Ayr United 3 - 4 Dundee Utd

League Cup - Section 4
Saturday, August 8th, 1981, 3:00 PM at Somerset Park
Attendance: 3,341
Referee: Brian McGinlay (Balfron)
Ayr United Dundee Utd

Bobby Connor (6)
Steve Nicol (26)
Derek Frye (43)
Eamonn Bannon (28)
Eamonn Bannon (pen.) (47)
Paul Sturrock (63)
Eamonn Bannon (75)

Team Managers
Willie McLean Jim McLean

Starting Eleven
Stuart Rennie
Mark Shanks
Steve Nicol
Billy Hendry
Ian McAllister
Jim Fleeting
Jim Kean
Brian Ahern
Eric Morris
Bobby Connor
Derek Frye
Hamish McAlpine
Dave Narey
Iain Phillip
John Holt
Derek Stark
Frank Kopel
Derek Addison
John Reilly
Eamonn Bannon
Billy Kirkwood
Paul Sturrock

Gerry Christie
Jim McSherry
George Nicol
Willie Pettigrew

None. Willie Pettigrew for John Reilly (46)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Hamish McAlpine (GK) 468 apps3 goals
Dave Narey 339 apps22 goals
Iain Phillip 99 apps1 goal
John Holt 146 apps11 goals
Derek Stark 121 apps3 goals
Frank Kopel 391 apps13 goals
Derek Addison 137 apps15 goals
John Reilly 3 apps -
Eamonn Bannon 87 apps20 goals
Billy Kirkwood 171 apps40 goals
Paul Sturrock 277 apps79 goals
Willie Pettigrew (sub) 83 apps32 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:John Reilly (19 years 145 days)
Oldest Player:Hamish McAlpine (33 years 208 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 251 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:John Reilly (19 years 145 days)
Oldest Player:Hamish McAlpine (33 years 208 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 38 days
Domestic Players:13 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


United opened the season at Somerset Park, defending their hold on the League Cup after last seasons final victory over Dundee at Dens Park. 19 year-old striker John Reilly, who had been a regular scorer during pre-season, was given a starting place ahead of Davie Dodds, and with skipper Paul Hegarty missing through injury, new signing George Nicol was given a place on the bench.

United started in determined manner, with Paul Sturrock shooting inches wide, but the holders suffered an early setback when the First Division side took a 6th minute lead. In their first real attack, Jim Kean found space and cut the ball back to Bobby Connor who tapped the ball into the net. United stepped up the pace to try and get back on level terms, but the home side were marking tightly and attacking on the break. Their hard work paid off when full-back Steve Nicol collected an Ian McAllister pass and doubled their lead with a vicious shot in the 26th minute. Two minutes later Sturrock caught Ayr stretched at the back and set up Eamonn Bannon to pull one back for United. Bannon then set up Sturrock who mis-kicked from just five yards out. It was a costly miss, as a long ball from Nicol found ex-United striker Derek Frye who rounded Hamish McAlpine before slotting the ball into the empty net to give the home side a shock 3-1 lead at half-time.

Two minutes into the second half and United earned a controversial penalty, when Willie Pettigrew, who had come on for John Reilly at the interval, crossed into the box where the ball struck McAllister's arm. Eamonn Bannon converted the spot-kick to reduce the deficit. Pettigrew's introduction allowed Bannon and Sturrock to find more time and space on the ball, and it was Paul Sturrock who pulled United level with a long range shot past Stuart Rennie in the 63rd minute. With 15 minutes remaining Rennie could only block Sturrock's shot and Eamonn Bannon completed his hat-trick by firing home the rebound. Ayr had their chances to get back into the game, with Shanks and Frye coming close as well as a decent shout for a penalty, but United held on for an entertaining win.

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Programme cover / Team sheet