Forfar Athletic 3 v 1 Ayr United
A below-par second half performance from United saw them fall to a 3-1 defeat against Forfar Athletic at Station Park. A double from Andy Ryan and a goal from Steven Craig were enough to earn the Angus side a vital 3 points with Ryan Stevenson netting Ayr’s solitary counter.
Ian McCall made 3 changes to the team from last week’s defeat as Murphy, Gilmour and Adams all dropped out and were replaced by Graham, Preston and Forrest.
Ayr made a slow start to the game and found themselves behind after only 3 minutes. Danny Denholm collected a pass from Andy Ryan down the left hand side and crossed in the box which was met by Ryan who expertly controlled the ball and fired high into the net to give Fleming no chance and Forfar the lead.
Ayr responded well to this setback and found themselves level 10 minutes later. After some neat play on the right hand side, Ryan Stevenson passed the ball to Trouten who nutmegged Gareth Rodger and found Stevenson who finished well from a tight angle.
On 17 minutes Ayr were forced into two early changes when defenders McCrorie and Boyle clashed heads while clearing a corner. Play was held up for several minutes with both players suffering bad cuts to their heads which were to need hospital treatment. Gerry McLauchlan and Mikey Donald replaced the unlucky duo.
Jordan Preston also had an effort well saved after 20 minutes when his volley on the turn was well collected by Darren Hill.
Forfar looked to get their noses in-front again and were handed a great chance after 23 minutes. Gavin Swankie took a quick freekick from 40 yards out and chipped the ball into the box where it was met by Stevin Craig who volleyed over from 12 yards.
Ayr created a good chance after 29 minutes. Docherty spread the ball across to Devlin who slid in Trouten but his shot was blocked centre half Gareth Rodger. From the resultant corner Stevenson’s header was cleared off the line.
Steven Craig was again causing the Ayr defence problems as he brushed off Gerry McLauchlan on the edge of the box but his effort scraped just wide of the post and both teams went in at halftime with plenty to play for.
Forfar created the first chance of the second half after 49 minutes. A freekick from Swankie came into the box and it was met by Denholm however his header looped agonisingly wide of the post. 2 minutes later and Denholm had another chance, but this time his shot from inside the box was blocked by Nicky Devlin.
Although Forfar were taking the upper hand, Alan Forrest almost gave Ayr the lead after 62 minutes. Devlin drove the ball across the box from the right but Forrest’s first time effort came back off the post.
Forfar continued to come at United and after 70 minutes their efforts finally paid off. Forfar’s trialist collected the ball on the left and made his way into the box. He repeatedly twisted one way then the other, mesmerising the Ayr defenders but when his shot was blocked Andy Ryan reacted first and fired home from close range. This was no less than ‘The Loons’ deserved and they were in no way finished yet.
Forfar extended their lead 5 minutes later. A long hanging ball from Michael Kennedy caught out the Ayr defence and allowed Steven Craig to beat the offside trap then delicately loop the ball over Fleming into the net to give the home side a comfortable lead.
United huffed and puffed in the latter stages of the game but ultimately the damage had been d done and the Honest Men were resigned to their 10th league defeat of the season. The result means Ayr are still in third place but now 7 points behind Peterhead.
Ayr welcome Stranraer to Somerset next Saturday as they look to build momentum going into the final stages of the season.
Hill, Spark, Kennedy, O’Brien, Rodger, Hodge, Kader, Craig, Ryan, Swankie, Denholm Substitutes Campbell, Hay, Trialist, Devine, Mailer, Yates, King (GK).
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Graham, Docherty, Stevenson, McCrorie, Moore, Trouten, Forrest, Preston Substitutes Wardrope, Adams, Hodge, McLauchlan, Donald, Crawford, Newman (GK).
Referee: Gavin Ross
Match Report: AUmedia