18s v Inverness CT | Match Report | 11/03/22
By Karen Malcolm
On Friday afternoon (11 March 2022), Ayr United Under 18s were in action at Townhead Park, beating Inverness CT 3-2 in their first CAS Under 18 League post-split fixture.
The Honest Men made one change to the starting 11, who beat Ross County 5-1 in their previous game. Jack Pryce came in to replace Shane McNeish in defence, and John West took Pryce's place on the bench.
Ayr took the lead in 18 mins when a ball into the box was met by Max Guthrie, who back heeled the ball to Dario Viviani. An Inverness CT defender blocked Viviani's effort, but it fell to Dylan O'Kane, who put the ball into the net from 8 yards.
Ayr doubled their lead in the 43rd min when Viviani made his way into the box, noticed Scott Tomlinson on the end of a darting run from midfield, and played the ball to him. Despite the Inverness CT keeper getting a hand to the ball, Tomlinson's strike from 14 yards out found the net.
United went into halftime with a 2-0 lead over their opposition; however, Inverness were in no mood to sit back and accept defeat.
The visitors got a goal back 3 minutes into the second half with their number 6's effort from 25 yards going in at the bottom right-hand corner.
Inverness almost found an equaliser soon after but were denied by keeper Morgan Stirling's fantastic reaction save to a shot from 2 yards out.
Inverness CT did get their equaliser on 58 mins. They were awarded a penalty after the referee deemed that Jack Pryce had pushed the Inverness CT number 11. Ayr keeper Stirling reacted well to the Inverness number 9's penalty and was close to getting his hand to it, but the ball went into the bottom left-hand corner.
Ayr made a double substitution in the 62nd min when Brook Dreghorn replaced Jonathan McPhee, and John West replaced captain Mackenzie Connelly. Connelly gave the captain's armband to Viviani before he left the pitch.
United retook the lead in the 68th min. O'Kane played a corner into the 6-yard box where Jack Pryce hit the ball home from a couple of yards out.
Ayr made a further two substitutions before the final whistle, with Ryan Kennedy coming on for Max Guthrie and Harry Simpson for Dylan O'Kane.
The game ended 3-2 thanks to a fighting display by the Honest Men, who thoroughly deserved the win.
A special mention must go to Jack Pryce, who not only scored the winning goal but displayed some brilliant defending in the dying minutes of stoppage time to ensure that United got the victory.
Stirling, Weir, Johnston, Connelly, Pryce, Allan, McPhee, Tomlinson, Guthrie, Viviani, O’Kane Substitutes: Fraser (GK), Dreghorn, Kennedy, Simpson, Strachan, Wilson, West
Ayr United 2 Inverness CT 0
Ayr United 3 Inverness CT 2
Ayr United Goals
18’ Dylan O’Kane
43’ Scott Tomlinson
68’ Jack Pryce