Dunfermline Athletic 0 v 1 Ayr United
The Honest Men earned a hard fought 3 points at East End Park with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a goal from Ross Docherty early in the second half.
It was the home side that started the stronger and on 4 mins had their first chance. A poor clearance at the edge of the box by Fleming led to Cardle having a shot towards an empty net but Balatoni was there to clear the ball off the line.
2 mins later and the Pars were threatening the Ayr goal again, this time through ex-Ayr man Michael Moffat. Williamson collected the ball on the right and his cross was met at the front post by Moffat whose header flashed across goal and rebounded back off the post.
Ayr’s first chance of the half came on 16 mins. Rose picked up the ball midway through the Dunfermline half and played it to Docherty who turned on the edge of the area and dragged a shot wide of the goal.
The final chance of the half fell to the home side on 35 mins. Higginbotham’s ball from the right was met by Clark in the centre of the box however his header was well wide and caused Fleming no problems.
Dunfermline had the first chance of the second half through Moffat on 46 mins. The striker picked up the ball inside the Ayr half before driving into the box and curling a shot which was superbly tipped over the bar by Fleming from close range.
47 mins gone and Ayr almost took the lead through El Alagui. A freekick from 30 yards out was whipped into the box by Gilmour and El Alagui’s reaction header was saved on the line by Murdoch from close range.
2 mins later and Ayr did go ahead. A corner from the right was curled in my Gilmour, headered by Docherty and then passed between the legs of a defender then bobbled and crept over the line to give the Honest Men a crucial goal.
On 56 mins, a freekick by Rose from 25 yard out was tipped over the bar by Pars’ keeper Murdoch just as the ball appeared to be creeping under the bar. Forrest then had a shot from a tight angle saved by Murdoch.
Dunfermline continued to increase the pressure and went all out for an equaliser. On 67 mins, they should have drawn level. A Williamson cutback was met by the unmarked Cardle some 12 yards out but he somehow managed to fire the ball high and wide when it looked a certain goal.
The home side continued to press and on 76 mins had yet another golden chance. Talbot’s cross on the byline on the left was met by Paton whose header was disappointing, weak and straight into the arms of Fleming.
The final chance of the match fell to Hopkirk on 80 mins. The substitute drove forward and into space before his drive from 25 yards out was clawed away by Fleming.
3 points for the Honest Men as other results mean that the lower end of the league tightens and those above are also drawn closer. Next up Dumbarton on Saturday at Somerset Park.
Murdoch, Talbot, Ashcroft, Morris, Herron, Williamson, Wedderburn, Clark, Moffat, Cardle, Higginbotham. Substitutes Hutton (GK), Fordyce, Spence, Paton, McCabe, Reilly, Hopkirk.
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Gilmour, Rose, Forrest, El Alagui, Meggatt, Balatoni, Docherty, Crawford. Substitutes Hart (GK), Moore, Harkins, McKenzie, Wardrope, McGuffie, McKenna.
Referee: Bobby Madden
Match Report: AUmedia