Ayr United 0 v 4 Hibernian
The Honest Men slumped to a heavy defeat at home to champions-elect Hibernian as they were defeated 4 – 0.
Goals in the first half from Cummings and Boyle gave Hibs a commanding lead before Keatings and from Cummings rounded off the scoring in the second half. Hibernian started the stronger of the two sides and had their first effort on goal through Cummings on 3 mins. A high ball was headed back poorly by Meggatt and it was pounced upon by Cummings who saw his shot in the box rattle against the post.
Ayr’s first attempt on goal came on 10 mins when Cairney found space on the left on the edge of the area however he was closed down quickly by the Hibs defence and prevented from causing keeper Laidlaw any problems. On 12 mins Hibs’ Boyle picked the ball up in midfield and drove forward, skipping numerous challenges, then found Holt on the edge of the box. Holt adjusted then hit a powerful strike into the side netting from a promising position.
Hibernian continued to push for the opening goal and McGinn was next to try his luck on 22 mins. His shot from just outside the penalty area went wide and caused Fleming no problems. Ayr had a chance two mins later when Cairney won a freekick 20 yards out from goal. Harkins stepped up but disappointingly curled his shot against the wall and the deflected ball was cleared from the box.
Hibs were to get their first goal of the game on 26 mins. McGinn broke down the left and his cross met Cummings in the box and from 6 yards out had the simplest of tasks of directing the ball into the net.
It went from bad to worse for Ayr on 29 mins when Hibs doubled their lead. Rose frivolously gave the ball away and Fyvie took advantage and found Holt whose low cross into the box was met by the onrushing Boyle who fired high into the net for 0-2. Ayr had an opportunity to halve the deficit on 34 mins when a Harkins header from a Cairney corner went harmlessly over the bar.
41 mins gone and Ayr had another chance from a set piece. Rose tried his luck with a freekick from 20 yards and his powerful low shot was spilled by Laidlaw but nobody was there to follow up the rebound. The first chance of the second half fell to McGinn on 51 mins. The Scotland International took a powerful drive from 30 yards out which had to be well saved by Fleming in goal.
6 mins later and McGinn turned provider with his pass in the box finding Holt who had his shot saved by Fleming. The away side deservedly got their third on 65 mins through Keatings. McGinn’s long ball was met by Cummings who passed to Keatings and he coolly finished with a low shot into the net to kill the game. United’s Meggatt attempted to take matters into his own hands and took a powerful drive from 35 yards which had to be tipped over the bar by Laidlaw on 70 mins.
Hibernian were in merciless form, however, and made it four on 71 mins. A ball into the box was met by Cummings on the right and his low drive found the left-hand corner for 0-4 and a brace for the Hibs man.
The final chance of the match fell to McGuffie on 88 mins. Devlin’s pass found McGuffie and his shot from 25 yards went just over the bar.
The result now means that Ayr need to win 5-0 or better to secure 9th place when they visit Starks Park to play Raith Rovers on Saturday.
Ayr United Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Rose, Moore, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Meggatt, Balatoni, Docherty. Substitutes Hart (GK), Gilmour, Murphy, McDaid, El Alagui, McGuffie.
Hibernian Laidlaw, Gray, McGinn, Fyvie, Holt, Stevenson, Boyle, Forster, McGregor, Humphrey, Cummings. Substitutes Martin (GK), Keatings, Shinnie, Ambrose, Graham, Martin, Murray. Referee: Stephen Finnie
Match Report: AUmedia