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Division B – 3rd Place Not Enough For the Honest Men

The season began as the previous one finished – with Ayr United playing in a football festival. The unusually early start was due to a one–off tournament called The Festival of St Mungo Quaich for Division ‘B’ clubs only. Nevertheless it served as a good pre-season opener with United’ first match against Cowdenbeath. The festival culminated with an appearance in the final against Dumbarton which Ayr lost 2-1 after extra time at Firhill Park, Glasgow.

In between Ayr had squeezed in a home match against Southampton, the first English team to have visited Somerset Park to play Ayr United, (Preston North End having played at Somerset Park against Ayr FC in 1895). The match against Saints was arranged as part of the deal that took Ayr’s John Christie to Southampton in the close season. A 4-1 defeat was Ayr’s result.

The league cup campaign was a disaster for United with wins home and away over Dumbarton the only high consolation. The Honestmen had played eleven pre-season and cup games by the time the league cup competition had finished and this may have accounted for their dismal showing.

The league campaign began in better style with three wins out of three at the start to boost the flagging spirits. Even a bad 5-1 away defeat by Falkirk in October didn’t dent confidence as United went on to win their next four league matches. There were two good away wins at Arbroath and against Queens Park and by the end of November United were third in the league behind Clyde and Falkirk.

The festive season was not so kind and United only one match in December followed by a 4-0 New Year Derby loss to Kilmarnock. tn_St Johnstone (h) 29 Dec 51Good home league victoies against Forfar Athletic and Falkirk failed to raise confidence for the Scottish Cup match against ‘A’ division Dundee who won 4-0 at Dens Park in January.

February brought three excellent home wins against Arbroath, Queens Park and Dumbarton, but it was United’s away form that had dogged them all season. Defeats at St Johnstone and Cowdenbeath undid the good work done at Somerset Park. By the time that Ayr lined up against Clyde in March, promotion had once again escaped the Honest Men. Nevertheless Ayr did finish the league campaign with a home win against Dunfermline by 3-1 and an a solid away win against Stenhousemuir.

The Supplementary Cup went followed a similar pattern to Ayr’s league performances with a first round 2-0 home win against Cowdenbeath followed by a second round away defeat to Clyde by 3-1.

Only the Ayrshire Cup was up for grabs by mid-April but a heavy 4-0 away defeat to Kilmarnock seemed to have scuppered that hope. However, Ayr made a brave attempt to redress the deficit at Somerset Park on 10th May, but the 3-0 win for the Honest Men wasn’t quite enough.

Date

Opponents

H/A

Competition

Score – Ayr First

Att

Programme Issued

Comments

25/07/51

Cowdenbeath

H

Festival of St Mungo Quaich – 1st Rnd

1-0 aet

 

Not Known

 

28/07/51

Stirling Albion

H

Festival of St Mungo Quaich – 2nd Rnd

2-1

 

Not Known

 

01/08/51

Hamilton Academical

H

Festival of St Mungo Quaich – Semi-Final

3-3

 

Not Known

Ayr lose on toss of the coin

04/08/51

Southampton

H

Friendly

1-4

 

Not Known

 

06/08/51

Dumbarton

N

Festival of St Mungo Quaich – Final

1-2 aet

 

Not Known

 

11/08/51

Kilmarnock

A

League Cup

0-3

 

Yes

 

15/08/51

Dumbarton

H

League Cup

5-0

 

Not Known

 

18/08/51

Forfar Athletic

H

League Cup

2-3

 

Yes

 

25/08/51

Kilmarnock

H

League Cup

1-2

 

Yes

 

29/08/51

Dumbarton

A

League Cup

3-1

 

No

 

01/09/51

Forfar Athletic

A

League Cup

0-3

 

No

 

08/09/51

Hamilton Academical

H

B’ Division

2-1

 

Yes

 

15/09/51

Alloa Athletic

A

B’ Division

2-1

 

Not Known

 

19/09/51

Queen of the South

H

Friendly

2-3

 

Not Known

Alan Nesbit’s Testimonial

22/09/51

Kilmarnock

H

B’ Division

3-2

 

Yes

 

29/09/51

Forfar Athletic

A

B’ Division

1-2

 

No

 

06/10/51

Alloa Athletic

H

B’ Division

2-0

 

Yes

 

13/10/51

Falkirk

A

B’ Division

1-5

 

Yes

 

20/10/51

Dundee United

H

B’ Division

2-0

 

Not Known

 

27/10/51

Arbroath

A

B’ Division

2-0

 

No

 

03/11/51

Queens Park

A

B’ Division

1-0

 

Yes

 

10/11/51

Cowdenbeath

H

B’ Division

2-1

 

Not Known

 

17/11/51

Dumbarton

A

B’ Division

2-4

 

No

 

24/11/51

Albion Rovers

H

B’ Division

3-2

 

Not Known

 

01/12/51

Clyde

H

B’ Division

1-1

 

Yes

 

08/12/51

Dunfermline Athletic

A

B’ Division

0-2

 

Yes

 

15/12/51

Stenhousemuir

H

B’ Division

2-1

 

Yes

 

22/12/51

Hamilton Academical

A

B’ Division

1-1

 

Yes

 

29/12/51

St. Johnstone

H

B’ Division

3-3

 

Yes

 

01/01/52

Kilmarnock

A

B’ Division

0-4

 

Yes

 

05/01/52

Forfar Athletic

H

B’ Division

4-0

 

Not Known

 

12/01/52

Falkirk

H

B’ Division

3-1

 

Not Known

 

19/01/52

Dundee United

A

B’ Division

2-2

 

Yes

 

26/01/52

Dundee

A

Scottish Cup 1st Round

0-4

 

Not Known

 

02/02/52

Arbroath

H

B’ Division

4-1

 

Not Known

 

13/02/52

Queens Park

H

B’ Division

1-0

 

Not Known

 

16/02/52

Cowdenbeath

A

B’ Division

0-2

 

Yes

 

23/02/52

St. Johnstone

A

B’ Division

0-2

 

Yes

 

27/02/52

Dumbarton

H

B’ Division

4-1

 

Not Known

 

01/03/52

Albion Rovers

A

B’ Division

0-2

 

Yes

 

08/03/52

Clyde

A

B’ Division

1-1

 

Yes

 

15/03/52

Dunfermline Athletic

H

B’ Division

3-1

 

Yes

 

22/03/52

Stenhousemuir

A

B’ Division

3-2

 

No

 

29/03/52

Cowdenbeath

H

B’ Division Supplementary Cup – 1st Rnd

2-0

 

Not Known

 

12/04/52

Clyde

A

B’ Division Supplementary Cup – 1st Rnd

1-3

 

Yes

 

26/04/52

Kilmarnock

A

Ayrshire Cup Final – 1st Leg

0-4

 

No

 

03/05/52

Queens Park

H

Ayr Charity Cup Final

2-1 aet

 

Not Known

 

10/05/52

Kilmarnock

H

Ayrshire Cup Final – 2nd Leg

3-0

 

No

 

12/05/52

Queens Park Rangers

H

Friendly

1-2

 

Not Known

In aid of YMCA funds

Division ‘B’

Pld

 

Home

 

 

 

 

Away

 

 

 

 

Overall

 

 

 

 

Pts

GA

1951/52

 

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

 

 

1

Clyde

30

 

10

3

2

54

20

 

9

3

3

46

25

 

19

6

5

100

45

 

44

2.2

2

Falkirk

30

 

10

3

2

51

14

 

8

4

3

29

20

 

18

7

5

80

34

 

43

2.4

3

Ayr United

30

 

13

2

0

39

15

 

4

3

8

16

30

 

17

5

8

55

45

 

39

1.2

4

Dundee United

30

 

11

2

2

49

21

 

5

3

7

26

39

 

16

5

9

75

60

 

37

1.3

5

Kilmarnock

30

 

12

0

3

41

20

 

4

2

9

21

28

 

16

2

12

62

48

 

34

1.3

6

Dunfermline Athletic

30

 

11

1

3

46

26

 

4

1

10

28

39

 

15

2

13

74

65

 

32

1.1

7

Alloa Athletic

30

 

9

2

4

34

23

 

4

4

7

21

26

 

13

6

11

55

49

 

32

1.1

8

Cowdenbeath

30

 

10

4

1

45

19

 

2

4

9

21

48

 

12

8

10

66

67

 

32

1

9

Hamilton Academical

30

 

7

4

4

22

23

 

5

2

8

25

28

 

12

6

12

47

51

 

30

0.9

10

Dumbarton

30

 

7

3

5

28

25

 

3

5

7

23

32

 

10

8

12

51

57

 

28

0.9

11

St. Johnstone

30

 

7

4

4

36

20

 

2

3

10

26

48

 

9

7

14

62

68

 

25

0.9

12

Forfar Athletic

30

 

9

2

4

38

30

 

1

2

12

21

67

 

10

4

16

59

97

 

24

0.6

13

Stenhousemuir

30

 

5

5

5

35

35

 

3

1

11

22

39

 

8

6

16

57

74

 

22

0.8

14

Albion Rovers

30

 

5

6

4

21

20

 

1

4

10

18

37

 

6

10

14

39

57

 

22

0.7

15

Queens Park

30

 

5

2

8

24

27

 

3

2

10

16

35

 

8

4

18

40

62

 

20

0.7

16

Arbroath

30

 

5

2

8

27

34

 

1

2

12

13

49

 

6

4

20

40

83

 

16

0.5

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