Ayr United v Stenhousemuir at Somerset Park, Ayr on 13.12.14 SPFL Division One Att 646
Ayr United 2 [McLaughlin 28, Forrest 88] Stenhousemuir 3 [McMenamin 11,40,52]
Ayr United – Hutton, Devlin, Keenan [Forrest 55], Cummings [B18], Murphy, Gilmour [Donald 77], Slane [Donnelly h/t], McLaughlin, Beattie, McGovern and McKinlay [b74]. Subs not used – Crawford McKenzie, Muir and Newman.
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, Duncan [b34], Meechan, McMillan [b65], Lithgow, K.Millar, Dickson [Fotheringham 69], Hodge [b52], McMenamin [Eddington 77], Walsh [Faulds 90] and Oliver. Subs not used – Summers, Watt, Reid and Smith
Referee – Des Roache Assistants – Mark McLean and David Dunne.
Both teams went into this game with poor form with the Warriors having won only one of the last six games and only one win on the road this season whilst their hosts have lost their last four matches. This meant tat the team that scored the first goal could have the upper hand if the opposition struggled with a lack of confidence.
Stenhousemuir made several changes to the starting eleven with Ross McMillan returning after suspension and this meant that Alan Lithgow unexpectedly for some moved to the left back berth and Ross Meechan retaining his position in central defence where he played for the first time last week. Bryan Hodge and Tom Walsh also came into the team after struggling with injury.
Ayr did come close in the second minute of the game when Jon Paul McGovern volleyed a Scott McLaughlin cross just wide of the target but it was Stenhousemuir who drew first blood in the 11th minute.
Ayr were caught on the counter attack when a Nicky Devlin cross was cut out by Ross McMillan and the ball and Bryan Hodge gathered before passing to Tom Walsh, the youngster travelled unhindered for at least 40 yards before passing to Gary Oliver who cut inside and his shot from 16 yards was saved by David Hutton but Colin McMenamin reacted first and fired the rebound through Kevin McKinlay’s legs and into the net.
Ayr equalised against the run of play in the 28th minute through a McLaughlin free kick from 20 yards that dipped into Greg Fleming’s bottom corner of the net with the keeper nowhere near it. This was certainly a blow for Stenhousemuir who had been the better team for much of the game and they will have been worried about how softly the goal had been conceded, but they managed to get the vital second goal before the end of the half.
Once again it was veteran McMenamin who did the damage when he twisted to head an Oliver cross into the corner of the net.
Ayr brought Ryan Donnelly into the fray at half time and he almost made an instant impact when his strike after combining with Devlin hit the side net just after the resumption whilst at the other end Alan Lithgow fired just wide after a decent passing move opened the home team up.
It was not long though before the Warriors got their third goal. Once again it was a case of turning defence into attack and on this occasion it was a chipped ball over the Ayr defence that did the damage. Gary Oliver’s chip was headed clear by keeper Hutton but was blocked by Sean Dickson and McMenamin once again pounced to tuck the ball into the net. The re is debate on whether he was offside but no award apart from the goal was given. For the majority of the game after that Stenhousemuir were playing quite comfortably but whether it was a stage of the jitters at the tail end of the game or not they almost threw away the points that they deserved.
With two minutes remaining Ayr scored through a diving header by Alan Forrest that Lithgow should have cut out and this was followed by a Kevin McKinlay strike that was saved by Fleming. The Warriors were grateful for the final whistle after putting pressure on themselves but by that stage they could and probably should have already had the game done and dusted.
|December 13, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2014/2015||90'|
|Somerset Park, Ayr|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|