Ladbrokes Championship



By Stewart McConnell

Pictures: David Sargent

FORMER East End Park favourite Michael Moffat was on target as United pummelled the Pars to sweep into joint top spot in the Championship.

Alan Forrest also weighed in with a double in what was ultimately a stroll in the sunshine.

This was a third successive win for United, who produced a slick, inventive performance. They played at times scintillating football which was enough to keep the 2,500 plus punters fully entertained and again suggests they could be a force to be reckoned with in the Championship.

Ayr won a corner in the opening minute but it came to nothing as they began well.

United seized the lead with a superb goal in five minutes as a brilliant Moffat cross was headed home from 10 yards by Forrest.

In 11 minutes good play from Jamie Adams saw him break up a Pars attack.

The Pars forged a half chance in 13 minutes as a cross on the left from James Craigen was headed high and just wide by former Ayr United man Jackson Longridge. Then a minute later, Andy Ryan shot wide from just three yards after latching on to a Daniel Devine cross.

Devine was booked for a rash challenge in 17 minutes.

Dunfermline won a corner in 25 minutes following good play by Faissal El Bakhtaoui and from the resultant set-piece a header from Devine was skilfully tipped over the bar by the alert Ross Doohan.

Visiting player Louis Longridge surprisingly escaped even a booking for a reckless challenge on Lawrence Shankland in 31 minutes.

United doubled their advantage in style in 37 minutes when Shankland played a one-two with Forrest, who slammed the ball home from 10 yards. Then two minutes later Shankland slammed a shot home from 12 yards to make it 3-0.

Bakhtaoui was booked for a rash challenge in 43 minutes.

United were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box after Jackson Longridge tripped Andy Geggan and the set-piece from Forrest was scrambled clear by the Pars defence.

A 40-yard effort from El Bakhtaoui went well over the bar in 48 minutes.

The Pars pulled a goal back in 53 minutes when a Miles Hippolyte cross was turned home by Jackson Longridge.

Louis Longridge shot narrowly wide from 12 yards in 68 minutes. At the other end a minute later, a Moffat header from a Shankland cross was well saved by Lee Robinson.

Dunfermline were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box following a foul on Louis Longridge in 74 minutes and the set-piece from Aidan Connolly was deflected wide.

A cross into the box by Declan McDaid was hooked away by Louis Longridge in 78 minutes.

Ayr had a lucky escape in 80 minutes when a curling Louis Longridge effort from the edge of the box glanced narrowly wide.

However a minute later it was all over when Shankland made a great run and played a superb cross to Moffat who almost walked it into the net from four yards.