Ayr United 2 v 1 Morton
Ayr United secured their first win in the Championship with a 2-1 win over Morton at Somerset Park Second half goals from Cairney and Forrest were enough to earn United the 3 points with Forbes scoring Morton’s consolation goal.
Ian McCall made 2 changes to the side that beat Airdrie in the Irn-Bru Cup with Harkins and Adams coming in for McGuffie and Thomas.
The game started off at a quick pace and after only 6 mins the home side created their first chance of the game through Gilmour. After good passing in midfield, Gilmour received the ball 25 yards out and his controlled shot fizzed just wide of the left hand post.
On 15 mins Harkins was next to try his luck and was inches away from putting Ayr in front. Docherty collected the ball in midfield, passed into Harkins’ feet who then turned and curled a shot just wide of the post leaving McNeil scrambling.
Morton created their first chance of the game on 24 mins. Kilday’s cross from the left was met by the striker Oyenuga who could only put his header high over the bar from close range. 3 mins later and Nesbitt received the ball on the edge of the box but his shot was tame and straight down the throat of Fleming.
Morton’s best chance of the game came on the half hour mark. Oliver found himself free at the back post but, even though he had time and space, he could only fire the ball way over the bar from 12 yards out.
A moment of controversy came on the 36th minute. Alan Forrest received the ball in midfield and as he chased a loose touch, Lindsay flew in with feet off the ground and with showing. The young Ayr player was caught on the shins and thrown into a somersault. The challenge looked to warrant a red card but, much to the bemusement of the Ayr fans and bench alike, referee McKendrick saw fit to show only yellow.
Ayr broke the deadlock after 47 minutes. Devlin raced into the box on the right and his low cross, slid along the line to Harkins just past the back post. Harkins coolly controlled the ball and laid it off into the path of Cairney who fired home to give Ayr the lead. 1-0 Ayr who looked to have found a spring on their step.
Ayr almost doubled their lead on 58 minutes after a sumptuous outside of the boot cross by Gilmour was met by Forrest but keeper McNeil pulled off an impressive save to palm away the effort.
69 minutes on the clock and Ayr made their dominance tell as they increased their lead through Forrest. As the ball came into the box, Nisbet flicked the ball into the air, Adams met it with a back heel and Harkins managed to control and back heel back heel into the path of Forrest who slotted home from close range. 2-0 Ayr and a goal that any team would have been proud of.
It got from bad to worse for the away side as they found themselves down to 10 men on 72 minutes as Russell was dismissed for pulling back Nisbet as he raced down on goal.
The Ton were handed a lifeline on 85 minutes when Forbes curled a top quality freekick into the top corner from 20 yards out despite Fleming getting a hand on the ball. 2-1 and Ayr looked to be in for a nervy finish.
That didn’t turn out to be the case as the Honest Men saw out the win and climbed to 7th in the table.
Ayr now face a tough away trip to Easter Road to play Hibernian on Saturday but can take confidence from this result and performance.
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Meggatt, Balatoni, Gilmour, Forrest, Docherty, Cairney, Harkins, Adams. Substitute Hart(GK), McGuffie, Crawford, Thomas, O’Connell, Nisbet, Murphy.
McNeil, Kilday, Lamie, O’Ware, Doyle, Olvier, Forbes, Oyenuga, Lindsay, Russell, Quintongo. Substitute McGowan(GK), Nisbett, McAleer, Scullion, McDonagh, Orr, Tiffoney.
Referee: John McKendrick
Match Report: AUmedia