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Ayr United's 12th Man Pushes Them To Victory

Unless you follow and support a team like Ayr United, it's hard to comprehend how topsy turvy a life you lead. One match you are ecstatic at the way the players are performing on the field, the next three you are pulling your hair out at the lack of invention and movement on the field. That however is the way Ayr United supporters like it!

 by Marc Roseblade

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Without these lows that we suffer we would never be able to reach the fantastic highs that the players manage to make us reach.

Tuesday night at St Mirren Park in the quarter finals of the Communities League Cup proved that point once again but yet again it was agonising stuff to watch.

The SPL side outplayed Ayr for most of the match with their superior passing and with more confidence on the ball and they looked the more likely to make the breakthrough but the Ayr United defence stood firm.

Ayr have leaked a lot, and I mean a lot of goals away from home this season but when we have faced teams from the highest tier of football this country can muster, this side just cannot be beaten.

Inverness Caley Thistle, Hearts and now St Mirren have all faltered at the feet of the rampaging Honest Men and with Killie defeating East Fife in one of the other quarter finals, it's lining itself up nicely for a Ayrshire Derby.

Killie would be the obvious choice for me in the semis. The match would get a huge gate and after Ayr defeat their old rivals, they would still have a final to look forward to. As I said on the bus home:"It's like two finals in row!"

I am quite sure it's the influence of the fans on these particular occasions, as the fans belt out Somerset Boab songs and old classics to lift the hearts of the players into a new echelon of stamina and playing techniques. The players just won't give up on these nights, they don't want to let the fans down and to be downright honest and to use an old cliche, the supporters are a 12th man in these matches.

Chris Smith acknowledged the fans after scoring the winner 5 minutes prior to the end, knowing that without the tremendous support he and his team mates had received during this match, the game could have ended differently.

The fans were outstanding, singing, chanting, waving flags, waving at opponent supporters, jeering ex players Gary (Twinkletoes) Teale and Craig (giveawayagoal) Samson, resisting the overbearing stewards and police, releasing smokebombs, throwing paper rolls and generally causing more noise than an away support does at any given ground in Scotland, for this and many other things, it makes me proud to say I am an Honest Man.

Comedy moment of the night came on and around the 60th minute mark when the stadium announcer belted out the speakers:"St Mirren Football club would like to remind everyone that the stadium is all seater.", just as if he had suddenly realised that all 1200 Ayr fans had been standing for the first time. Maybe you had to be there but it was hilarious. Needless to say no Ayr fans took a blind bit of notice of the announcement.

So Semi Final bound the team and fans find themselves for the first time since 2002, and unless I am mistaken it's the first time since then that the team have worn yellow as an away strip since then as well. The omens are ominous as we reached the final that year and some 12'000 travelling black and white supporters made the journey to Glasgow for our first major final, ever, let's hope we can make another.

The semi finals will take place weekend 28/29th January and will comprise of Ayr United, Falkirk, Kilmarnock and the winners of Celtic or Hibs.

Bring on the Killie!

Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for Bleacher Report as well as Not Just Scottish Football and youth development reporter for Ayr United Football Academy. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated.

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