Ayr United 2 v 2 Forfar Athletic
On Saturday, Ayr a United welcomed league one table toppers Forfar Athletic to Somerset Park – hoping to be the first team to take points off the Angus team this season.
Manager Ian McCall opted to rest Gerry McLauchlan as new signing Andy Graham partnered Peter Murphy at the heart of the United defence. Ayr were missing midfield duo Alan Trouten and Ross Docherty due to injury and suspension. Forfar had a number of injury worries for the trip but they would be confident of collecting the points after a fantastic start to the season, winning all three games.
The first chance of the match fell to Ayr as Paddy Boyle stormed forward before laying off to Brian Gilmour. Gilmour’s cross was met by the head of Jordan Preston but he watched his effort loop over the bar.
Despite the game being fairly even in terms of possession, Ayr were creating the better chances early on as Nicky Devlin burst into the penalty area before cutting back for Craig Moore. The on loan striker fired his shot just wide of the post as he looked to add to his tally after opening his account for the club last weekend.
On 26mins Forfar took the lead with their first real chance of the game. Robbie Crawford’s misplaced pass was intercepted in the final third by Kevin Allan. Just as everyone thought he had controlled the ball with his hand, the Forfar number 10 remained composed and stroked the ball home into the corner to give his side the all-important advantage.
Forfar then looked to add a second as good inter-play down the left between Chris Templeman and Danny Denholm allowed Campbell the chance to cross. His ball in landed at the feet of Hay whose shot was well saved from a tight angle.
Right on the stroke of half time Ayr levelled the game. Alan Forrest chipped the ball to his right hand side where Moore was waiting to beautifully volley home from 20 yards, sending a curling effort past the helpless Rab Douglas.
Half time and Ayr were deservedly back in the game but Forfar were moving the ball well and looking very composed in possession.
United started the second half brighter and following a short corner the ball was floated in towards Jamie Adams. The dominant midfielder knocked the ball down to the on rushing Forrest who slammed his effort into the side netting. Forrest wasn’t to be denied for long as he gave United the lead after 57 minutes. Moore lofted the ball forward towards strike partner Preston who set up Forrest. His first time effort squirmed under Douglas and into the net – the game had been turned on its head and The Honest Men were now a goal to the good.
Preston then had four chances to kill the game as he sought his first goal since returning the club. The young striker was unlucky on all occasions as he just couldn’t find the back of the net with Douglas equal to two of his efforts with the other two landing over the bar.
Then, just as Ayr did in the first, Forfar equalised in last minute of the half. The ball was delivered into the centre of the box and as the initial header was going wide of the post, Michael Donald was just in the wrong place at the wrong time as the ball hit off his face and into the back of the net. Disappointment for Ayr who should have had the game won by then but Forfar showed excellent spirit to keep going until the end.
Full time and the game finished 2-2. Forfar looked good on the ball but created very little on a day where Ayr should have had the game wrapped up before the last minute equaliser.
Next up, Ayr United welcome Stenhousemuir on Tuesday night as they look to get back to winning ways.
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Adams, Graham, Murphy, Gilmour, Crawford, Preston, Moore, Forrest Substitutes McLauchlan, Caldwell, Muir, Donald, Nisbet, McCracken, Newman (GK)
Douglas, Black, Campbell, Dunlop, Travis, Young, Hay, Hodge, Templeman, Allan, Denholm Substitutes Malin, Smith, Fotheringham, Yates, Clark, Neave, King (GK)
Referee: Euan Anderson