Despite an impressive performance, Ayr fell to a 2-0 defeat at Falkirk as the home side dealt two sucker punches in the final 10 minutes of the game. An own goal from United defender Daryll Meggatt and a clinical finish from Lee Miller secured the win for The Bairns as Ayr were left to rue their missed chances.
Two changes were made to the starting lineup that defeated Hibernian as Crawford and Nisbet came in for Cairney and Adams.
Ayr looked to attack from the first whistle and after only 1 minute carved out their first chance of the game. Harkins picked the ball up on the left and his shot was blocked by McCracken on the edge of the box, Crawford then had his rebound blocked as Ayr looked to threaten the Falkirk backline.
It took the home side 15 minutes to create their first chance and it was McHugh who had his first shot on goal. Sibbald spread a ball out wide to Hippolyte who passed the ball into McHugh and the striker turned quickly but could only fire his shot harmlessly wide.
19 minutes on the clock and Ayr had their second chance through Harkins. Gilmour won the ball in midfield and drove forward before sending a pass into Harkins who let fly from the edge of the box and the ball fizzed wide of the left hand post.
Ayr continued to put the pressure on Falkirk and almost opened the scoring in albeit fortunate circumstances. Harkins picked the ball up on the right and swung a cross into the box which was met by Bairns defender Gasparotto who’s clearing header scraped inches wide of his own goal.
Falkirk began to put threaten in the final stages of the first half and on 42 minutes Baird saw his header fly well wide of the goal from a McHugh cross. 3 minutes later and Gasparotto had his header from a corner cleared off the line by Meggatt to keep the score level going into halftime.
Into the second half and the first chance fell to the home side on 55 minutes. Hippolyte picked the ball up on the left and drove into the box and his shot was heroically blocked by Devlin from close range as the strike looked goal bound.
2 minutes later and it was Ayr’s turn to test the Falkirk defence, this time from a corner. Balatoni rose highest to Gilmour corner however his header was blocked by a host of players on the line to prevent him from his 2nd goal in 2 games.
On the hour mark Nisbet almost put Ayr in front in spectacular fashion. The young striker met the ball with a first time volley from 20 yards out forcing Rodgers into a spectacular save as he tipped the strike over the bar.
Ayr’s best chance of the game came on 76 minutes. Devlin raced down the right and his cross fell to the feet of Gilmour who’s shot went agonisingly wide of the right hand post as the Ayr fans thought it had snuck inside the post.
United were then handed a blow on 78 minutes through unfortunate circumstances. A long throw in from Hippolyte was met by Meggatt who’s flick header looped past the scrambling Fleming and into his own net. 1-0 Falkirk and Ayr could feel hard done by.
Ayr attempted to pull themselves level a minute later but Nisbet’s shot from inside the box was blocked by the Falkirk defence as they were holding firm to their fortunate lead.
85 minutes on the clock and Ayr carved out another chance, this time through Thomas. A cross was whipped in on the left by McGuffie for Thomas who header over the bar from close range.
As Ayr pressed forward they were picked off on the counter and Miller secured the win. Rankin received the ball outside of the box and passed into Miller who turned Meggatt and fired high into the net from close range to break Ayr hearts. 2-0 and no way back The Honest Men.
Despite this result, Ayr remain in 6th place and now welcome Dunfermline to Somerset next Saturday. At an entry price of £5 for all, we hope to create a special atmosphere in memory of ex-Chairman Donald Cameron and roar the team on to another vital 3 points.
Rodgers, Kidd, Leahy, McCracken, Taiwo, Kerr, Baird, Sibbald, Baird, Hippolyte, Gasparotto, McHugh. Substitutes Mehmet (GK), Rankin, Miller, Shepherd, Henderson, Gallacher, Watson.
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Gilmour, Crawford, Forrest, Harkins, Nisbet, Meggatt, Balatoni, Docherty. Substitutes Hart (GK), Rose, Murphy, Thomas, Donald, Cairney, McGuffie.
Referee: Willie Collum
Match Report: AUmedia