On a day where everyone associated with Ayr United paid their respects to ex-Chairman Donald Cameron, The Honest Men were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Dunfermline. With a crowd of almost 3000 coming through the gates and the addition of “clappers” there was a fantastic atmosphere inside the ground.
Ian Mccall named one change to the side from last week with Kevin Nisbet dropping out for Jamie Adams.
It didn’t take long for the home side to create their first chance of the game and on 3 minutes almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion. Gilmour met the ball 25 yards out and his half-volley looked destined for the net if it weren’t for Murdoch who did superbly to tip the ball over the bar. From the resultant corner, Balatoni’s powerful header was well held by Murdoch.
Dunfermline created their first chance on 10 minutes after good play by Paton. Paton picked the ball up on the left and beat Devlin on the byline before taking a strike from a tight angle which was saved at the feet by Fleming.
Ayr were almost undone on 19 minutes from a quick Dunfermline break. As the away side countered, Cardle received the ball on the left in plenty of space and cut the ball across to Clark who could only blast his shot over the bar from the edge of the box.
Ayr continued to threaten however and on 23 minutes Adams met a Gilmour cross from the right but he could only fire his first time shot over the bar from close range while under pressure.
Gilmour’s deliveries were causing the Pars defence all sorts of problems and handed Forrest a chance on 29 minutes. Gilmour’s deep cross met Forrest at the back post and his header was well saved by Murdoch.
On 33 minutes Pars had a chance of their own from a well worked set-piece. Paton’s corner met Williamson at the back post and his header across goal was met by Martin who fired the ball over the bar from close range.
The best chance of the game fell to the feet of Reilly on 44 minutes. McCabe flicked the ball into the path of Reilly who break free of the Ayr defence but Fleming was there to smother the striker’s shot.
Dunfermline continued to press in the second half and on 52 minutes carved out another chance. Cardle met a ball on the edge of the box and chested it down before volleying over the bar. A few minutes later and it was Alagui’s turn to try his luck but his speculative overhead kick was well saved at the bottom right hand corner by Fleming.
On 57 minutes Gilmour almost opened the scoring, again through spectacular fashion. As he picked the ball up on the right about 30 yards out, he fizzed a shot towards goal which had to be clawed out the top right corner by Murdoch.
Pars looked to have opened the scoring on 61 minutes but had their goal ruled out. As the cross came in from the left, Alagui nudged Balatoni before nodding the ball down for Cardle to blast into the net. Referee Don Robertson pulled play back for the nudge and the goal was disallowed.
On 84 minutes Docherty received the ball midway in the Dunfermline half and he drove forward before unleashing a powerful shot which flew over the bar from 25 yards out.
Ayr’s best chance to clinch all 3 points came on 86 minutes through Harkins. As Harkins won the ball on the left, he skipped into the box and with Murdoch out of his goal tried to pick out Nisbet however the Pars defence was there to clear.
Cairney had the last shot of the game however his strike went harmlessly wide of the left hand post from 20 yards out on 88 minutes as the game drew to a close.
The result leaves Ayr ahead of their Fife rivals in 7th place. United take a break from league action next week as they welcome Falkirk to Somerset on Friday evening in the 4th round of the Irn Bru Cup.
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Gilmour, Forrest, Crawford, Adams, Harkins, Meggatt, Balatoni, Docherty. Substitutes Hart (GK), McGuffie, Nisbet, Thomas, Cairney, Donald, Murphy.
Murdoch, Martin, Ashcroft, Williamson, Talbot, Paton, Geggan, Herron, Cardle, Reilly, Clark. Substitutes Hutton (GK), Richards-Everton, Moffat, McCabe, McMullen, Higginbotham, El Alagui.
Referee: Don Robertson
Match Report: AUmedia