Dumbarton 0 v 3 Ayr United
The Honest Men capped off their first quarter in the Championship with an emphatic win over Dumbarton at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium. A hat-trick from Alan Forrest downed the home side as Ayr coasted to victory.
Ayr began the match as they meant to go on and after only 2 mins opened the scoring. Smith gave the ball away in midfield, allowing Cairney to play it to Harkins on the left. Harkins moved into the box but his close range effort was blocked by Martin but Forrest was there to tap in the rebound at the far post. Ayr were off to a perfect start and it was 1-0.
With 15 mins on the clock Ayr again put the home side under pressure. Forrest picked the ball up in midfield and drove forward before passing to Harkins who hit a powerful shot from 25 yards that just cleared the bar.
Dumbarton broke straight up the park and former Honest Man Ryan Stevenson tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area but his shot curled just wide of the left hand post.
Ayr were certainly not shot-shy and after 19 mins had another effort towards goal. Crawford ran forward and laid the ball off to Gilmour who took an audacious chip from the edge of the box which looped just wide of the goal.
Into the second half and Dumbarton had the first chance through Thomson. The midfielder’s shot from 20 yards out was deflected inches wide by Devlin and from the resultant corner, Robert Thomson somehow fired over from just 4 yards out.
Ayr were quick to make Dumbarton rue their missed chances and doubled their lead on 50 mins after a howler from goalkeeper Martin. Martin left his box and made to the by-line and tried to dribble the ball around Harkins who had closed him down. Harkins easily dispossessed the keeper then squared the ball to Forrest who had the simplest of tasks to slot home into the empty net. 2-0 Ayr and Forrest was seeking his first senior hat-trick.
On 60 mins Dumbarton almost halved the deficit. A Stevenson corner was met by Barr and his goal bound header had to be cleared off the line by Docherty.
It went from bad to worse for the home side as they conceded a penalty on 61 mins. Devlin raced down the right hand side and got past Harvie who saw no other option but to haul down the United skipper inside the box. Forrest stepped up to the penalty spot and drove the ball home to complete his hat-trick. 3-0 Ayr and The Honest Men were looking impressive.
The home side continued to try and pull a goal back and almost did so through Stanton on 67 mins. The winger cut inside from the right and his curling drive was well saved by Fleming as the shot looked destined for the top corner.
Ayr were handed a glorious chance to make it 4-0 on 78 mins with when substitute Nisbet drove past the Dumbarton defence into space but Martin did well to block his shot in a one-on-one situation.
Ayr’s passing and movement was slick, fast and creative. On 79 mins this brought the fans to their feet as they went close again. The ball was moved from one side of the pitch to the other and, with flicks and short passes, McGuffie and Gilmour created apace on the edge of the box. Unfortunately, Gilmour’s exquisitely curled drive scraped narrowly past the post.
The result leaves Ayr in 7th place and aiming to continue their good form as they face Queen of the South at Somerset next week.
Martin, Pettigrew, Docherty, Thomson, Stevenson, Todd, Thomson, Stanton, Harvie, Barr, Smith. Substitutes Ewings (GK), Buchanan, Fleming, McCallum, Wright, Stirling.
Fleming, Devlin, Gilmour, Murphy, Crawford, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Meggatt, Balatoni, Docherty. Substitutes Hart (GK), Boyle, O’Connell, Donald, Nisbet, McGuffie.
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Match Report: AUmedia