Alloa Athletic 0 v 2 Ayr United
United reclaimed third place in the Championship table with a 0-2 victory over Alloa Athletic at the Indodrill Stadium on Saturday. Aaron Drinan opened the scoring early on and despite good chances for the hosts, the Honest Men hung on to their lead before Alan Forrest secured the maximum three points late in the game.
Ayr looked the more attacking side and got off to a perfect start when they took the lead on 9 mins. Alloa keeper Kieran Wright fumbled the ball after a flick into the box and Aaron Drinan showed excellent reactions to step in and back heel past Scott Taggart and Liam Dick for an early 0-1 advantage.
As the game progressed, Alloa’s patient approach almost paid off and with 22 mins gone, the hosts beat the United defence three times in as many minutes and were only denied by outstanding goalkeeping from Ross Doohan. The keeper pulled off top saves against two goal-bound efforts from Robert Thomson and a low drive from Kevin O’Hara that looked destined to find the net.
The match remained energetic with chances coming both ways and Ayr came close to doubling their lead on 40 mins when Alan Forrest sent Drinan through on goal, but the striker’s attempt smacked off the post and it remained 0-1 at the break.
United sat deep to protect their advantage in the second half and Alloa became the more attacking side with their best chance coming on 57 mins. Doohan blocked a low cross in from O’Hara and the ball fell to Alan Trouten in a promising position, but the United keeper got down bravely to smother the ball at the midfielder’s feet.
The game hung in the balance with both teams sending attacks forward while the defences soaked up pressure and it looked to be anyone’s for the taking. Then on 82 mins, Forrest sealed the deal for the Honest Men with a classy strike. After working the ball from right to left across the park, when Forrest received the ball from Luke McCowan at the edge of the box, turned, and fired an unstoppable effort into the top corner to make it 0-2 and kill the game.
Alloa came close to a consolation goal in the dying minutes when a set-up from Scott Banks forced Doohan into another save at the feet of Trouten.
Moments later, United almost added a third goal at the other end through a cut-back from Michael Moffat that set Jordan Houston up at close range, but brilliant reactions from Wright denied a late goal and the scoreline remained 0-2 to Ayr.
United move back into third in the league, two points ahead of Dundee and one behind Inverness.
Ayr are in action again on Tuesday night when they welcome Dundee United to Somerset Park in the Championship.
Wright, Stirling, Taggart, Dick, Malcolm, Cawley, Hetherington, Flannigan, Thomson, O’Hara, Trouten
Substitutes: Wilson (GK), Buchanan, Banks, Connelly, O’Donnell
Doohan, Houston, Malley, Forrest, Harvie, Kerr, Drinan, Kelly, Roscoe, McCowan, Bell
Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Tiffoney, Muirhead, Smith, Gillespie, Murphy, Moffat
Referee: Greg Aitken