In their first home pre-season friendly, United lost 4-1 to an extremely physical Rotherham United team.

After holding them to a 0-0 draw after 45 minutes, former Ayr United player, Steve Evans made 11 changes to his team, giving them an edge over the home side in the second period.

After Rotherham notched 3 second half goals, Michael Moffat scored from a penalty before Ben Pringle rounded off the scoring with a free kick.

For the second game in a row, Scott McLaughlin partnered Alan Lithgow in the centre of defence and was in charge of a well organised team.

Rotherham posed a physical test and were close to opening the scoring when Michael Nardiello cracked a shot against the post.

New signing David Hutton proved to be a useful acquisition by looking commanding and composed as well as pulling off a sublime point blank save from a bullet header.

Robbie Crawford was agonisingly close to opening the scoring when he rifled a 25 yard shot towards the top corner which was clawed round the post by Scott Shearer.

At the half time break, Rotherham made 11 substitutions but Mark Roberts stuck to his guns, making only 1 change during the match with Alan Forrest making his first appearance at Somerset Park.

Hutton was impressive throughout and pulled off another miraculous stop after 51 minutes when he blocked a close range drive from Kieron Agard.

The Millers class was evident though and they opened the scoring a minute later when the colossal Alex Revell powered a header beyond Hutton.

After coming on at half time, Revell made the difference for Rotherham and was able to head his side into a 2-0 win.

After 68 minutes, Rotherham made it 3-0 when Mitch Rose crashed the ball home from the edge of the area.

Despite trailing 3-0, United still rampaged forward at every opportunity with Michael Donald working tirelessly throughout. Ayr then got their reward when Michael Moffat was chopped down in the area after clever play from Alan Forrest. Moffat then stepped up to take the penalty and placed the ball beyond Adam Collin.

With the game drawing to a close Rotherham took a 4-1 lead when Ben Pringle curled a free kick from 25 yards into the top corner.

After the game Mark Roberts said: “It was a great work out and although the score line wasn’t great it doesn’t matter in pre-season.

“The guys worked really well together and made a number of chances going forward.

“Our team shape was also really good but we got a wee bit ragged after we conceded the first goal.

“There are so many positives to take from that game. The guys are buying into what we want them to do which is great.

“I only made one change in the game as the team that started the match are my starting 11 at the moment so we need to get them as fit as possible.

“Our goalkeeper, David Hutton was fantastic and pulled off a magnificent save in the first half.

“Gordon Pope and Michael Donald also worked really well together.

“Alan Forrest came on and although he’s young he’s proving to be a lovely footballer. He’s a real bright prospect for the future and judging on his performance, he’ll probably get some game time this season.”

Ayr: Hutton, Hunter, Pope, McLaughlin, Lithgow, Crawford, McGowan (Forrest), Marenghi, Moffat, Malcolm and Donald. Subs: Muir, Shankland, Wardrope, Longridge, McGill, Wylie.

Rotherham- 1st half: Shearer, Brindley, Skarz, Morgan, Davis, Noble, Worrall, Tidser, Hyltonn, Nardiello, Milson.

2nd half: Collin, Bradley, Rowe, Arnason, Mullins, Rose, O’Connor (Walker), Frecklington, Pringle, Revell, Agard.

Attendance: 633

By Michael Lamont

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