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This Season 
 Match Report 2000-01 - Ayr United (a) 
 John Traynor Testimonial Match
Date: Friday 23rd March 2001, 8pm

Venue: Somerset Park 

Conditions:  "Bracing" especially round the trossachs.....


Ayr United 1 - 2 Newcastle United


5 mins.  LuaLua's cross from the left wing was headed home by an unmarked Colin McMenamin, with the keeper appearing to move only after the ball was past him.  1-0

28 mins.  An unfortunate double deflection off David Beharall sent Reynolds clear in the United area and he slipped his finish past the advancing Karelse.  1-1

Half time: Ayr 1 Newcastle 1

77 mins. A quality effort from the edge of the box flew into the Ayr net courtesy of the boot of Mark Boyd, to the applause of the travelling toon fans behind the goal in the Railway End of Somerset Park.  2-1

Full time: Ayr 1 Newcastle 2

Match Highlights

5 mins Newcastle scored (see above)

15 mins Stephen Glass was led from the field after a clash of heads, apparently suffering from double vision. Joe Kendrick subsequently replaced him.

22 mins Almost a second goal for Newcastle, as LuaLua's shot was cleared off the Ayr goal line and looked as if it would fall for McMenamin to double his tally. However, he was unable to get a shot in and the chance was gone.

28 mins Ayr equalised (see above)

46 mins
Newcastle appeared for the second half having changed into white shorts provided by the home team.

77 mins Jamie McClen almost provided the breakthrough after a dribbling run took him into the box, only for his shot to be blocked by a defender.

78 mins Newcastle scored (see above)

We Said

United defender David Beharall commented on the performance of Academy players Stephen Brennan and Joseph Kendrick:

"Neither Joe nor Steve looked out of place against Ayr and I think that shows what a good job they are doing at the Academy. There is a lot of competition for places even at reserves level and that can only be good for the club.

"This season I've seen a lot of players come up through the academy and that's good to see, they are all challenging for places."


With an International weekend leaving Newcastle with a few spare days in their calendar, a long-standing invitation to participate in a testimonial match for Ayr old boy John "snakey" Traynor was fulfilled on a chilly Friday Evening. The late withdrawal of Middlesbrough from a promised game at Barrow on the same evening had resulted in another invitation being issued, but the Ayr fixture was fulfilled.

The evening began with an Old Boys and young hopefuls match, with two teams made up of former Ayr players from the nine years that Snakey was a Somerset Park regular, plus a sprinkling of current youth players (to do the running around.)
For Newcastle fans, one or two familiar names were on show - Andy Walker, who had a brief and unsuccessful loan spell at the toon from Celtic in 1991, and Tommy Burns, one-time assistant to Kenny Dalglish at St.James'. 

A neat flick by Walker brought the opening goal for the yellow shirts, scored by youngster Chris Foley. Burns himself equalised after the break from the penalty spot, being booed for his past associations with deadly local rivals Kilmarnock. In a neat facsimile of a famous Andy Walker effort at the same end of the ground in a memorable cup win over Killy, Burns delicately flighted his effort over the stranded keeper and into the net.

A fumble by the goalkeeper for the yellows, John Traynor's brother, Colin, was pounced on by Ayr youngster Willie Lyle and he had the simple task of knocking the ball home for the winning goal.

Mention must be made of the referee for this game, a sprightly gentleman in his mid 70's who has been officiating for 56 years!

On to the main event, and a select gathering of around 150 toon fans assembled at the covered railway end of the ground, with a few seeking sanctuary in the stand, where it wasn't much warmer.

The influence of drink meant that although small in number, the vocal support from the Magpie contingent was evident from the start, with some old favourites getting an airing, as well as more contemporary ditties such as "We will give you Foot & Mouth" and "there's only seven Bob the Builders", the latter a reference to the large number of brightly-helmeted paramedics standing adjacent to the Toon section.....

The game itself was no classic, as expected, but at least Newcastle managed to register their first ever goals on this ground at any level of competition, and one dedicated fan saw a toon victory on the occasion of his completing the double century of watching the lads on different grounds. Your correspondent also boosted his total to a comparatively meagre 150.....

Such a memorable achievement obviously required a swift return to licensed premises after the final whistle, via a quick meeting with the testimonial beneficiary, who was well chuffed with the funds raised for him, and very appreciative of his old Celtic chum Tommy Craig's efforts to organise the fixture and provide a signed and framed Toon shirt to mark the occasion. 



Page last updated 23 March, 2012