Morton 2 v 1 Ayr United
Ayr United’s good run came to an end as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Morton at Cappielow Park. Kevin Nisbet opened the scoring for The Honest Men in the first half however to second half strikes from Tom O’Ware and Gary Oliver earned the home side the win.
Ayr started the stronger of the two sides and after 4 mins had their first chance of the game. Gilmour swung in a corner which was met by Balatoni who beat McNeil to the ball however his header went over the bar.
The home side then carved out their first chance of the game after 8 mins. Nesbitt picked the ball up on the right and beat Devlin before cutting the ball across to Forbes who curled a shot just wide of the far post from inside the box.
On 13 mins a break of the ball on the edge of the Ayr area allowed Oliver a shot at goal however it was well blocked by Balatoni and Lindsay then volleyed the rebound over the bar from the edge of the box.
Gilmour was next to try his luck on 27 mins when Cairney played a ball into his path midway in the Morton half and from 25 yards out, Gilmour fizzed a drive just wide of the right hand post.
As halftime approached, Ayr opened the scoring through Nisbet on 37 mins. Docherty won the ball in midfield and passed the ball forward to Nisbet who drove forward to the edge of the box before curling a shot in off the right hand post to give Ayr the lead. 1-0 to the visitors.
The home side increased the pressure in the second half and after 48 mins created their first chance of the half. Quitongo stole the ball of Gilmour and laid off the ball to Oliver who fired his shot wide from 20 yards out. 2 mins later and Quitongo saw his shot from inside the box deflect off Balatoni and go inches wide of the post.
On 53 mins Cairney tried to double Ayr’s lead but his shot from 20 yards out went harmlessly wide of the goal.
The home side thought they had equalised on 66 mins however the goal was ruled out for offside. Forbes whipped in a freekick which was cleared only for Nesbitt to volley home the rebound from the edge of the box however Quitongo appeared to have been restricting Fleming’s view in an offside position and the goal was disallowed.
Morton did get their equaliser on 72 mins through O’Ware. Forbes swung in a corner from the left and O’Ware met the ball to knock a header into the bottom corner and haul his side level. 1-1 and things were heating up inside Cappielow.
Ayr’s major moment of grievance came on 75 min. Docherty sprayed a cross field pass to Gilmour on the right who then laid the ball into the path of Harkins in the penalty area. Harkens beautifully turned Forbes who left his leg hanging and brought down the United man. Referee Northcroft raced to the scene and to everyone’s surprise awarded a freekick to Morton and, to add insult to injury, booked Harkins for simulation.
Scullion almost put his side in front on 79 mins but saw his shot hit the side netting from inside the box. A few mins later Nesbitt had a shot which sailed over the bar from the edge of the area.
The home side continued to push for the winner and on 86 mins almost got it. Nesbitt delivered the ball from the left and it was met by Lamie who saw his header hit the bar from close range.
89 mins gone and it was heartbreak for Ayr as Morton found their winner. A long ball caught out the Ayr defence and Oliver was set through on goal with the suspicion of being offside and his initial shot was saved by Fleming only for the ball to drop straight to Oliver again and he had the simplest of tasks of slotting the ball into the empty net. 2-1 Morton and Ayr had missed out on a well-earned point.
Docherty had one final chance for Ayr but volleyed a shot over from the edge of the box on 92 mins.
Ayr slip down to 7th place after this result and now welcome league leaders Hibernian to Somerset next Saturday.
McNeil, McDonagh, O’Ware, Lamie, Russell, Forbes, Murdoch, Lindsay, Nesbitt, Quitongo, Oliver. Substitutes Doyle, Oyenuga, Scullion, McAleer, Orr, McGowan (GK), Strapp
Fleming, Devlin, Meggatt, Balatoni, Murphy, Adams, Docherty, Cairney, Gilmour, Harkins, Nisbet. Substitutes Hart (GK), Boyle, Donald, Crawford, Forrest, O’Connell, McGuffie.
Referee: Mat Northcroft