Ayr Utd 1 Raith Rovers 0

Ayr United 1 v 0 Raith Rovers
The Honest Men earned a long awaited 3 points with a 1-0 victory over a Raith Rovers side who unbelievably had to field ex-Ayr man Ryan Stevenson in nets due to injuries to all three of their keepers. Farid El Alagui scored the only goal of the game to give Ayr the vital win.

The first chance of the match fell to Ayr in the 2nd min of the game. A cross from the right from Gilmour was met by El Alagui at the front post but his header was superbly saved by Stevenson at his near post.

7 mins gone and Raith had their first chance of the match when McManus found himself in space in the box and saw his shot blocked on the line by Devlin who was there to clear.

Ayr’s next chance of the match fell to Meggatt on 23 mins when Gilmour rolled a freekick into the path of the defender whose drive went harmlessly over the bar from 25 yards out.

Raith were next to try and open the scoring and were inches away from doing so. Johnston whipped in a cross from the right which was met by Hardie whose looping header came back off the bar.

31 mins on the clock and Forrest was next to try his luck. McGuffie set through an inch perfect pass for Forrest in the box and he took a touch before blazing his shot over the bar from close range.

It was back and forth stuff at Somerset and it was Raith’s turn to try and break the deadlock on 35 mins. The ball was given away initially by Wardrope and McManus fizzed a cross in for Johnston whose header at the near post flashed just wide.

Stevenson was called into action once more on 41 mins when Rose took a strike from 25 yards out which had to be palmed away at full stretch. Moments later El Alagui met the ball in the box however he fired the ball well wide.

The final chance of the half fell to Forrest on the stroke of halftime. He found himself one on one with Stevenson but opted to take the shot quickly and lobbed the ball safely into the arms of the keeper.

It was Raith who had the first chance of the second half on 50 mins. Hardie picked the ball up on the edge of the box and his curling shot from 20 yards out fell comfortably into the arms of Fleming. One minute later and Hardie met a low cross ball in the box 5 yards out but somehow put the ball wide.

The away side were made to pay for their missed chances and Ayr opened the scoring through El Alagui on 61 mins. Gilmour played the corner short to Forrest whose curled ball into the box was met by El Alagui who held off the defender to flick the ball into the net with a neat header.

Callachan could have hauled his side level on 75 mins when he created space on the edge of the box however he fired a shot straight into the arms of Fleming. 4 mins later and it was substitute Bobby Barr who met a Coustrain cross from the left but the winger headed the ball over the bar from close range.

Ayr held out for the all-important three points and now take a break from league action as they travel to Easter Road to play Hibernian in the Scottish Cup quarter final.

Ayr United
Fleming, Devlin, Gilmour, Forrest, Cairney, McGuffie, McKenna, Wardrope, Meggatt, El Alagui, Balatoni. Substitutes Hart (GK), Boyle, Rose, Moore, Harkins, McKenzie.

Raith Rovers
Stevenson, Thomson, Callachan, Yves Mvoto, Benedictus, McHattie, Johnston, Davidson, Hardie, Barr, McManus. Substitutes Coustrain, Barr, Matthews, Roberts, Skacel, Thomson, Stewart.

Referee: Willie Collum
Attendance: 1103
Match Report: AUmedia