In treacherous conditions Ayr fell to a 1-0 defeat against Falkirk. An early goal from James Craigen proved to be enough for The Bairns as they held on for the 3 points.
It was the away side who started the brightest and carved out their first chance after 3 mins. A dinged ball into the box fell to Baird who from 12 yards out could only balloon his volley over the bar.
3 minutes later and Falkirk were pressurising the Ayr back line again. A long corner from Kerr found Leahy who’s first time volley was initially blocked and Leahy could only drag his second effort wide of the post from inside the box.
Leahy was involved in most of The Bairns’ good work going forward and on 10 mins his driven cross found Baird but the striker fluffed his lines and the ball went harmlessly wide.
The away side’s constant waves of attack proved too much for United as they broke the deadlock on 14 mins. Baird picked the ball up in midfield and sent the ball into the middle of the park before it was sent out wide to Muirhead, the defender sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was swept home by Craigen for 1-0 Falkirk.
Ayr tried to respond immediately after however Nisbet’s shot from the edge of the area went wide of the left hand post as he slipped before releasing the strike.
Ayr’s best chance of the half came on 19 mins when Boyle’s cross found Forrest in the box but his shot was miss-hit totally from 10 yards out. Crawford then laid the ball off to Harkins on the edge of the area however he blasted his effort over the bar.
Just before halftime Falkirk almost doubled their lead through Miller. On 44 mins the striker found himself through one on one with Fleming but the United stopper came out on top to deny the away side a second goal.
On 59 mins Falkirk came inches away from a second goal of it weren’t for a Fleming wonder save. Baird collected the ball on the right and his high looping shot was tipped into the back post by Fleming who did superbly to get fingertips to the ball as it looked destined for the net.
Harkins was next to try his luck but his shot from the edge of the area was just wide of the left hand post on 64 mins.
The Bairns were denied by the woodwork again on 72 mins. Miller slipped the ball through to Craigen in the box and his touch on the ball took it past Fleming however it came back off the left hand post and was cleared.
Ayr began to press desperately for an equaliser and Crawford was next to try his luck. The midfielder met the ball in the box with an overhead kick which went over the bar on 78 mins.
86 mins and O’Connell was next to try and haul United level with his shot from the edge of the area however it was straight down the throat of Rodgers and caused the Falkirk keeper no problems.
Ayr’s last chance of the game came in injury time when Harkins managed to wriggle his way through two Falkirk players into the box but stumbled at the vital moment and couldn’t get a shot away as Falkirk held on for the win.
Ayr will look to bounce back from this 3rd straight league defeat as they travel to Kirkcaldy on Tuesday evening to play Raith Rovers.
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Crawford, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Nisbet, McGuffie, Balatoni, McKenna. Substitutes Hart (GK), Rose, Murphy, Donald, O’Connell, Meggatt, Wardrope.
Rodgers, Leahy, Muirhead, McCracken, Rankin, Kerr, Baird, Sibbald, Gasporotto, Miller, Craigen. Substitutes Mehmet (GK), Kidd, Hippolyte, Grant, Austin, McHugh, Watson.
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Match Report: AUmedia