AYR UNITED 2
By Stewart McConnell
A STUNNING second half goal from Robbie Crawford helped United edge out the Sons to move four points clear of bottom spot.
It was the third league win out of four for Ian McCall's side who look to be hitting top form at the best possible time following a miserable run.
On this evidence they stand a good chance of staying up but really have to keep battling and re-producing performances like this.
And they can head to Tannadice tonight (Tuesday( to face newly-crowned Irn-Bru Cup winners Dundee United with some momentum.
The first opening of the game came in seven minutes when Darren Barr steered the ball back to Alan Martin ahead of Farid El Alagui who was lurking on the edge of the box. Home goalie Greg Fleming then punched clear a Lewis Vaughan free-kick from 25 yards a minute later.
Lewis Vaughan had his chip from eight yards well caught by Fleming in 14 minutes.
Alan Forrest saw his fierce effort well handled by the visiting goalie in 17 minutes and the resultant corner from Brian Gilmour was headed just wide from six yards by El Alagui.
Then in 19 minutes a fierce Callum Gallagher volley was beaten away by Greg Fleming.
However in 21 minutes Lewis Vaughan cut the ball back to Robert Thomson who swept it home from 10 yards.
There were claims for a penalty in 29 minutes when El Alagui went down inside the box but referee Craig Charleston waved play on.
Andy Stirling swept in a cross a minute later but luckily skipper Craig Devlin made a goal-line clearance.
United levelled on half-time when an El Alagui header was touched on to the bar by Alan Martin but the same player followed up to stab the rebound hone from six yards.
Stanton shot across the face of goal a minute after the break. Then at the other end in 47 minutes Paddy Boyle saw his close range effort blocked by a defender. Crawford's shot was headed clear by Buchanan.
However in 51 minutes United seized the lead when the inventive Crawford burst into the box before sending home an angled drive from 12 yards.
Michael Rose had a cross into the box booted away a minute later.
Devlin whipped a cross into the box which was cleared a minute later and in 59 minutes El Alagui shot across the face of goal.
Daryll Meggatt sent a header from a Gilmour corner-kick inches wide seven minutes later.
Forrest made a surging run to the edge of the box after beating two opponents but lost possession when a goal would have killed the game.
Garry Fleming was red-carded for a reckless challenge on Ross Docherty in 71 minutes.
The home goalie made a great save from Thomson after Stanton had set him up six minutes later.
Mark Doherty aimed a pass at Andy Stirling in 81 minutes but the ball spun out of play and then a Greg Buchanan header from six yards was brilliantly saved by Fleming in 83 minutes.
Fleming made a superb save from a 30-yard Doherty free-kick four minutes from time.
Craig McGuffie surged to the edge of the box in 90 minutes only to shoot over the bar.