Ayr United 4 v 1 Cowdenbeath
Ayr United made it three wins out of three with a thumping 4-1 victory over Cowdenbeath at Somerset Park on Tuesday night. First half strikes from Ross McCrorie, Ryan Stevenson and Craig Moore got Ayr off to a flyer. Cowdenbeath then pulled one back after the break through Declan Hughes before Stevenson scored again to round off a fine win for Ayr.
Ian McCall reintroduced Ross Docherty to the starting line-up following a long spell out injured. Alan Trouten also took to the field with Alan Forrest and Michael Donald dropping out.
United raced out of the traps and after just two minutes Ryan Stevenson sent a header crashing off the post.
Gilmour and Moore then both had shots saved before McCrorie gave Ayr the lead. Brian Gilmour whipped the ball into the box from a corner. The ball fell to teenager McCrorie who beat his man to head past the helpless Alin Roman with fifteen minutes gone.
Just a minute later Ayr doubled their lead as Stevenson found the net. Nicky Devlin started a terrific move with an inch perfect cross field pass to Gilmour. Gilmour sent an effort goal-wards which was parried by the diving Roman, leaving Stevenson an open goal to fire home. Ayr were two goals to the good after just sixteen minutes and hungry for more.
A thirty yard rocket from Stevenson almost provided Ayr with a third but Roman did well to tip the ball over the bar.
The traveling side then had a chance to get themselves back into the game. Ross Caldwell found himself bearing down on goal only to be stopped by Paddy Boyle’s last ditch tackle.
Declan McDaid then came close with a free kick but only the post prevented him pulling one back for Cowdenbeath.
Colin Nish’s men were then made to rue their missed opportunities as Ayr stretched their advantage. With 36 minutes on the clock Gilmour picked up the ball on the left before exchanging a quick one-two with Stevenson. Gilmour whipped a pinpoint cross into the box where striker Craig Moore was on hand to head home – rounding off an excellent move.
Just before the break Cowden should have narrowed the score-line but Ross Caldwell fired his shot into the side netting after rounding Greg Fleming.
United went into the break three goals to the good but with just two minutes of the second half gone, that was reduced to two. Kenneth Adamson’s shot was blocked but the ball fell to Hughes on the edge of the box. The midfielder sent his shot flying past Fleming and into the net giving his team a route back into the game.
Cowdenbeath probed for another goal but it was Ayr who were to add to their tally. With 60 minutes gone Stevenson controlled a Ross Docherty pass before volleying home from 25 yards. A stunning strike to make it 4-1.
Nine minutes later Cowdenbeath’s Dean Brett found himself in acres of space inside the box but he sent his shot high over the bar.
United’s Jordan Preston then had a chance to get his name on the scoresheet. The striker latched onto a Stevenson through ball but his first touch let him down and he blazed his shot well over the bar.
4-1 was how it finished as Ayr narrowed the gap on Peterhead to just two points. They travel to face Brechin on Saturday.
Ayr United: Fleming (GK), Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, Graham, Stevenson, McCrorie, Docherty, Moore, Trouten, Gilmour Subs: Newman (GK), Forrest, Preston, Crawford, Donald, McLauchlan, Wardrope
Cowdenbeath: Roman (GK), Kerr, Kane, Scullion, Brett, Hughes, Beaumont, Adamson, Byrne, Caldwell, McDaid Subs: Adam (GK), Donaldson, Gibbons, Milne, Johnston, Spence, Swann
Referee: Gavin Ross