Falkirk 0 v 1 Ayr United
Ayr United recorded their third win in a week following a hard-fought encounter at Falkirk thanks to a second-half goal from Craig Moore. The striker’s solitary goal was enough to give Ayr all three points.
Ayr had the first chance of the match after only three mins when Forrest’s shot from the left was easily collected by Mitchell in the Falkirk goal.
The Ayr defence’s first real moment of danger came on 14 mins when a cross from the left by Petravicius was almost met by the onrushing Rudden, who was inches away from knocking the ball home.
The Honest Men dominated possession in the first half but, for the second match in succession, found themselves against a wall of defenders and midfielders deep set at the edge of their own penalty area. Try as they might, this was to prove impenetrable in the first half although United never stopped, probing every aspect of the Falkirk defence.
Falkirk were first out the traps in the second half and a mistake in defence from Ayr saw McKee collect the ball from 20 yards out and fire a shot that would go harmlessly wide of Doohan’s goal on 48 mins.
It had been a cagey affair with very little separating the sides, the first goal was looking to be a crucial one and it came the way of United on 51 mins through Craig Moore. Moore received the ball on the edge of the area, controlled with his chest before turning and firing a shot towards goal which deceived Mitchell and nestled into the net to send the 642 Ayr supporters into raptures – 0-1 United.
Falkirk were forced to come out from their defensive posture and managed to create a couple of opportunities in response to Ayr’s goal. Rudden was first to meet a cross in the box and from point-blank range head the ball narrowly over on 58 mins. 2 mins later Harrison’s header from the back post sailed over the bar and Ayr breathed a sigh of relief.
Ayr continued to control the play and press for a second, but it was Robson who was next to try his luck for Falkirk on 71 mins. The left-back received the ball on the edge of the Ayr box and fired a shot over the bar.
The final chance of the game fell to Shankland on 78 mins the ball breaking free in the box but the striker’s shot rose just over the bar.
A draw in The Highland derby means that Ayr have strengthened their lead at the top of the Championship to 3 points over Ross County. The Honest Men now welcome Queen of the South to Somerset Park on Saturday.
Mitchell, Kidd, McGhee, Petravicius, Robson, Harrison, Buaben, Brough, Rudden, McKee, Irving. Substitutes Fasan (GK), Dallison, Sammut, Lewis, Haber, Russell, Laverty.
Doohan, Harvie, Kerr, Rose, Moore, Forrest, Bell, Shankland, Murdoch, Smith, Geggan. Substitutes Hare-Reid (GK), Adams, Moffat, McDaid, McGuffie, Docherty, Crawford.
Referee: Greig Aitken
Match Report: AUmedia