Ayr United v Stenhousemuir at Somerset Park, Ayr on 14.3.15
SPFL Division One Att 1,055
Ayr United 0 Stenhousemuir 0
With the league in the last quarter both teams in this encounter were fighting to get out of the relegation play-off spot. The Warriors by dint of their victories in the previous week had leapfrogged Ayr and were a point ahead going into what could be one of the key games of the season. Stenhousemuir were forced into a couple of changes with the experienced Ross McMillan and Bryan Hodge both injured and this meant changes in both defence and midfield. Once again Ross Meechan moved into central defence with Jamie McCormack taking the right back berth with Kris Faulds replacing Hodge in midfield.
In the early stages of the game Ayr took the upper hand and they were certainly the more threatening. Robbie Crawford firing just over the bar from distance in the third minute after a Michael Donald run had caused problems before Meechan had scrambled clear. This was followed by another Crawford shot that was deflected just wide following another Donald foray. Apart from a Anthony Marenghi free kick that went wide the play took place at the other end of the park and Ayr were unlucky not to score when Craig Beattie controlled a throw in before turning and volleying a shot off the crossbar. Ayr continued to have the impetus and Greg Fleming was to save the day with a superb stop from Jon Paul McGovern. Ayr continued to create the better chances and Scott McKenna wasted another chance with a weak header wide. In a rare Stenhousemuir attack they looked as if they had scored in the 33rd minute when Colin McMenamin tucked the ball past David Hutton, However celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee flagging for offside. Two minutes later there was another chance when Paul McMullan tried a shot with the outside of his foot but the keeper made a comfortable save. Nevertheless these two attempts seemed to show a turn in the flow of the game and certainly the Warriors began to look as if they had weathered the storm. There was a half chance in the dying seconds when a quick free found Josh Watt and he ran on goal but just as he was either going to shoot or play the ball wide there was a timely interception by Peter Murphy.
The visitors started the second half well and McMenamin shot just wide after the restart. It was not long though before Ayr re-imposed themselves on the game with Crawford in particular causing problems. He tested Fleming once again in the 51st minute after weaving his way through a tight spot. Beattie volleyed over on the hour and then Jordan Preston beat the keeper with a miss-hit effort but Meechan cleared off the line. Stenhousemuir were rocking and Ayr came even closer in the 64th minute when a Crawford strike was tipped onto the post by Fleming.
Once again Stenhousemuir were limited to sporadic attacks and but they had the ball in the net in the 70th minute. Once again though the effort was disallowed though as McMenamin had helped the ball into the net with his arm as he stretched to meet a McMullan cross. The captain for the day was cautioned for his efforts.
In the 74th minute a tired looking Craig Beattie dinked the ball wide of Fleming but luckily for Stenhousemuir it went wide of the post as well. That was his last play of the game as he was subbed just after this and it was fortuitious that the chance fell to him then rather than earlier when he appeared sharper. His replacement Alan Forrest always causes problems and he really should have scored the all important first goal in the 81st minute but instead he thundered a shot off the woodwork from close range when he had time to place the ball into the net.
Stenhousemuir came close through a dipping Lee Gallacher strike that dipped too late but when the final whistle blew it was the Warriors that were the happy as the result maintained the status quo in a game that Ayr should really have ended with all three points. It was a hard fought draw though and both managers will be happy with the endeavours of the players.
Ayr United – Hutton, Devlin, Donald, Murphy, McKenna [b87], McGovern, Murray, Crawford, Preston [Nisbet 86], Beattie [Forrest 75] and Robertson [Gilmour 80]. Subs not used – Campbell, Neil, Muir and Newman.
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, McCormack, Summers, Meechan, Lithgow, K.Millar, McMullan, Faulds, McMenamin [b70], Marenghi [Fotheringham 84] and Watt [Gallacher 75]. Subs not used – Duncan, Wilson, Smith, Grehan and Sutherland.
Referee – John McKendrick Assistants – Joseph Lawson and Colin McDonald
|March 14, 2015||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2014/2015||90'|
|Somerset Park, Ayr|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|