AYR United have issued a statement after a sniffer dog was deployed at Somerset Park.

The dog was seen patrolling in the Somerset Road end amongst the home support during Friday night's match with Partick Thistle.

Complaints began on social media with one fan saying that the dog caused a young fan to fall over.

They said: "Stewards at Somerset with sniffer dogs in a packed stand barging through everyone knocking a young fan to the ground and telling him to get up and hang onto the railing and he won’t fall - absolute disgrace."

It's understood Monday's response was issued after complaints were made directly to the club.

The statement explained why sniffer dogs were required in the first place - and confirmed they were in use through a third party provider, not by the police.

A spokesperson said: "Somerset Park has unfortunately seen the use of pyrotechnics at both home and away ends at a number of fixtures over the last 12-18 month period.

"It is clear that this contravenes stadium regulations within all grounds in Scottish football, and if the club is not seen to be doing its utmost to prevent the use of pyro, then the risk of disciplinary action and sanctions increases significantly. 

"On a weekly basis at Somerset, the stewarding team are made up of a combination of club stewards and stewards from external companies, in order to provide the required level of personnel to ensure the safety and security of everyone who attends the match. 

"Prior the Partick match we worked with a third party company who offered to implement sniffer dogs, given there was believed to be an increased risk of pyrotechnics being used at this game."

However, the club explained that while sniffer dogs were to be used at the game, this was only intended to be at the turnstiles at the home and away ends - not within the ground itself.

They also added this should have been communicated to supporters prior to the match and the intentions made clear. 

The spokesperson continued: "At no point were dogs permitted to be deployed within the crowd and we have received an apology from the organisation in question.

"Furthermore, the club wishes to apologise unreservedly to anyone who was impacted by the dog and it’s handler inside the stadium. 

"his was never the intention and we have received assurances there will not be a repeat in the future."