Saturday September 19, 2015
Ladbrokes League One
Airdrie’s winning sequence came to an end as Ayr United went top of the league after coming back from an early Liam Watt goal.
Before the match started Caolan McAleer came into the starting eleven in place of George Hunter, who dropped to the bench.
It was the Diamonds who took the game to their visitors from the kick off. In the first minute Liam Watt picked a pass to David Cox who carried the ball to the line before sending over a cross. The ball was cleared as far as Marc Fitzpatrick who fired wide to the left of Greg Fleming’s goal.
After four minutes Fitzpatrick passed to Watt who set up McAleer, but the Irishman's effort was deflected wide. From the resultant corner Watt fired a fine ball to Taylor Morgan, who had ran the near post. The big striker returned the ball to Watt, who had raced to the corner of the 18-yard box to make an angle, and he curled the ball beyond keeper Greg Fleming at his far post to put the Diamonds in front.
Ayr United’s first look at goal came in 12 minutes after a Brian Gilmour free kick was sent wide of the goal frame.
Neil Parry was dealing easily with anything in the box. A cross sent in from Alan Forrest in 15 minutes and a tame Craig Moore header two minutes later were both gathered cleanly.
After 25 minutes a fine piece of skill from Watt took him to the edge of the box, with Morgan firing the ball wide of goal at the end of the move.
In 31 minutes Nicky Devlin combined with Jamie Adams who blasted the ball well wide of goal after racing into the box.
Airdrie were so close to increasing their lead in 43 minutes. Scott Smith sent the ball wide on the right to McAleer who raced to the 18-yard line before picking out Cox inside the box. He shaped to shoot and saw his first effort punched back by Fleming. Cox then fired the ball back in again and it was deflected for a corner.
Airdrie were then hit by a sucker punch. A long ball forward in stoppage time, saw a physical aerial challenge by the visitors that saw the ball carry up the field to Craig Moore. With some home defenders looking to the referee, Moore blasted a 20-yard volley, their first powerful effort of the half and it flew past Neil Parry to level the scoreline.
Four minutes after the restart Gilmour sent a low shot wide.
Five minutes later at the other end Fitzpatrick had two attempts from a McAleer delivery, with his first effort blocked and the follow up volleyed over the bar.
Watt latched on to a loose ball in the box in 57 minutes and watched his snap shot go wide of Fleming’s right post.
In 59 minutes Ross Docherty shot for goal from 20 yards out and ball was deflected for a corner. Morgan was coming in for some rough treatment and his reaction to Docherty in 63 minutes led to a posse of Ayr players seeking a card from the referee. The Diamonds' striker was booked along with Ayr’s Murphy.
After 66 minutes the visitors took the lead when Gilmour’s low 20 yard shot slipped under Parry’s body into the net.
Cox went close to levelling in 69 minutes but headed McAleer’s cross past the far post.
In 73 minutes as two Ayr players challenged Morgan, Docherty landed on top of him leading to lengthy treatment before he was taken from the field on a stretcher.
Amid concern for Morgan's wellbeing, some of the players lost their focus in the remaining period and there was no further scoring as Gary Bollan’s side lost the battle for top spot but showed they can live with all the sides the have faced this season.
John O'Brien at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.