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Ayr United prove too strong for Airdrie

Ayr United 4

Nisbet 6, McKenzie 9, McCracken 53, Waite 90.

Airdrieonians 2

Stewart 39, Bell 75.
  • Tuesday, 16 February 2016
  • Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie.
  • Under 20´s
  • SPFL Development League

Martin McConnell | YFS South Lanarkshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

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.

  • Half Time:
  • Ayr United
  • 2-1
  • Airdrieonians

Within five minutes of the restart Ferguson was tested by a low fifteen yard strike by Hilton, then Nisbet tried from twelve yards. The Airdrie keeper was up to the task on both occasions. Then Ayr won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. McCracken sent the ball over the wall and struck the bottom of the cross bar, and over the line for Ayr’s third of the evening.

Avci then started a break with a quick throw to Andy Muir, after making a run down the right he slid the ball through for Nisbet who shot over the Airdrie goal. Nisbet had another crack but again it was sent over the cross bar. On sixty eight minutes Airdrie won a penalty kick. Ciaran Reilly struck the ball well and to the right, but Lyall Avci somehow managed to close the gap and make a magnificent save.

However, Airdrie weren’t to be denied when they struck on the seventy fifth minute. A free kick from out on the right was struck beyond the back post, Dean Cairns knocked back into the six yard box and Conor Bell helped over the line.  At the other end, Craig McGuffie had a fifteen yard effort saved once again by Ferguson.

Then on the stroke of full time, Ayr restored their two goal cushion when substitute David Waite struck a great twenty five yard shot beyond the reach of Ferguson and into the corner of the net. Ayr United face Clyde next at Somerset Park, whilst Airdrie will be hoping to get back to winning ways with a win away to Queen of the South.

  • Full Time:
  • Ayr United
  • 4-2
  • Airdrieonians

Lineups

Ayr United
Airdrieonians
1. Lyall Avci
2. Andy Muir
3. Malcolm Wilson
4. Jamie Ballantyne
5. Kieran Woods
6. Craig McCracken
7. Ryan Nisbet
8. Steven McCreadie
9. Shaun McKenzie
10. James Hilton
11. Craig McGuffie
21. Shaun Newman
12. David Waite
14. Luke McCowan
15. Mason Mullen
16. Jai Holland
1. Rohan Ferguson
2. John Higgins
3. Dean Cairns
4. Sean McIntosh
5. Conor Bell
6. Scott Stewart
7. Adam Brown
8. Conor McLaughlin
9. Scott Thomson
10. Jacob Esposito
11. Jack McCue
17. Matthew Kerr
12. Craig Truesdale
14. Calvin Cowie
15. Robbie Leighton
16. Cameron Russell
18. Ciaran Reilly
Star Player
Ayr United
Airdrieonians
Ryan Nesbit. Great on the ball and made run after run through the centre and out on the wing. Caused Airdrie all sorts of problems.
Rohan Ferguson. Made save after save to keep Airdrie in contention throughout the ninety minutes.
Magic Moment
Ayr United
Airdrieonians
Lyall Avci. Made a magnificent diving save from a well struck penalty kick, made up a lot of distance to get his hand to the ball.
Scott Stewart. Scored a great solo goal that brought his side back into the match at a time when the game was getting away from them. He won the ball despite being on the wrong side of meaty challenge, beat a few players then sent the ball over the keeper's head and into the net at the back post.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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