Stenhousemuir v Ayr United at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 24.1.15
SPFL Division One Att 651
Stenhousemuir 1 [McMullan 20] Ayr United 1 [Forrest 32]
Once again there were a number of changes to the Warriors starting eleven and this time there were some fresh faces for the Ochilview faithful. Jamie McCormack started his first game after a sub appearance last week at Forfar but once again he played under the non de plume of trialist. On the attacking side were 18 year old Paul McMullan who has signed on loan from Celtic and 26 year old Craig Sutherland who had been signed from Cowdenbeath. This time of year tends to see changes with the transfer window being open and Ayr also had Adam Blakeman making his debut having signed from Hyde but they did have ex-Warrior Brian Gilmour playing his 50th game for the club.
It has not been a good league campaign for either side with both battling the relegation play-off spot with Stenhousemuir hoping to put three straight defeats behind them against an Ayr team that last won a league game back since mid-October. Not surprisingly given the circumstances there was a nervousness to the occasion with both teams at times showing a lack of confidence that was hindering their play.
Stenhousemuir took the lead in the 20th minute thanks to a piece of opportunism by McMullan who used his blistering pace to slide the ball into the net after he correctly read the play unfolding in front of him and saw that the Ayr defence were rather lackadaisical in their play and were caught out when the ball was played across goal, and he seized on this to score his first senior goal.
Ayr had a great chance in the 23rd minute to equalise when Stenhousemuir lost the ball cheaply and the ball was eventually played to Alan Forrest who had made a run behind the home defence but with only the keeper to beat he blasted the ball over from close range. Ayr were beginning to take control of the midfield boosted by the extra numbers in this area and this gave them better possession and consequently meant that they looked more likely to score the next goal. Robbie Crawford and Nicky Devlin both had attempts that went wide before Forrest atoned for his earlier miss when he struck a sublime shot into the top corner of the net from 30 yards in the 32nd minute.
At the other end of the field the best chances were coming through McMullan and he created a decent chance for Sutherland in the 41st minute but he should have reacted quicker and his effort was blocked. David Hutton was called into action two minutes later tipping over a McMullan effort.
The second half saw little to write home about, with little goalmouth action. Brian Gilmour shot over the bar on the hour after Stenhousemuir failed to clear their lines at a corner kick. He was involved in the main action of the half two minutes later but not for the right reason. He took umbrage to McMullan going down following a tackle and slapped him whilst the Stenhousemuir player was on the ground. A melee then followed with the final outcome being that Gilmour and McCormack were both cautioned.
Colin McMenamin hit a snapshot just wide a minute later but with McMullan starting to fade the Warriors rarely threatened to get back into the lead. Ayr also struggled though Scott McLaughlin had an effort saved by Fleming in the 70th minute after he latched onto a rebound following an Alan Lithgow block.
In the end there was little to enthuse about in a game between two struggling teams. The Warriors get their first point of 2015 though so things could have been worse even if there is a despondent air at the club just now due to difficulties on and off the pitch.
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, McCormack[t][b62], Lithgow, McMillan, K.Millar [b70], McMullan, Hodge, McMenamin, Sutherland [Eddington 74] and Watt [Gallacher 63]. Subs not used –Meechan, Faulds, Fotheringham, Smith and Grehan.
Ayr United – Hutton, Devlin, Blakeman [McLaughlin 74], Gilmour [b62], Neill, McGovern, Murray, Crawford, Donnelly [Beattie 55], Forrest [Slane 82] and Donald. Subs not used – McCracken, Nisbet, Shirkie and Newman.
Referee – Gavin Ross Assistants – Gavin Harris and Mathew McDermid.
|January 24, 2015||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2014/2015||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|