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Division 1 – National Cup Final At Last For Ayr

The 2001/02 season was the 105th season of competitive football in Scotland.

The 2001-02 Ayr United FC season was one of the best seasons in the clubs history, reaching a major cup final for the first time in the league cup but lost Rangers but returned to Hampden Park within the week for a Scottish Cup semi final with Celtic as well as a credible third place finish in the First Division.

The seasons biggest glory was by far the cup where Ayr United again emphasised their Cup credentials, particularly against Premier League opposition. With two outstanding runs in the Scottish Cup and League Cup United beat the likes of Dunfermline Athletic, Dundee United, Kilmarnock and Hibernian to finally earn their place in a national cup final.

The greatest occasion in the history of the club occurred on 5th February 2002 in the League (CIS) Cup when an Eddie Annand penalty gave Ayr a 1-0 win over Hibernian and a place in the clubs first ever national Cup Final. On St.Patrick’s Day 2002, 12,000 Ayr fans graced Hampden Park for a final clash against Rangers. The Honest Men gave a good account of themselves before finally losing out to the multi million pound Ibrox side by 4-0.

Six days later, Ayr were back at Hampden Park, this time in the semi final of the Scottish Cup and again despite going down, this time to Celtic, it was not until late in the game that the Champions elect killed off United’s hopes.

Again United’s performance earned them much praise in the national media. As the memory fades, many may look at the scorelines of the two games and reflect that Ayr were well beaten but their performances against the odds in both games was summed up by this quote from Celtic boss Martin O’Neill.

‘They were magnificent. They probably didn’t deserve to get beaten 4-0 last week and they most certainly didn’t deserve to get beaten 3-0 tonight. Their Cup exploits have been extraordinary and it took three great goals to win this game’.

In the league however, Ayr were still a long way off promotion to the Premier League with their third place being 14 points behind promoted Partick Thistle. Maybe United’s extensive cup exploits mitigated against points for promotion, but few Ayr supporters would trade the cup runs.

However, the club immediately plunged into a financial crisis and captain John Hughes led the exit of top players from the club. The season was also notable for the demise of Airdrieonians whose last ever match was the match at Somerset Park on the last day of the season.

Date

Opponents

H/A

Competition

Score – Ayr First

Comments

Att

Programme Issued

16/7/01

Blyth Spartans

A

2001 Triangular Tornament

0-0

Combined Programme

 

Yes

18/7/01

Darlington

A

2001 Triangular Tornament

0-0

Combined Programme

 

Yes

21/07/2001

Berwick Rangers

A

Friendly

0-0

 

 

Yes

23/7/01

Blackpool

H

Friendly

0-2

Combined Programme

 

Yes

25/7/01

Queens Park

A

Friendly

3-0

 

 

Yes

28/7/01

Wigan Athletic

H

Friendly

4-0

Combined Programme

 

Yes

31/7/01

Dumbarton

H

Friendly

0-0

Combined Programme

 

Yes

4/8/01

Falkirk

A

1st Division

02-Jan

 

 

Yes

7/8/01

St. Mirren

A

Challenge Cup

3-1

 

 

Yes

11/8/01

Ross County

H

1st Division

2-0

 

 

Yes

14/8/01

Stranraer

A

Challenge Cup

2-3

 

 

Yes

18/8/01

Airdrieonians 1878

A

1st Division

1-2

 

 

Yes

25/8/01

Raith Rovers

H

1st Division

0-0

 

 

Yes

8/9/01

Partick Thistle

A

1st Division

1-2

 

 

Yes

15/9/01

St. Mirren

H

1st Division

4-2

 

 

Yes

18/9/01

Arbroath

A

1st Division

2-3

 

 

Yes

23/9/01

Clyde

H

1st Division

2-1

 

 

Yes

25/9/01

Stranraer

H

Scottish League Cup – 2nd Round

4-0

 

 

Yes

29/9/01

Inverness C T

A

1st Division

1-3

 

1,533

Yes

9/10/01

Kilmarnock

H

Scottish League Cup – 3rd Rnd

0-0

Ayr won 5-4 on pens

 

Yes

13/10/01

Falkirk

H

1st Division

2-2

 

 

Yes

20/10/01

Ross County

A

1st Division

2-3

 

 

Yes

27/10/01

Partick Thistle

H

1st Division

0-2

 

 

Yes

3/11/01

Raith Rovers

A

1st Division

1-1

 

 

Yes

10/11/2001

Arbroath

H

1st Division

0-1

 

 

Yes

17/11/01

St. Mirren

A

1st Division

1-0

 

 

Yes

24/11/01

Inverness C T

H

1st Division

3-0

 

1,999

Yes

28/11/01

Inverness C T

H

Scottish League Cup – Quarter Final

5-1

 

2,710

Yes

1/12/01

Clyde

A

1st Division

2-2

 

 

Yes

8/12/01

Airdrieonians 1878

H

1st Division

1-3

 

 

Yes

15/12/01

Falkirk

A

1st Division

2-0

 

 

Yes

26/12/01

Partick Thistle

A

1st Division

1-2

 

 

Yes

29/12/01

Raith Rovers

H

1st Division

3-1

 

 

Yes

5/1/02

Deveronvale

A

Scottish Cup – 3rd Rnd

6-0

 

 

Yes

12/01/2002

Arbroath

A

1st Division

2-0

 

 

Yes

19/1/02

Clyde

H

1st Division

0-1

 

 

Yes

26/1/02

Dunfermline Athletic

H

Scottish Cup – 4th Rnd

3-0

 

 

Yes

2/2/02

Inverness C T

A

1st Division

1-1

 

1,409

Yes

5/2/02

Hibernian

N

Scottish League Cup – Semi Final

1-0

After extra time

 

Yes

9/2/02

Airdrieonians 1878

A

1st Division

2-1

 

 

Yes

16/2/02

Ross County

H

1st Division

0-0

 

 

Yes

23/2/02

Dundee United

H

Scottish Cup – 5th Rnd

2-2

 

 

Yes

26/2/02

St. Mirren

A

1st Division

4-1

 

 

Yes

2/3/02

Raith Rovers

A

1st Division

3-3

 

 

Yes

6/3/02

Dundee United

H

Scottish Cup – 5th Rnd Replay

2-0

 

 

Yes

9/3/02

Partick Thistle

H

1st Division

1-1

 

 

Yes

17/3/02

Rangers 1872

N

Scottish League Cup – Final

0-4

Ayr United’s First Ever Major Cup Final

Yes

23/3/02

Celtic

N

Scottish Cup – Semi Final

0-3

 

 

Yes

26/03/2002

Arbroath

H

1st Division

0-0

 

 

Yes

30/3/02

Clyde

A

1st Division

2-2

 

 

Yes

2/4/02

St. Mirren

A

1st Division

1-1

 

 

Yes

6/4/02

Inverness C T

H

1st Division

1-0

 

1,818

Yes

13/4/02

Falkirk

H

1st Division

0-0

 

 

Yes

21/4/02

Ross County

A

1st Division

1-1

 

 

Yes

27/4/02

Airdrieonians 1878

H

1st Division

1-0

Match abandoned after 21 minutes due to crowd trouble. Last ever Match Against ‘old’ Airdrieonians

Yes

1st

 

Pld

 

Home

 

 

 

 

Away

 

 

 

 

Overall

 

 

 

 

Pts

GD

2001/02

 

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

 

 

1

Partick Thistle

36

 

12

6

0

38

15

 

7

3

8

23

23

 

19

9

8

61

38

 

66

23

2

Airdrieonians

36

 

8

6

4

31

19

 

7

5

6

28

21

 

15

11

10

59

40

 

56

19

3

Ayr United

36

 

8

6

4

25

16

 

5

7

6

28

28

 

13

13

10

53

44

 

52

9

4

Ross County

36

 

10

2

6

33

21

 

4

8

6

18

22

 

14

10

12

51

43

 

52

8

5

Clyde

36

 

8

6

4

27

21

 

5

4

9

24

35

 

13

10

13

51

56

 

49

-5

6

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

36

 

11

3

4

47

22

 

2

6

10

13

29

 

13

9

14

60

51

 

48

9

7

Arbroath

36

 

9

3

6

22

28

 

5

3

10

20

31

 

14

6

16

42

59

 

48

-17

8

St. Mirren

36

 

6

8

4

19

19

 

5

4

9

24

34

 

11

12

13

43

53

 

45

-10

9

Falkirk

36

 

5

5

8

24

36

 

5

4

9

25

37

 

10

9

17

49

73

 

39

-24

10

Raith Rovers

36

 

7

5

6

31

25

 

1

6

11

19

37

 

8

11

17

50

62

 

35

-12

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