The Honest Men fell to a 1-0 defeat to joint league leaders Dundee United despite an impressive performance. An early goal from Tope Obadeyi was enough to earn the Arabs the 3 points as they resisted constant Ayr pressure.
The visitors had the first chance of the game on 2 mins. After a Spittal shot was deflected wide, the resultant corner was met by Durnan at the near post who fired his shot into the side netting from close range.
4 mins later however and they got their noses in front through Obadeyi after a ruthless counter attack. From an Ayr corner, Harkins saw his shot blocked inside the area and from there on Obadeyi picked the ball up, sprinted up field and despite Devlin’s efforts to clear the ball he managed to round Fleming and slot into the empty net. 0-1 after 6 mins.
Ayr were quick to respond to this and after consistent closing down and pressure they won themselves a corner on 10 mins. Cairney floated the ball in and it was Balatoni who met the ball but he could only direct his header over the bar.
12 mins gone and Devlin went on one of his bursting runs into the box where his cross almost found Harkins who had the ball taken away from his feet by Durnan inside the area.
Ayr continued to press and on 14 mins it was Cairney’s turn to try his luck. Balatoni picked out a great ball to Cairney on the left and he found space on the edge of the area and blasted a shot which went harmlessly over the bar.
Ayr’s best chance of the first game fell to Adams on 37 mins. Docherty slid in an inch perfect pass to Devlin on the right and his low cross was met by Adams who from only a couple of yards out somehow had his shot blocked on the line to deny Ayr the equaliser.
Andreu had looked quiet throughout the match however almost doubled the away side’s lead on 52 mins after he lashed a shot just wide of the left hand post from the edge of the area.
On 54 mins it was again Adams causing the Arabs problems in the box, this time from a Docherty cross he met the ball with a header which unfortunately didn’t have the sufficient power and pace required to beat Bell in goal.
After 72 mins Smith passed the ball across to Spittal on the edge of the area however his strike was weak from 15 yards out and straight at Fleming.
Ayr’s last chance of the game came on 82 mins through O’Connell. A loose ball in the Arabs’ box was pounced upon by O’Connell who’s fierce volley was also blocked by the firm Dundee United defence who had remained solid throughout the match to keep Ayr out.
A disappointing result however the performance will leave Ayr’s spirits high as they travel to Paisley next Saturday to play St Mirren in what is a crucial clash at the bottom end of the table.
Fleming, Devlin, Meggatt, Crawford, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Adams, Docherty, Balatoni, McKenna. Substitutes Hart (GK), Gilmour, Rose, McGuffie, Boyle, O’Connell, Nisbet.
Bell, Durnan, Toshney, Spittal, Fraser, Telfer, Edjenguelle, Flood, Andreu, Obadeyi, Robson. Substitutes Zwick (GK), Dillon, Donaldson, Murdoch, Van Der Velden, Allardice, Smith.
Referee: William Collum
Match Report: AUmedia