Dunfermline Athletic 0 v 1 Ayr United
United started 2020 with a 0-1 win over Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday and moved up into third in the Championship table. A first-half goal from Craig Moore was enough to guarantee the Honest Men the full three points at East End Park.
Dunfermline had the better start to the game and created good chances from the get-go with Kyle Turner going close on more than one occasion in the opening mins.
On 32 mins, Greg Kiltie picked up a poor Ayr pass in midfield and sent Kevin Nisbet through for a shot on target, but Ross Doohan got a foot on it and turned the ball wide.
The Pars looked the more threatening side and came close again only mins later when Ryan Dow won the ball just outside the box and played it into Kiltie who saw his low effort saved by Doohan.
Ayr were playing good one-touch and possession football in their own half but struggled to get past Dunfermline into the final third. The hosts closed United down quickly and turned every pass that went astray into an attempt on goal for themselves.
However, on 38 mins and somewhat against the run of play, Ayr broke the deadlock. After a move of 25 or so passes that probed the Dunfermline backline, Alan Forrest cut in towards the Pars penalty area before taking a shot into the path of Moore who stretched out his leg to direct the ball into the net and put the Honest Men ahead at the break.
Dunfermline were looking for an equaliser in the second half, but United held out well and denied the hosts’ efforts, though Nisbet brought a save out of Doohan on 63 mins after a one-two with Kiltie set him up for an effort from just outside the box.
Ayr created a chance themselves on 70 mins when Stephen Kelly broke through the midfield and fired a low shot from 18 yards at the goal, but keeper Ryan Scully went down to block the attempt.
Shortly after, Moore raced forward to attempt to reach a long ball forward while Pars keeper Scully darted out to try and reach the ball first in his penalty area. Scully missed the ball completely but slammed into the Ayr striker, a tackle that was to result in Moore limping off the park to be replaced by Michael Moffat after 4 minutes of treatment. To add insult to injury, the Pars were awarded a freekick following a very late flag for offside from the assistant referee.
Dunfermline threw everything at Ayr in the remaining mins, but United never looked under major threat and saw the game out comfortably to take the full three points.
United move up into third in the table, two points ahead of Dundee and four behind Inverness.
Ayr are on the road again for their upcoming Championship game next Saturday when they face Dundee at Dens Park.
Scully, Comrie, Devine, Ashcroft, Martin, Ross, Paton, Turner, Dow Nisbet, Kiltie
Substitutes: Gill (GK), Murray, Thomson, McGill, Edwards, Todd, McCann
Doohan, Harvie, Bell, Muirhead, Geggan, Kelly, Kerr, Docherty, Forrest, Moore, McCowan
Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Roscoe, Moffat, Doolan, McGuffie, Houston, McKenzie
Referee: Mike Roncone