Reserves v Queen's Park | Match Report | 05/04/22
By Karen Malcolm
On Tuesday afternoon (5th April), Ayr United Reserves travelled to the Cambuslang, beating Queen's Park 4-2 in a friendly.
Charlie Albinson started between the sticks for Ayr with a central defensive partnership of Markus Fjørtoft and Jack Baird in front of him, Kinlay Bilham at left-back and Finn Ecrepont at right-back. James Dolan (currently on loan at Rossvale) was on the left wing, with Daire O'Connor on the right. Alex Kenyon and Paul Smith played in midfield, while the Ayr attack consisted of Michael Moffat and Sam Ashford.
The Ayr bench was very youthful, consisting of Andrew Heaney (who has just finished a successful loan spell at Girvan), Under 16 keeper Ollie Ecrepont and Under 18 players Mackenzie Connelly (captain of the 18s), Max Guthrie, Dylan O'Kane and Dario Viviani. The bench also featured the return of Mikey Hewitt, who had been out injured since the early part of the season.
For 36 min, neither team could capitalise on the chances they were creating, and then Ayr struck.
A Paul Smith corner into the box was headed on by captain Markus Fjørtoft and met by Michael Moffat, who cut the ball back to Jack Baird. Baird's effort was blocked but met again by Smith, who played it into the 6-yard box, where it was turned into the net by a Queen's Park defender.
Ayr nearly doubled their lead a minute before halftime when James Dolan made his way past several Queen's Park players before shooting, but his effort was denied at the top left corner by the Queen's Park keeper.
The Honest Men went into halftime with a 1-0 lead over their opposition.
With only 30 secs on the clock in the second half, James Dolan went for it again. Replicating his run from just before the break, he again went past player after player before unleashing a shot. Unfortunately for Dolan, the Spiders' keeper again managed to pull off a fine save.
On 51 mins, the Honest Men doubled their lead with a quality finish from Michael Moffat. An Alex Kenyon free-kick reached Moffat in the box. Moff controlled the ball, then sublimely chipped it over the keeper and into the net. A fantastic goal from Michael Moffat, a man who is no stranger to scoring goals of that calibre.
Queen's Park got a goal back 9 mins later when a ball into the box was met by their No.47 who put it into the net.
Ayr made a double substitution in the 61st minute with Dylan O'Kane and Dario Viviani replacing Sam Ashford and Daire O'Connor. This substitution saw O'Kane take O'Connor's place on the left wing, with Viviani stepping into the slot behind Moffat, who took on the striker's role.
With 66 mins on the clock, United scored again and, finally, James Dolan got the reward he deserved. Queen's keeper saved an Alex Kenyan effort, but the ball spun free to Paul Smith. Smith's shot was blocked before Dolan stepped in to slot home the rebound from 6-yards.
Then came a moment that Ayr fans have been waiting for, the return of Mikey Hewitt. Hewitt replaced hard-working Kinlay Bilham, and this substitution saw Hewitt in action for the first time since the early part of the season when he sustained a serious injury. Hewitt went to right-back, swapping with Finn Ecrepont, who moved to the left-back slot vacated by Bilham.
Ayr made a triple substitution in the 77th minute when James Dolan, Michael Moffat and Alex Kenyon were replaced by Max Guthrie, Mackenzie Connolly, and Andrew Heaney. This substitution saw Dylan O'Kane move from the right wing to the left and Heaney take over on the right. Connolly took Kenyon's place in midfield while Guthrie replaced Moffat in the striker position.
4 mins before full time, Queen's Park grabbed another goal back as a low ball was played across the box and was bundled into the net from a yard or so out. With one goal in it and 4 mins to go, this match was set up for an exciting ending, and it was Ayr who rounded it off in style.
With only seconds left on the clock Ayr got another goal, with Paul Smith getting the credit. The midfielder's corner into the box landed just inside the front post. It looked to be going in, but a Queen's Park player assisted it over the line in an attempt to clear. It was the third goal of the game that Smith had been involved in.
A really good performance and result for the Reserves, with a major positive being the return of Mikey Hewitt. The first team players got much-needed game time while the younger players gained more experience playing with and against experienced players.
Albinson, Bilham, F Ecrepont, Baird, Fjørtoft, Kenyon, Dolan, Smith, Ashford, Moffat, O’Connor Substitutes: O Ecrepont (GK), Heaney, O’Kane, Viviani, Connelly, Guthrie, Hewitt
Queen’s Park 0 Ayr United 1
Queen’s Park 2 Ayr United 4
Own Goal (36’)
Michael Moffat (51’)
James Dolan (66’)
Paul Smith (89’)