Ayr United 2 – 1 Airdrieonians

By Karen Malcolm

The Reserves welcomed Airdrie to Townhead Park, Cumnock on Tuesday night for their SPFL Reserve League 2 game. Ayr’s last game was against Airdrie 2 weeks ago when the visitors won 4-2 in their SPFL Reserve Challenge Cup game. Grant Gillespie and Gabe Skeoch goals were cancelled out by an Alistair Roy hattrick and a goal from Joseph Moore.

The Ayr United line up saw some changes since the last game as defender Grant Thorburn was on the bench after returning from a broken fibula he suffered against East Kilbride at the start of October. Michael Hewitt was absent from the team as he has signed for League 2 team Annan Athletic on loan for the remainder of the season, having spent the first half of the season on loan junior team Kilwinning Rangers. Kinlay Bilham came into the starting line up having been a regular for the under 18s this season and also has played for the reserves a number of times. Paul Smith started in midfield, 10 days after he was given a place on the bench for the first teams Scottish Cup game against St Johnstone.

The reserves started the game well, creating a number of chances, and they took the lead 16 mins in after McKenzie played the ball to Smith who took a shot from 12 yards out which went into the top left corner of the net.

Both teams created a number of good chances, with Hare-Reid pulling off some fantastic saves to ensure his team went in at half time with a 1-0. Airdrie made a substitution at half time when Trialist replaced Burke. Ayr made a substitution 6 mins into the second half when Goma replaced Curtis.

Airdrie got a gaol back 56 mins into the game when Roy took a shot from inside the box and it went into the net off of the left hand post.

Ayr came very close to scoring twice in the next 15 mins when McKenzie shot went just wide of the left hand post and a free kick into the box from Murphy was headered down by McKenzie but gathered by Willison.

Airdrie made their final substitution 11 mins from the end when Krol replaced Hughes. The sub nearly made an instant impact when, having not even being on the pitch for 1 min, he took a shot from 10 yards out but he was denied by an outstanding save by Hare-Reid.

1 min later Ayr took the lead in the game when McKenzie brought the ball down at the edge of the box and cut it across to Murphy at the centre of the box who struck the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.

Ayr made a final substitution 6 mins before the end when Heaney replaced Smith.

The Reserves now sit top of the SPFL Reserve League 2 table (P10 W7 D1 L2 GD21 PTS22) closely followed by Livingston (P10 W7 D1 L2 GD12 PTS22). They are next in action on Monday 9th March when they take on East Kilbride in the SPFL Reserve League 2. Kick off is 7:45pm at K Park, East Kilbride. The Reserves away game to Albion Rovers was cancelled last week due to a waterlogged pitch. The rearranged date will be posted on Twitter once the date is confirmed.

Ayr United

Hare-Reid, Bilham, Ecrepont, Baird, Love, Miller, Skeoch, Smith, McKenzie, Curtis, Murphy Substitutes: Graham (GK), Goma, Richardson, Connor, Heaney, Thorburn

Airdrieonians

Willson, Walker, Burke, Ross, Kavanagh, Roberts, Thomson, Barrowman, Roy, Hawkshaw, Hughes Substitutes: McNeil (GK), McNee, Broanan, Krol, Biggart, Trialist

Referee 

Chris Gentles

Half Time

Ayr United 1 Airdrieonians 0

Full Time

Ayr United 2 Airdrieonians 1

Goals

16’ Paul Smith (Ayr United)

56’ Alistair Roy (Airdrie)

81’ Leon Murphy (Ayr United)

Substitutions

45Burke OFF Trialist ON (Airdrie)

51’ Curtis OFF Goma ON (Ayr)

79’ Hughes OFF Krol ON (Airdrie)

84’ Smith OFF Heaney ON (Ayr)