Ayr United 1 v 0 Albion Rovers
Ayr United extended their unbeaten run to thirteen games on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Albion Rovers at Somerset Park. A single Alan Trouten strike seven minutes before half time was enough to secure a win which kept United top of the table.
The home side came into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw away to Brechin City and gaffer Ian McCall reintroduced Alan Forrest to the starting line-up, replacing Ross Caldwell. Rovers were without target man John Gemmell as they looked for a repeat of their stunning opening day victory over United.
It was the visiting team who started the brighter and they could have been awarded a penalty after nine minutes. Goalkeeper, Ross Stewarts mammoth kick was met by the pacey Ally Love. His touch took him wide but Gerry McLauchlan seemed to catch the winger as he tried to escape the centre half. However, the referee decided not to give the penalty.
The Honest Men then had a great chance to take the lead. Nicky Devlin found Forrest in space allowing the youngster to free Alan Trouten with a neat through ball. Trouten latched onto the ball but dragged his effort wide of the far post, but this was to be a sign of things to come.
Albion then could have to easily taken the lead after a long ball from Alan Reid found the feet of the dangerous, Love. He brought the ball down well but unfortunately for Rovers, sent his effort wide of the target.
After 38 minutes, Ayr took went ahead with a terrific goal. Ross Docherty collected the ball in midfield and drove forward. He then spotted the trademark overlapping run of Devlin and threaded an inch-perfect pass in behind the opposition defence. Devlin timed his run to perfection, meeting the ball at the by-line and cutting back for Trouten to sweep home from ten yards. A wonderful goal to give the league leaders the advantage.
The opening twenty minutes of the second half were largely dominated by Ayr, who seemed to lift things after their goal. Substitute Michael Donald’s free-kick was met by the head of Graham but his header looped skyward. Trouten almost salvage the move but his overhead kick dropped just wide of Stewart’s goal.
United were looking to assert their dominance and another beautiful team move almost resulted in a second goal. Nearly every player was involved in the build-up before Devlin flicked the ball into the box where Alan Forrest was on hand to meet the ball but his effort dropped just wide of the target.
Albion Rovers then started to slowly creep back into the game and Gary Fisher tried his luck. The number four drifted into the box before lashing an effort into the side netting.
Shortly after, Ayr’s Robbie Crawford tried to curl in effort in from the edge of the box but keeper Stewart got down and saved well.
With a minute to go Albion were piling on the pressure. Fisher floated a pinpoint cross onto the head of Scott McBride but he couldn’t divert his header goalwards. The offside flag was up in any case.
The final action of the game brought a heart in mouth moment for Ayr fans. Albion Rovers were awarded a free kick thirty yards out. Ross Davidson whipped a wicked ball into the back post where it was kept alive and a goalmouth scramble ensued but much to Ayr’s relief the off-side flag was raised.
Ian McCall was frustrated with his side’s performance and felt that they could have played a lot better. Darren Young, on the other hand praised his players believing their performance was excellent and deserving of something from the game.
Ayr welcome Airdrieonians to Somerset Park next weekend hoping to keep the momentum going and stay at the summit of the division.
Ayr United; Fleming (GK), Devlin, Boyle, Docherty, McLauchlan, Graham, Adams, Crawford, Preston, Trouten, Forrest Substitutes; Newman (GK), Donald, Murphy, Caldwell, Muir, McCracken
Albion Rovers; Stewart (GK), Reid, Turnbull, Fisher, R. Dunlop, M. Dunlop, Ferry, Davidson, Barrowman, Willis, Love Substitutes; Terry (GK), Mullin, Young, Talu, McBride, McRobbie
Referee George Salmond