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Division 2 – New Manager Challenges Players

The 2007/08 season was the 111th season of competitive football in Scotland and Ayr Unite’s 93rd competitive season and the 97th season in the clubs history and saw them compete in Division once again.

Another season and another slice of optimism which was dented by a 7-1 friendly defeat by Queen of the South. The arrival of Neil Watt towards the end of the previous season nevertheless filled Ayr with cautious optimism that a promotion place could be achieved.

An away defeat by promotion favourites Ross County, followed by a 5-0 drubbing by Livingston in the CIS cup was not the start that was expected. It become worse when United lost 3-2 at home by newly promoted Queen’s Park.

However, it was a cup, 2-1 win away to Hamilton in the Challenge Cup, that renewed Ayr’s fortunestn_Airdrie United (h) 22 Dec 07 and successive league wins against Berwick Rangers, Alloa Athletic and Forfar Athletic without so much as a lost goal, coupled with two good draws against Brechin City and away to Cowdenbeath saw a run of six wins from nine league and cup matches.

If a Challenge Cup win began United’s good run it was a Challenge Cup defeat that ended it. The semi-final defeat nevertheless wasn’t unexpected as it came against first division Dunfermline Athletic and then by the narrowest of margins. A draw against Airdrie and then a 4-1 home defeat by Raith Rovers saw manager Neil Watt leaving the club citing a difference of ambition between himself and the Board, a worrying view from a fans perspective.

The board moved quickly to outline ambitious plans for a new stadium.

Brian Reid took the helm and wasn’t able to steady it with Ayr managing only one win in seven matches culminating in a 4-1 slaughtering at home to the Blue Brazil – Cowdenbeath. Another defeat the following by 3-0 away to Peterhead left Ayr 3rd bottom of the league going into the Christmas programme – not where they expected to be!

Manager Brian Reid launched an attack on the players at Somerset Park warning them that if he was preperaed to release players who did not want to put in winning performances and that there would be a clear out in the new transfer window.

The harsh words did not seem to have the desired effect and worse was to come before the festivities as only a point in a 1-1 draw with Queen’s Park was earned, leaving Ayr in the relegation play off spot, level with Brechin City. Ironically United travelled to Brechin on 29th December with both clubs level on points.

The 5-1 defeat for Ayr confirmed their plight and they languished in relegation play off spot at the turn of the year. After the manager demanded an apology from the players for such a dire display, a 4-0 victory at home to Berwick tn_Peterhead (h) 9 Feb 08Rangers, but a 2-0 defeat at Cowdenbeath dampened the restored optimism. A 3-1 win over Alloa at home after going down to an early own goal again restored the outside chance of a promotion play place .

A further 3-1 win against Queen’s Park and the news late in January that plans for a new stadium had been approved by the Local Council brought new optimism for the new year. However, a player sent off, two late controversial penalities and three goals for Peterhead on 9th February again stalled the push for the play off’s.

Ayr United continued to make stuttering progress out of the relegation zone and tantalizingly close to the promotion play off’s but defeats to Raith Rovers and Peterhead early in April ended that dream.

Nevertheless relegation was also avoided by nine points making a mid-table finish. A home defeat by Airdrie United was followed by an end of season victory by 3-1 over Queen’s Park giving Ayr that 7th place finish.

Date

Opponents

H/A

Competition

Score – Ayr First

Comments

Att

Programme Issued

14/07/2007

Queen of the South

N

Friendly

1-7

Combined Programme

 

Yes

15/07/2007

Annan Athletic

H

Friendly

5-1

Combined Programme

 

Yes

21/07/2007

Partick Thistle

A

Friendly

2-1

 

 

Yes

25/07/2007

Motherwell

H

Friendly

1-3

 

 

No Issue

28/07/2007

Gretna

H

Friendly

2-1

 

 

No Issue

04/08/2007

Ross County

A

2nd Division

0-2

 

2,164

Yes

07/08/2007

Livingston

A

Scottish League Cup

0-5

 

1,300

No Issue

11/08/2007

Queens Park

H

2nd Division

2-3

 

1,265

Yes

14/08/2007

Hamilton Academical

A

Challenge Cup – 1st Rnd

2-1

 

611

Yes

18/08/2007

Brechin City

A

2nd Division

2-2

 

419

Yes

25/08/2007

Berwick Rangers

H

2nd Division

4-0

 

1,137

Yes

01/09/2007

Alloa Athletic

H

2nd Division

2-0

 

1,239

Yes

04/09/2007

Forfar Athletic

A

Challenge Cup – 2nd Rnd

2-0

 

333

Yes

15/09/2007

Cowdenbeath

A

2nd Division

1-1

 

452

Yes

18/09/2007

Partick Thistle

H

Challenge Cup – 3rd Rnd

2-1

After extra time

 

Yes

22/9/2007 

Raith Rovers

A

2nd Division

 3-2

 

1,760

Yes

29/9/2007 

Peterhead

H

2nd Division

1-2

 

1,331

Yes

 2/10/2007

Dunfermline Athletic

A

Challenge Cup—Semi Final 

 0-1

 

1,744

Yes

6/10/2007 

Airdrie United

A

2nd Division

 0-0 

 

1,269

Yes

20/1020/07

Ross County

H

2nd Division

1-4

 

1,087

Yes

27/10/2007

Brechin City

H

2nd Division

2-1

 

1,176

Yes

03/11/2007

Berwick Rangers

A

2nd Division

1-1

 

473

Yes

10/11/2007

Alloa Athletic

A

2nd Division

1-2

 

711

Yes

24/11/2007

Partick Thistle

A

Scottish Cup – 2nd Rnd

1-2

 

2,260

Yes

01/12/2007

Cowdenbeath

H

2nd Division

1-4

 

1,014

Yes

08/12/2007

Peterhead

A

2nd Division

0-3

 

540

Yes

15/12/2007

Raith Rovers

H

2nd Division

0-3

 

1,044

Yes

26/12/2007

Queens Park

A

2nd Division

1-1

 

810

Yes

29/12/2007

Brechin City

A

2nd Division

1-5

 

545

Yes

02/01/2008

Berwick Rangers

H

2nd Division

4-0

 

1,054

Yes

05/01/2008

Cowdenbeath

A

2nd Division

0-2

 

297

Yes

19/01/2008

Alloa Athletic

H

2nd Division

3-1

 

966

Yes

26/01/2008

Queens Park

H

2nd Division

3-1

 

1,242

Yes

09/02/2008

Peterhead

H

2nd Division

0-3

 

1,100

Yes

16/02/2008

Raith Rovers

A

2nd Division

2-1

 

1,513

Yes

23/02/2008

Brechin City

H

2nd Division

0-3

 

1,103

Yes

27/02/2008

Airdrie United

H

2nd Division

1-1

 

1,104

Yes

01/03/2008

Berwick Rangers

A

2nd Division

1-0

 

424

Yes

11/03/2008

Ross County

A

2nd Division

4-2

 

1,627

Yes

15/03/2008

Ross County

H

2nd Division

0-2

 

1,078

Yes

19/03/2008

Airdrie United

A

2nd Division

2-0

 

737

Yes

22/03/2008

Cowdenbeath

H

2nd Division

1-1

 

1,010

Yes

29/03/2008

Alloa Athletic

A

2nd Division

2-1

 

493

Yes

05/04/2008

Raith Rovers

H

2nd Division

0-1

 

1,212

Yes

12/04/2008

Peterhead

A

2nd Division

1-4

 

661

Yes

19/04/2008

Queens Park

A

2nd Division

3-1

 

1,092

Yes

26/04/2008

Airdrie United

H

2nd Division

1-2

 

1,333

Yes

2nd

 

Pld

 

Home

 

 

 

 

Away

 

 

 

 

Overall

 

 

 

 

Pts

GD

2007/08

 

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

W

D

L

F

A

 

 

 

1

Ross County

36

 

11

4

3

45

23

 

11

3

4

33

21

 

22

7

7

78

44

 

73

34

2

Airdrie United

36

 

11

3

4

32

12

 

9

3

6

32

22

 

20

6

10

64

34

 

66

30

3

Raith Rovers

36

 

8

3

7

28

27

 

11

0

7

32

23

 

19

3

14

60

50

 

60

10

4

Alloa Athletic

36

 

12

1

5

32

27

 

4

7

7

25

29

 

16

8

12

57

56

 

56

1

5

Peterhead

36

 

10

2

6

37

25

 

6

5

7

28

29

 

16

7

13

65

54

 

55

11

6

Brechin City

36

 

7

7

4

35

23

 

6

6

6

28

25

 

13

13

10

63

48

 

52

15

7

Ayr United

36

 

6

2

10

26

32

 

7

5

6

25

30

 

13

7

16

51

62

 

46

-11

8

Queens Park

36

 

6

3

9

23

26

 

7

2

9

25

25

 

13

5

18

48

51

 

44

-3

9

Cowdenbeath

36

 

5

4

9

20

33

 

5

3

10

27

40

 

10

7

19

47

73

 

37

-26

10

Berwick Rangers

36

 

2

6

10

25

42

 

1

1

16

15

59

 

3

7

26

40

101

 

16

-61

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