Ladbrokes Championship



by Sunny Wyrich

UNITED suffered their second straight Championship defeat in a 3-2 loss to Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday.

Greg Kiltie opened the scoring for the Pars, but his effort was cancelled out by an own goal from Lee Ashcroft. Alan Forrest briefly gave Ayr the lead in the second half before Ashcroft equalised and a late winner from Andy Ryan sealed the deal for the hosts at East End Park

The game started at a slow, controlled pace where, for the opening 25 minutes, both sides defended well. In 28 minutes, Dunfermline found the back of the net. Greig Kiltie cut in and got through the Ayr defence. Ross Doohan came off his line, but Kiltie dragged the ball around him and turned it into the net from close range.

The match settled back into a slower rhythm and Ayr struggled to get anything past the deep Dunfermline defence but in 43 minutes, an equaliser came United’s way. A cross from Andy Geggan reached Daniel Harvie at the left post where Aaron Comrie slid in and lifted the ball up in the air. Forrest headed the ball from close range and Cammy Gill seemed to have pulled off a miraculous save, but the rebound hit off Lee Ashcroft and spun straight into the net.

Ayr had a more spirited start to the second half and looked threatening going forward. In 57 minutes, the Honest Men found the lead. Forrest got himself into space on the left where he received the ball from Michael Moffat. The winger cut in and sent a splendid curling strike into the top right-hand corner. Dunfermline reacted well and got their equaliser in 62 minutes when a clearance fell to Ryan Dow who headed the ball back and it was met by Ashcroft who slammed a spectacular volley past Ross Doohan and into the net from just outside the box. It was game on at East End Park as both sides pressed for a winner in an end-to-end encounter. In 84 minutes, the Pars scored what turned out to be a decisive goal. Ayr failed to clear and Kiltie played the ball out to the right for Andy Ryan. The Dunfermline substitute controlled the ball at the edge of the penalty area before sliding it under Doohan to give the hosts the lead.

United got a late chance in 88 minutes with a powerful drive from Kelly. His effort looked bound to level, but Gill pulled off a superb save and the final whistle sealed a 3-2 win for the Pars. Ayr remain second in the league on equal points with table-toppers Dundee United, but Inverness are only a point adrift.

AYR UNITED: Doohan, Muirhead, Harvie, Kerr, Roscoe, Geggan, Moffat, Forrest, McCowan, Docherty, Kelly Subs: Hare-Reid (gk), Doolan, Moore, McGuffie, Houston, Ecrepont, McKenzie.