1951/52 - 3rd Place for United

Last updated : 11 January 2007 By Honestman
Home v Forfar 18th August 1951
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 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 didnt 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. Good 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 agaisnt 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. B 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 o redress the deficit at Somerset Park on 10th May, but the 3-0 win for the Honest Men wasn't quite enough.

Ayr finished the season with a home match against Queens Park Rangers for YMCA funds and this ended in a 2-1 win for the Londoners.