Dunfermline Athletic

30

 

9

1

5

41

32

 

3

3

9

17

41

 

12

4

14

58

73

 

28

0.8

11

Cowdenbeath

30

 

10

2

3

43

20

 

2

1

12

18

37

 

12

3

15

61

57

 

27

1.1

12

Kilmarnock

30

 

3

7

5

23

22

 

5

1

9

21

27

 

8

8

14

44

49

 

24

0.9

13

Arbroath

30

 

4

4

7

24

34

 

4

1

10

22

44

 

8

5

17

46

78

 

21

0.6

14

Forfar Athletic

30

 

7

2

6

25

27

 

2

1

12

18

49

 

9

3

18

43

76

 

21

0.6

15

Stenhousemuir

30

 

8

0

7

31

22

 

1

2

12

20

58

 

9

2

19

51

80

 

20

0.6

16

Alloa Athletic

30

 

5

2

8

32

39

 

2

2

11

26

59

 

7

4

19

58

98

 

18

0.6

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