Reserves v Girvan | Match Report
By Karen Malcolm
On Tuesday evening, Ayr United Reserves were in action, winning 11-1 in a friendly against Girvan at Belmont Academy, which saw Fraser Bryden score 5 and Michael Moffat grab a birthday hattrick.
Reserve goalkeeper Mateusz Miller started between the sticks. In front of him, the defence consisted of Jonny Hogg at right-back, Finn Ecrepont at left-back with Kinlay Bilham and Alex Jeanes playing in the centre.
Alex Jeanes and Andrew Heaney are both on loan at Girvan. Alex started for United while midfielder Andrew lined up for Girvan. At halftime, both players switched clubs.
Fraser Bryden was partnered up front by Michael Moffat, who was celebrating his 37th birthday.
The United bench consisted of Dario Viviani, Shane McNeish and Scott Tomlinson, who are all part of the Ayr United Under 18s squad, and Ayr United Under 16s' goalkeeper Ollie Ecrepont.
There were familiar faces in the Girvan starting 11, including ex Academy player Kieran Balfour and United's analyst and Academy man, Thomas Donovan.
Ayr United had the perfect start to the game when they took the lead on 3 mins.
Ayr were awarded a free kick on the left just outside the box, and Paul Smith stepped up and lifted the ball into the box. A Girvan defender could only head the ball behind himself, where it was met by Fraser Bryden, who nodded home from 6 yards.
Bryden almost got another 2 minutes later. Finn Ecrepont drove down the left wing before playing the ball to the edge of the box, where Bryden met it. Bryden controlled the ball before releasing a shot, but the crossbar denied his effort.
Ayr doubled their lead on 12 mins, thanks again to great play between Ecrepont and Bryden. Ecrepont's perfect cross into the 6-yard box was met by Bryden, who headed the ball past the keeper and into the net.
Ecrepont then nearly got himself on the score sheet, his effort from 20 yards pushed away by the Girvan keeper Russell.
Russell made another fine save a few minutes later when James Dolan made his way into the box, but the keeper did well to deny him.
Michael Moffat got the first of his three birthday goals in the 20th min. Paul Smith took a shot from 20 yards, but the keeper saved; however, Moffat was there to fire the rebound into the net.
It took Michael Moffat just five more minutes to grab his second.
Bryden drove down the wing then crossed into the box where Moffat tapped in from 1 yard out.
2 mins later, it was Bryden's turn. First, he cut back in the box, shifting the ball onto his right foot, then fired into the top right corner of the net from a tight angle. An impressive goal from the young striker to complete his hattrick.
James Dolan added his name to the score sheet on 35 mins when his shot from the edge of the box went low into the net. The winger scored again 4 mins later.
Carter Jenkins played a lovely ball to Dolan, who was on the left-hand side of the box. Dolan then showed some fancy footwork, repeatedly using step-overs to confuse the defenders before firing the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. Outstanding skills from the winger, lifting his total to two.
Ayr scored once more before halftime when Paul Smith took a shot from 25 yards out, which went past the Russell and into the net. A great goal from the midfielder and a comfortable 8-0 lead for United going into halftime.
Both teams made several changes at halftime. Alex Jeanes and Andrew Heaney both switched teams. Jeanes went to the right-back position for Girvan while Heaney became a substitute for Ayr. Jeanes was replaced at Ayr's centre back position by Shane McNeish. For Girvan, Donovan was replaced by Taylor. and keeper Russell by McKelvie.
10 mins into the second half, Girvan had the chance to grab a goal back when Ewing took a shot from inside the box, but he was denied by a great save from Ayr keeper Mateusz Miller.
Girvan finally got a goal just 1 min later. Curragh, the Girvan striker, flicked the ball up and over United keeper Miller and put it into the net.
Girvan made then more substitutions, with Ewing and Millarvie being replaced by Donovan and McLelland.
Girvan had the chance to get a second goal when Curragh played a cross into the box. 12 yards out, Girvan's left-back Hannah then took a shot, but his effort went wide of the right-hand post.
Michael Moffat completed his hattrick in the 66th minute. Finn Ecrepont played the ball down the left wing to James Dolan, who again showed his tricky foot skills as he moved into the box only to see his shot saved by McKelvie in the Girvan goals. The Girvan keeper may have saved the wingers effort, but Moffat was there to tap the rebound into the empty net from 5 yards out.
Ayr made a substitution just after the goal, with Dario Viviani coming on for Dylan O'Kane.
Straight after the substitution, Thomas Donovan came close to getting a goal back for the visitors when he made a darting run into the box, but Mateusz Miller denied his effort.
Ayr made a triple substitution in the 69th minute, with James Dolan, Carter Jenkins and Jonny Hogg being replaced by Dylan O’Kane, Andrew Heaney and Scott Tomlinson. This substitution saw Heaney go to right-back, O’Kane to left-wing and Tomlinson to midfield.
Ayr scored their 10th goal of the game on 73 mins.
A Finn Ecrepont ball into the box was met by Paul Smith. Smith took a shot that keeper McKelvie saved, but Fraser Bryden was there to put the rebound into the net.
Ayr made a substitution one minute later, Ollie Ecrepont taking over keeper's duties from Mateusz Miller, allowing the young goalkeeper to play the last 15 minutes.
Fraser Bryden got his 5th of the night on 76 mins. Bryden chipped the ball over the Girvan defence and ran onto it from 40 yards out. Composing himself, he coolly slotted the ball under the keeper and into the net from 15 yards out.
Ayr were awarded a penalty 10 mins before the end when Alex Jeanes fouled Scott Tomlinson just inside the box. Fraser Bryden stepped up to take the penalty, but he was denied by a great save from McKelvie.
Ayr then made their final substitution, James Dolan coming on for striker Fraser Bryden. This substitution saw Dylan O’Kane move to the striker's position while Dolan took O’Kane’s place on the left wing.
The game ended 11-1 thanks to five goals from Fraser Bryden, three from Michael Moffat, two from James Dolan and one from Paul Smith.
It was an excellent performance from a United side made up of Under 16, Under 18, Reserve and first-team players.
Ayr United Team
Miller, Hogg, F Ecrepont, Jeanes, Bilham, Jenkins, O’Kane, Smith, Bryden, Moffat, Dolan Substitutes: O Ecrepont (GK), Tomlinson, Viviani, McNeish, Heaney
Russell, Millarvie, Hannah, Chrisholm, Clark, Brown, Heaney, Balfour, Curragh, Ewing, Donovan Substitutes: McKelvie (GK), Taylor, McLelland, Jeanes, Love
Ayr United 8 Girvan 0
Ayr United 11 Girvan 1
Ayr United Goals
3’ Fraser Bryden
12’ Fraser Bryden
20’ Michael Moffat
25’ Michael Moffat
27’ Fraser Bryden
35’ James Dolan
39’ James Dolan
44’ Paul Smith
66’ Michael Moffat
73’ Fraser Bryden
75’ Fraser Bryden