Saturday February 24, 2018
Ladbrokes League One
Andy Geggan 50
Lawrence Shankland 81 pen, 84
Airdrie battled hard at Somerset Park, but Ayr United ultimately showed the goalscoring form which has them aiming for the League One title.
After a goalless first half the Diamonds were beaten by Ian McCall’s side, who exposed some of the Diamond’s frailties after the interval.
It was a very experienced and streetwise display from the home side who racked up five of the six yellow cards shown, while Lawrence Shankland was fortunate to only receive a verbal reprimand after a poor lunging challenge on Rohan Ferguson.
Two of the goals came in the final ten minutes and provided a rather flattering score line for the Honest Men, whose second half performance earned them their first win in three meetings with the Diamonds this season.
Ayr were quickly out of the blocks, winning a corner in the first minute which was comfortably cleared upfield.
The first half was a little frenetic as both sets of defences were tending to clear the ball long and only an occasional chance arising around the opposition goal.
Airdrie had created a chance in 14 minute after Scott Stewart flicked one such long ball on to Dale Carrick, who was unable to get a shot away from just inside the box.
Tom Fry was also closed down five minutes later as he tried to test Ayr keeper Jack Ruddy.
12 minutes from the break Shankland raced on to a ball in the box which was gathered by Rohan Ferguson with the striker following through with an unnecessary challenge. Ferguson was given the all-clear to continue after receiving treatment.
Fry sent a dipping shot over the top before Craig Moore had a great chance to break the deadlock in 42 minutes, only for Ferguson to dive bravely and smother the ball inside the six yard box.
Two minutes after the restart Shankland robbed McGregor of the ball on the edge of the box then set up Moore who fired the ball wide of Ferguson’s goal.
Ayr took the lead on the 50-minute mark after a ball into the penalty box struck a number of players before falling nicely for Andy Geggan to bury the ball beyond Ferguson.
Fry went close two minutes later with a 20-yard shot, with keeper Ruddy gathering the ball at the second attempt.
Moore shot just wide in the 55th minute from outside the box as a much more open game was now evident.
Ferguson made an excellent save to turn away Alan Forrest’s shot in 59 minutes as the home side enjoyed the bulk of possession in the opening stages of the second half.
Fry tested Ruddy in 61 minutes with the keeper turning the ball behind, while David Brownlie headed the resulting corner over the crossbar.
As Airdrie tried to get back in the game they were unable to find that cutting edge in the final third.
Ten minutes from time a ball into the box was handled by Jordan McGregor with Lawrence Shankland scoring from the spot, firing the ball down the middle of the goal.
As Airdrie tried to get on the score sheet, with six minutes left Cammy Russell made space on the right succeeded in firing an angled drive high over Jack Ruddy’s goal.
Less than 30 seconds later a counter attack saw Ayr racing forward with the ball reaching the 18 yard line. Keeper Ferguson was beaten to the ball with Shankland being able to run across the penalty box then fired the ball into the open goal for his second and Ayr’s third goal.
The win sees McCall’s men keep the pressure on Raith Rovers at the top of the table, while the Diamonds dropped down one place to seventh ahead of back-to-back home games in the coming week.
Referee: Mr Alan Newlands
John O'Brien at Somerset Park
Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.
6. Geggan ⚽ ▊
28. Bell ▊
10. Forrest ▊ 🔽 (73)
16. Adams ▊
27. Kerr ▊ 🔽 (86)
9. Moore 🔽 (69)
17. Shankland ⚽⚽
7. Moffat 🔼 (69)
8. Crawford 🔼 (73)
23. Docherty 🔼 (86)
1. Ferguson ▊
8. R Brown
9. Duffy 🔽 (72)
11. Fry 🔽 (72)
15. A Brown
16. Hastie 🔼 (72)
19. Russell 🔼 (72)