DEJECTED Ayr United boss Ian McCall is demanding improvement from his players after they suffered a shock defeat to end their hopes of progress in the Betfred Cup.

However goalscorer Steven Kelly, on loan from Rangers, is aiming high.

The Honest Men went down 6-5 on penalties to Stranraer on Saturday after a 2-2 draw.

They now host Greenock Morton in the Ladbrokes Championship opener.

McCall pulled no punches and said: “We were woeful from start to finish.

“We led at half-time and should have had a penalty in the second half for handball and that could have been 3-1. It was a hugely disappointing day and I don’t think anyone turned up but we missed the same player twice for their goals from set plays although it’s early in the season yet.”

Added McCall: “We were trying to play fantasy football at times.

“We’re used to success but I don’t think anyone turned up.

“I’m really gutted.”

Midfielder Kelly, who netted a wonder free-kick and looks like a great find, wants to put the defeat clearly behind him as he looks to impress United and his parent club.

He said: “My aim is to get as many games as I possibly can.

“Ayr had a really good season but we have lost players like Lawrence Shankland.

“I look forward to the Morton match, it will be a good test.

“I know Lewis McGrattan and will have the opportunity of coming up against him.

“The aim must be to get off to a winning start - you always look to win your first league game of the season.

“Hopefully Ayr have a good chance of challenging to get into the top four.

“It will be a very competitive league this season with the likes of Inverness Caley Thistle and Dundee United expected to do well.”