Stenhousemuir v Ayr United at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 25.1.14
SPFL Division One Att 467
Stenhousemuir 1 [McNeil 88] Ayr United 1 [Malcolm 26]
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin, Malone, Rowson, Greacen, Hodge, Lynch [McNeil 83], Faulds [Douglas 70], Higgins, D.Smith and Dickson. Subs not used – Summers, Nimmo, Shaw, Thomson and Doherty.
Ayr United – Hutton, Hunter, Pope, McLaughlin, Lithgow, Gilmour, Forrest, Malcolm, Moffat, Kyle and Donald [b73][McGowan 74]. Subs not used – Marenghi, Crawford, Longridge, Wardrope, Holland and Muir.
Referee – John McKendrick Assistants – Graham McNellie and David Ingram
Following the departure of Martyn Corrigan, Kevin McGoldrick and Graham Diamond during the week it was left to Brown Ferguson and David Rowson to take the team for this game. It was not the ideal situation for those involved but they were determined to make the most of it and were keen to do as best a job as they could. They were hindered by limited team selection due to suspensions that meant that Ross McMillan, Kevin McKinlay and John Gemmell were unavailable for selection.
This meant that Rowson took up the central defensive berth with Eddie Malone playing at left back whilst up front the Darren Smith and Sean Higgins partnership was to the fore and gave a different dynamic to the team. On the bench there were several players from the reserves who have not featured in the squad for a while namely Ciaran Summers, Dan Nimmo, Andy Thomson and Kyle Doherty and whilst none of them came on they probably welcomed the chance to be part of the first team squad.
The Warriors despite all that was going on started positively and created a decent chance in the third minute when Sean Dickson played in Darren Smith but he elected to cross to Sean Lynch rather than shoot only to see the ball intercepted by Gordon Pope.
At the other end Kevin Kyle saw a shot deflected wide of the target. In the opening stages both teams struggled to get a grip of the game with the wild weather making it difficult to get a coherent game going. Gradually the weather improved and Bryan Hodge fired over in the 21st minute after a Nicky Devlin corner had caused problems. Ayr though took the lead in the 26th minute with a simply constructed goal. A Gordon Pope cross was met by Kevin Kyle who cushioned a header across the goal for Stuart Malcolm to fire home from close range. Ayr gained confidence after this and they could have quite easily put Stenhousemuir to the sword as the Warriors struggled to overcome this setback. There was a decent chance in the 31st minute with Ayr appealing for offside Darren Smith got behind the Ayr defence from a Sean Higgins flick on but he was drawn wide and his effort was blocked by the covering Alan Lithgow for a corner that came to nothing.
The second half saw Stenhousemuir have the bulk of the possession but had nothing to show for their efforts apart from a Higgins strike that whistled just wide in the 51st minute and this was followed by a penalty claim from the same player a couple of minutes later when he appeared to be tripped on the edge of the box but no award was forthcoming.
Ayr seemed content to try and soak up pressure before hitting on the break and this almost paid dividends in the 58th minute when Alan Forrest picked out Michael Donald but from close range with only the keeper to beat he shot wide of the target when it looked as if he would score. There was another let off for Stenhousemuir on the hour when the league’s top scorer Michael Moffat struck a decent effort that Chris Smith did well to save but it was luck that was on the Warriors side when the parry went just the wrong side of another Ayr striker.
David Rowson tried to lead by example with a run from defence in the 65th minute that ended with the final ball in the opposition box just being cleared. Despite the Warriors continuing to have plenty of possession they lacked the killer ball and as such were largely impotent in front of goal. Ayr should have finished the game off with five minutes remaining when Alan Forrest had three opportunities to score but somehow was to be thwarted by a superb triple save from Chris Smith.
With two minutes left the Warriors snatched a draw. The Ayr defence had been solid all day until Pope sliced an attempted clearance and substitute Ross McNeil pounced on the mistake nipping in and tucking the ball past a helpless David Hutton to give the Warriors a deserved share of the points.
|January 25, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|