Ayr United manager David Hopkin says their 1-0 over Welsh side The New Saints (TNS) was an early test for their trialists.

The Honest Men faced up against TNS for their first pre season fixture. which saw three trialists in their starting line-up and two on the bench.

Making his debut in the friendly was new signing from Greenock Morton Sean McGinty, who started in defence.

He managed to keep a clean sheet on his first start as Ayr grabbed the only goal of the game just before the half time break.

A free kick from Andy Murdoch was met by the head of Jack Baird to head home and give the Honest Men a winning start to preseason.

Hopkin says it was important the trialists got a run out during the win as basing a player purely on training can be deceiving.

“We have a few players on trial at the moment and it was important that they got a run out during the game.

He went on: “There is no point in bringing people in and not having a look of them in an actual game.

“Players might look good or bad in training but when you play in an actual 11 v 11 game then you get a better idea of what they are all about. “

Ayr have a busy preseason ahead of their mouth-watering return to Championship football when they face off against derby rivals Kilmarnock away on the first match day.

Before then, however, Ayr are set to face Stranraer midweek before a tough game against last seasons Championship winners Hearts on Friday night.

After that they face Premiership opposition St Mirren before they start their League Cup campaign away to Albion Rovers on July 10.

Hopkin says he hopes to find his side’s identity on the park during this run of friendlies so they can be ready for the return of competitive football next month.

“We have two tough games in a week, so we have to make sure we do not overstretch the squad and the players get enough game time.

“We have to make sure by the time we play St Mirren that we have a good idea of the way we are going to play going into the first game of the season.”