Ayr United v Stenhousemuir at Somerset Park, Ayr on 24.07.18
Betfred Cup Sectional Match Att 1,227
Ayr United 5 [Shankland 2,8,46, Moffat 42,86] Stenhousemuir 0
Ayr United – Doohan, Harvie, Kerr [Adamms 73], Rose, Ferguson, Moffat, Forrest, McGuffie, Bell, Shankland [McDaid 51] and Murdoch [Crawford 60]. Sub not used – Hare-Reid.
Stenhousemuir – McMinn, Reid, Johnston [b23][Donaldson 50], Neill, Tena [b58], Dickson, Halleran [Gibbons 55], Duthie, Cook [b56], McMenamin and McGuigan. Subs not used – Smith, Sinclair, Ferry, Paterson and Kemp.
Referee – David Munro Assistants – Brian Templeton and George King
Brown Ferguson made a number of changes to the team not only to give the rest of the squad members a game but his hands were tied to a certain respect due to several players carrying injuries including Seb Ross who is out for a couple of weeks at least.
There was a new addition to the squad in 17 year old Aiden Kemp who had been with Stirling University before playing for Riverside at the end of the season.
Lewis McMinn replaced Graeme Smith in goals and virtually his first touch of the ball was to pick the ball out of the net after Lawrence Shankland fired Ayr into a lead after only two minutes. To their credit Stenhousemuir responded positively and Mark McGuigan had a shot blocked by Steven Bell and this was followed by a Colin McMenamin header that was confortably saved by Ross Doohan.
After that positive spell of play they were dealt a further body blow in the 8th minute when the ever dangerous Shankland scored his second and Ayr’s second this time heading home a Daniel Harvie cross taking full advantage of lax marking.
At the other end McMenamin had a positive run to get into position but scuffed his shot from the edge of the box. Morgyn Neill then had a powerful header from an Alan Cook corner well saved by Doohan in the 16th minute.
Ayr though continued to be a threat and had several chances to extend their lead before the 20th minute with Alan Forrest missing the best opportunity following a mistake by Alan Reid but the Ayr player passed the ball the wrong side of the post with just McMinn to beat. Forrest missed another chance in the 28th minute when he was unable to steer a Ryan McGuffie driven cross home. In the 40th minute Kyle Johnson did well to block a Shankland effort but Ayr’s efforts were not to go unrewarded as they scored their third in the 42nd minute when Michael Moffat tapped home an Andy Murdoch cross.
The Warriors had struggled with Ayr’s play down the flanks throughout the first half and would have been hoping that the half time interval would have given them time to regroup. Twenty-five seconds after the restart though their hopes were dashed when a Harvie cross was met by Shankland to slot home his hat-trick. It was the perfect set of left foot, right foot and head and was his second hat-trick of the league cup campaign so far this season. He was subbed shortly afterwards.
His replacement Declan McDaid also proved to be a handful and Lewis McMinn brought off the save of the game to deny him after he struck a first time effort from another crossball.
The Warriors may have had a consolation goal in the 85th minute with a counter attack that ended with McGuigan firing wide but Ayr were to have the final say a minute later when the veteran Michael Moffat scored his second goal of the game as Ayr went nap. All in all a game to forget but Ayr are the best team that Stenhousemuir have played this season and deservedly are top of the section going into the last set of games.
|July 24, 2018