QUEENS PARK 0 v 2 AYR UNITED
The first real chance of the game fell to the home side after only 5 mins. Midfielder David Galt found space and time in the box and his curling effort smacked off the post as Ayr scrambled the ball to safety. On 14 mins, with the Spiders continuing their early pressure, Luke Donnelly was next to try his luck, this time with a header that flew over the top of Hart’s goal.
Despite a flurry of chances for the home side, the opening goal of the game came for United on 23 mins through Adams. Gilmour picked the ball up midway through the Queen’s Park half and primed himself to shoot before disguising a clipped ball to the back post for Adams to head back across goal and into the bottom right corner. 0-1 Ayr. Ayr hadn’t been at their best in the opening stages with Queen’s Park dominating possession but the quality of the goal’s construction, and not a little relief, brought the 500 plus travelling supporters to their feet.
Ayr began to grow in confidence and almost picked up a second just minutes later. Defender Ciaran Summer’s attempted headed clearance from a Geggan throw in fell to Michael Moffat in the box and the striker pounced, adjusting his body before firing towards goal on the volley. Just as Ayr fans were preparing to celebrate, keeper Willie Muir (a former Honest Man) got down well to save.
On 32 mins, Ayr’s stopper, Jordan Hart was called into action with a double save. First, at full stretch, he palmed away a close-range header from striker Luke Donnelly before recovering swiftly to stop Dominic Docherty’s follow-up drive at the front post.
Into the second half and Queens Park found themselves a glorious chance to get back into the game. On 55 mins, they were awarded a penalty after Rose was adjudged to have fouled Donnelly in the box. This seemed a harsh decision with Rose appearing to have made contact with the ball and not the man and, for the second week in a row, United feared the worst.
Ross Millen stepped up but saw his effort saved by Hart who dived to his left then reacted at pace to keep out the rebound attempt and ensure that Ayr maintained their lead.
Ayr were looking to try and kill the game off and on 59 mins almost did so when Moffat passed the ball to Shankland who from 20 yards out curled a shot just wide.
With 68 mins gone, Ayr gave finally themselves a two-goal cushion thanks to Lawrence Shankland. A through ball from Geggan reached Shankland, back to goal some 35 yards out, who delightfully stepped away and turned leaving midfielder Fotheringham bemused and trailing in his wake. The striker then veered left, creating space for himself, and moved just inside the penalty area before directing a low shot, through the narrow slot to keeper Muir’s right, and into the back of the net. This was no less than the industrious Shankland deserved and Ayr were two up.
The home side were not giving up in this game and continued to press for a route back into the game. On 77 mins Orr saw his shot from close range blocked by Rose. On 86 mins, centre half, Adam Cummins thought he had headed Queens Park back into the game from an in-swinging free kick but his effort was ruled out for offside.
2 mins later it was United defender Chris Higgins who was called into action when he had to clear the ball off the line to ensure that Ayr finished the game with a clean sheet and 3 points.
Ayr now welcome East Fife to Somerset Park on Saturday.
QUEENS PARK – Muir, Millen, Cummins, Iredale, Summers, Docherty, Fotheringham, Brady, Bailey, Donnelly, Galt. Substitutes Orr, Duff, Green, Gibson, Burns, McVey, White (GK).
AYR UNITED – Hart, Geggan, Higgins, Rose, Reid, McDaid, Adams, Docherty, Gilmour, Moffat, Shankland. Substitutes McGuffie, Ferguson, Murphy, McCowan, Avci (GK).
Referee: Gavin Ross