Ayr United 1 v 2 Alloa Athletic
Ayr dropped back to second place in League One as they suffered a crushing 2-1 defeat at home to Alloa Athletic as goals from Jamie McCart and Ross Stewart claimed all three points for The Wasps after Lawrence Shankland had opened the scoring for the hosts.
Ayr started the game well and Michael Moffat almost fired the Honest Men in front early on. After some measured build up, a poor clearance from Mark Kerr’s cross-field pass fell at the feet of Moffat but his strike from 20 yards flashed just over the bar.
However, with nine minutes on the clock, the home side got their noses in front. Again, good play brought a poor clearance from the Alloa rear-guard and the ball fell kindly to Lawrence Shankland on the edge of the box. The in-form striker took one touch to control before curling a beautiful volley over the head of Neil Parry and into the net.
The lead only lasted three minutes with Alloa drawing level when McCart found acres of space in the Ayr box and rose to powerfully header home after a corner from the left.
Then came a sucker punch for Ayr, and a moment that keeper Jack Ruddy will have nightmares about. The ball bounced back to the young keeper and as he attempted to clear, he miss-kicked the ball allowing Alloa striker Ross Stewart to turn the ball goalwards. The shot lacked pace and appeared to be an easy save for Ruddy, but he slipped, and the ball trundled over the line.
With just 16 minutes on the clock, the game was 2-1 in favour of the away side.
As Ayr desperately searched for an equaliser, Shankland came close. On 29 minutes the striker twisted and turned in the box before firing an effort just wide of Parry’s left-hand post.
McCall introduced Craig Moore at halftime as he tried to drag his side back into the game. Lawrence Shankland again came close but this time he sent his shot off the post from 6 yards out.
Ayr then had an effort cleared off the line as Moffat tried his luck from 12 yards out, but it was becoming an increasingly frustrating afternoon for The Honest Men.
With seven minutes remaining, Jamie Adams headed McGuffie’s cross goalwards, but Parry was equal to the effort.
To make matters worse for Ayr, with 4 mins remaining they finally got the ball into the net. Relief turned to disbelief as referee Craig Napier chalked the goal off with few able to see any infringement. And that just about summed up a very frustrating afternoon for the home side.
A well organised, determined and perfectly executed performance from a strong Alloa side, saw them take all three points from Somerset and strengthen their position in the fight for a place-off place. For Ayr, they drop back down to second place behind Raith ahead of next weekend’s Scottish Cup showdown against Rangers.
Ruddy, Ferguson, Reid, Rose, Boyle, Kerr, Bell, McDaid, Moffat, Shankland, Forrest Substitutes: Hart (GK), Moore, McGuffie, Adams, Faulds, Murphy, McCowan
Parry, Taggart, Graham, McCart, Crane, Cawley, Fleming, Hetherington, Flannigan, Kirkpatrick, Stewart Substitutes: Wilson (GK), Renton, Robertson, Crossan, Smith, McKeown, Monaghan
Referee: Craig Napier