Brechin City 1 v 0 Ayr United
Ian McCall’s 50th game in charge of Ayr wasn’t a happy one as the Honest Men went down 1-0 to Brechin City at Glebe Park. A second half header from striker Robert Thomson was enough to earn Darren Dods’ side their first win over Ayr this campaign and lift them to within 1 point of their Angus rivals Forfar in 9th place.
Ian McCall replace the injured Andy Graham with Gerry McLauchlan while Craig Moore made way for Jordan Preston who came back into the starting line-up to lead the attack.
In what was a dull opening to the game, it took 13 minutes for the first real chance to be created. Brechin’s Willie Dyer skipped past Brian Gilmour on the left hand side, drove into the box but his cross wasn’t met cleanly by Robert Thomson allowing Murphy to step in and clear. Five minutes later it was Dyer who was again causing Ayr problems again crossing to Thomson who this time cushioned the ball to Liam Watt who fired his volley over from 18 yards.
Ayr struggled to create any chances of note in the opening stages of the game and it took them 30 minutes to register their first shot on target. Ryan Stevenson picked up a loose ball on the edge of the Brechin box before getting his shot away however it was tame and caused Graeme Smith no problems.
Player-manager Darren Dods almost gave his team the lead after 39 minutes when he met Liam Watt’s free-kick with a header from 10 yards out but it was straight at keeper Fleming and the score line remained level going into halftime.
Ayr were quickly out of the traps in the second half of the game and it took them only 2 minutes to get their first chance of the half. After good work on the right wing, Ryan Stevenson’s cross was met by Jordan Preston who’s goalward shot was blocked by Dod’s.
Ayr continued to press the home side and almost broke the deadlock when Jamie Adams picked up a loose ball in the box and fired towards goal but keeper Smith did well to knock the ball away. The follow-up by Stevenson was also block by Smith who reacted again to deny Forrest. Ayr were looking the more likely to open the scoring with Forrest adding impetus to the attack.
With Ayr piling on the pressure they were hit by a sucker punch when, in the 74th min the home side scored the first and only goal of the game. A Liam Watt corner from the left was met by Robert Thomson who bulleted home a header from 10 yards giving Fleming no chance.
It wasn’t long before Ayr responded to this setback and two minutes later they were handed a glorious chance. Smith failed to punch away an Ayr corner and the loose ball fell to Stevenson however he fired high and wide from inside the box.
Ayr huffed and puffed in the latter stages of the game but failed to create any chances and lacked a real attacking threat. It was in fact the home side who had the last chance of the game in the 88th minute when Fleming failed to clear a corner allowing Spence to pick up the ball at the far post but he shot into the side netting from close range.
The defeat now puts Ayr 3 points behind second placed Peterhead.
Ayr welcome Stenhousemuir to Somerset Park on Tuesday evening.
Fleming (GK), Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, McLauchlan, Stevenson, McCrorie, Docherty, Preston, Trouten, Gilmour. Subs: Newman (GK), Forrest, Moore, Crawford, Donald, Wardrope, Adams.
Smith, McLean, Dyer, McCormack, Dods, Dale, Tiffoney, Molloy, Spence, Thomson, Watt. Subs: O’Neil (GK), Shepherd, Smith, Culjak, Montgomery, Johnston.
Referee: David Munro