A great Ayr United performance at New Broomfield, saw the Honest Men close the gap with opponents Airdrieonians down to three points, whilst still retaining their game in hand. Ayr dominated the first half but Airdrie fought their way back into contention toward the end. The second half was more of a contest, but the 4-2 score line was well deserved in the end.
Despite the torrential rain and strong wind at the Excelsior Stadium, Ayr came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders. With only six minutes played, James Nisbet broke through the centre and passed on for James Hilton, who struck from twelve yards. Rohan Ferguson saved but the ball took a deflection off a defender and into the back of the net.
Airdrie were still reeling when a free kick was cleared in the direction of Hilton. He made towards the Airdrie goal, passed to Shaun McKenzie who struck home from eighteen yards. They then won a free kick twenty five yards from goal. Steven McCreadie curled to the ball past the back post, Craig McCracken ran in unopposed and volleyed inches over the cross bar.
Hilton picked up a loose clearance and shot a foot wide of goal. Ryan Nisbet then made a determined run through the heart of the Airdrie defence, avoiding a couple of hefty challenges on route. The ball broke loose but he gathered again on the bye line, and struck low and hard across the six yard box. Shaun McKenzie stormed in, and was only inches away from making it three.
Airdrie hadn’t really been in the match apart from a few set pieces, such was Ayr’s dominance. That was about to change thanks to a fantastic solo Scott Stewart goal. He won the ball forty yards from goal, went past three players and struck from wide right. From a full twenty two yards, the ball looped over the head of Lyall Avci and into the corner of the net.
Airdrie finished the half strongly, Jack McCue struck from fifteen yards but his shot was blocked in front of the United line. From a corner kick, Adam Brown struck to the near post. Sean McIntosh ran in and headed just wide of the post. Despite not having much to cheer about in the first half, Airdrie finished as Ayr had started but the score remained 2-1 Ayr.