Alloa Athletic 4 v 0 Ayr United
Scottish Cup 3rd Round Replay
It was a depleted Ayr side that turned up at the newly renamed Indodrill Stadium, formerly known as Recreation Park, missing a number of key players through injury for this midweek Scottish Cup replay.
Kevin Rutkiewicz was also missing from the starting line up as he was ineligible to play in Tuesday’s cup tie as Mark Roberts was forced in to fielding an unfamiliar and relatively inexperienced back four.
However United started brightly and played some neat passing football in the opening stages with Alloa restricted to a single effort on goal from former Ayr player Jonathan Tiffoney who crashed a speculative drive off David Hutton’s crossbar.
Apart from this brief scare everything was looking positive in the early stages. Ayr even managed to create a couple of decent opportunities with Scott McLaughlin forcing Alloa keeper McDowall in to a full length save from a 22 yard free kick and then Paul Slane shooting wide from the edge of the box when he should have at least hit the target.
Then in 23 minutes a defensive error cost Ayr dearly. Alloa’s Liam Buchanan latched on to a high ball in the left hand channel before turning the inexperienced McArthur. Buchanan then homed in on goal and from a tight angle slipped the ball past the static Hutton to put Alloa in the lead.
Ayr tried to respond but before they could get back in to this game Alloa grabbed a second goal. Mark Docherty’s deep hanging free kick from the left was headed back across goal before Darrell Meggatt got his head on the end of it to score Alloa’s second in 28 minutes.
If things weren’t bad enough for Ayr at this stage worse was to come in 33 mins as Mark Docherty found acres of space and time to shoot home from the edge of the Ayr box with a sweetly struck low right foot volley that gave David Hutton no chance.
So 3-0 at half-time and the manager made some drastic changes at the start of the second half replacing McArthur, Forrest and Donnelly with Beattie, McCracken and McGill as Ayr searched desperately for something to salvage from this cup tie.
The second half started much the same way as the first half had finished with Alloa looking comfortable and a yard sharper than a tired looking United side.
The game drifted for long spells in the second half as Ayr made little impression on the home sides defence while Alloa were happy to play keep ball and let Ayr do all the running. But when your luck’s out its out and a short corner on the right highlighted this.
The quickly taken set piece found its way to Mark Docherty. The left back playing on the right side delivered a low in-swinging left footed cross to the penalty area. The shallow trajectory of the ball appeared to elude everyone before skipping of the slick artificial surface and nestling in the back of the Ayr net making it 4-0 to Alloa with still 30 mins left to play.
Both teams knew the game was all but over at this stage and from then on it was a more subdued cup tie as a crestfallen United struggled to make any headway against a buoyant Alloa side who were quite happy to run down the clock.
So in the end a comfortable win for Alloa who go through to face Hibs at home in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.
21 McDowall 17 Doyle 04 Gordon 15 Marr 2 Tiffoney 6 Simmons 5 Meggatt 3 Docherty 7 Cawley
19 Buchanan 12 Weatherston
8 McCord 11 Ferns 14 Benedictus 18 Hetherington 20 Asghar 22 Hynd 31 Couser
1 Hutton 2 Devlin 3 Muir 4 McArthur 5 Shirkie 6 Gilmour 7 Forrest 8 McLaughlin 9 Donnelly
10 McGovern 11 Slane
12 McKenzie 14 McCracken 15 Wardrope 16 Beattie 17 McGill 18 Roberts 19 Newman
Ref: Don Robertson
Attendance – 420