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Saturday November 21, 2015

Ladbrokes League One

Ayr United




Preston 26
Donald 45
Trouten 61 Pen



Chris O'Neil's second-half red card capped a dismal day for Airdrie as they went down 3-0 to league leaders Ayr United.

The defeat at Somerset Park has seen the Diamonds drop out of the top four and the run of results also means they are closer to the two sides at the bottom than the two sides at the top who have turned the competition for the top spot and automatic promotion into a two horse race.

With Marc Fitzpatrick unable to recover from injury, the visitors were simply over powered by the Ayr side in midfield.

A lack of confidence was apparent within the Diamonds ranks coupled with an inability to find a team mate and provide any link up play, while Ayr were passing the ball around regularly picking a pass and displaying the confidence of a side who have now gone 14 league matches unbeaten, since their opening day defeat at Cliftonhill.

In a first half that was dominated by the home side, the half time two-goal margin failed to provide an accurate picture of the first 45 minutes.

Jordan Preston headed Paddy Boyle’s cross wide of goal in nine minutes, while skipper Nicky Devlin set up Jamie Adams ten yards out a minute later and he blazed the ball high over the crossbar.

Preston and Alan Trouten combined inside the box in 14 minutes with the former Diamond’s shot being well saved by Neil Parry.

The big keeper followed that up by saving a 10 yard effort from Alan Forrest after he had raced into the box a minute later, then gathered a Preston shot on target in 17 minutes.

Boyle was next up on the 25 minute mark, drilling a low 25 yard shot just wide to the left of Parry’s goal.

A goal was overdue and came in 27 minutes after Preston fired the ball into the net from ten yards, from Forrest’s cross in from the right.

Devlin went close in 29 minutes but van Zanten’s challenge saw the defender shoot wide from ten yards out.

With eight minutes of the half remaining Boyle repeated his earlier effort though once more he was off target from the edge of the box.

On the stroke of half-time Parry was down low to his left to make yet another decent save, denying former Diamond Boyle.

Just when it seemed Airdrie had made it to the break a goal down, there was little the keeper could do after Michael Donald was given all the freedom in the world some 20 yards out to volley the ball high into the net through a very congested penalty box.

On the hour Ayr were awarded a penalty on 61 minutes after the stand side linesman flagged, with a spot kick being awarded for a push. Trouten netted easily sending Parry the wrong way.

Substitute Taylor Morgan had Airdrie’s first shot on target after running into the box two minutes later, though the ball was gathered low by keeper Greg Fleming.

In 67 minutes Chris O’Neil lost control of the ball and made a late challenge on Robbie Crawford leading to a straight red card.

Parry made a couple of saves in the remainder of the match to ensure there was no further scoring while Jordan Morton and Morgan had late attempts for a consolation goal that were off target.

Next weeks cup tie with Brechin City takes centre stage with league business returning in a fortnight against Stenhousemuir who currently have moved into the top four.

John O'Brien at Somerset Park.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full-size.

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