Ayr United 0 v 0 Dundee United
Ayr had to settle for a point against Championship leaders Dundee United in a 0-0 draw on Tuesday night. Both sides created good chances in an intriguing encounter, but neither could find the back of the net and it remained goalless under the lights at Somerset Park.
The game got off to an energetic start and the scoring could have been opened with only 6 mins on the clock. Louis Appere came racing into the box to pick up a poor clearance and attempted a shot from close range, but Ross Doohan blocked his effort and the rebound fell to Luke McCowan. The midfielder cut out and controlled the ball to send it down the right wing for Aaron Drinan who beat Paul Watson at the halfway line, broke forward into the Dundee United box and forced a corner off Mark Connolly. Stephen Kelly stepped up to take it and his out swinger eventually ended up with Alan Forrest near the left post, but his shot hit the side netting.
Both teams showed intent and pushed forward, but for most of the first half, the sides cancelled each other out in midfield and failed to create clear cut chances in the final third.
Kelly came closest to an opener for Ayr on 40 mins when he got on the end of a precise pass forward from Forrest and beat Watson in the box but hit the ball wide of the right post.
Dundee United’s best chance to break the deadlock followed 2 mins later when Lawrence Shankland got past Ross Doohan and lifted a high cross into the path of Paul McMullan, but Daniel Harvie cleared before the midfielder could reach it and the scoreline remained 0-0 at the break.
The second half continued where the first 45 mins left off with both teams attacking, but major chances were sparse.
As the game progressed, the Tangerines stepped up the tempo and started to gain the upper hand. Most of the play now took place in the Ayr half with Dundee United’s attack putting constant pressure on the home defence.
Ian Harkes looked certain to put the visitors in front on 66 mins when McMullan set him up in the box with only Doohan left to beat, but the midfielder sent his shot past the right post.
The next chance followed swiftly when Shankland met a long ball forward from Liam Smith, but his header from near the goal line did not trouble Doohan who collected with ease.
As Dundee United failed to capitalise, Ayr got back into the game and started to dominate with 15 mins left to play.
Aaron Drinan came close twice with powerful shots from distance but narrowly missed the target while a Jordan Houston header was denied by Terrors’ keeper Benjamin Siegrist, and Kelly drilled a low attempt inches past the post.
The Honest Men almost gained victory in the dying mins of the game when good set-up work between Connor Malley and Scott Tiffoney, in the Dundee United box, set Drinan up for a drive from 18 yards, but Siegrist went down to collect and the final whistle confirmed a goalless draw.
Ayr remain third in the table, two points ahead of Dundee and three adrift of Inverness.
The Honest Men are in action at Somerset Park again on Saturday when they welcome Dundee in the Championship.
Doohan, Houston, Kerr, Forrest, Harvie, Muirhead, Drinan, Kelly, Roscoe, McCowan, Bell
Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Tiffoney, Moffat, Smith, Gillespie, Murphy, Malley
Siegrist, Smith, Powers, Connolly, Reynolds, McMullan, Bingham, Harkes, Shankland, Appere, Watson
Substitutes: Mehmet (GK), Sporle, Pawlett, Robson, Glass, Freeman, Neilson
Referee: David Munro