Both teams had plenty to play for in this league 1 fixture with home side Morton looking to stay in contention for the league title as Ayr looked to avoid a relegation play-off place.
United were without Adam Blakeman who was serving the second of his two game suspension along with Alan Forrest who was suffering from a re-occurrence of tonsillitis.
After a subdued opening from both sides it was Ayr who threatened first with Brian Gilmour creating a couple of half chances for Robbie Crawford and Jordan Preston.
Jamie McCluskey went close for Morton after 7 mins with a shot from distance and then followed this up with a cross come shot 3 mins later that was missed by everyone and nearly sneaked in at the far post.
Robbie Crawford should have done better with a header in 17 mins from a terrific cross from Mikey Donald but he could only manage to loop his header over the bar from 12 yards out.
Lee Kilday almost opened the scoring for Morton in 25 mins after David Hutton was put under pressure with a short pass back. His clearance from close range cannoning off the onrushing full back and going just wide of the far post.
Brian Gilmour then went close with a free kick in 31 mins before Morton started to take control of the game pressing Ayr back in to their own penalty area. However a combination of good defending and poor finishing saw the teams go in all square at the break.
The second half started with Ayr changing formation and reverting to a back four. And in the 52nd min that change won Ayr a free kick on the edge of the Morton penalty box. Up stepped captain John Paul McGovern who struck a superbly executed free kick into the keepers top right hand corner of the goal to give Ayr a surprise 1-0 lead.
The home fans began to vent their frustration at their side’s inability to capitalise on some decent spells of possession with Ayr growing in confidence as the game progressed. Mikey Donald then threatened for Ayr again with a stinging shot from 25 yards that keeper Gaston did well to hold.
Robbie Crawford should have put Ayr in a more comfortable position when through on goal in 67 mins but his low shot was superbly saved by the left hand of Derek Gaston in the Morton goal. Jordan Preston followed up this bad miss with a good chance of his own but as he burst through the Morton defence with only the keeper to beat he failed to control the ball as he ran in on goal and the chance was lost.
The game started to open up as legs tired in the final 15 mins but no one was expecting the ending to this game that occurred as Ayr hung on to a precious 3 points.
As Morton chased the equaliser and the pressure built on the Ayr defence the United rearguard finally buckled under the sustained attacks by the Greenock side. In the 90th minute United failed to clear a cross into the box and from the resultant scramble Declan McManus levelled the score heading home from close range.
United were reeling from the shock of this late equaliser but worse was to come as Morton came back at Ayr after the restart.
With 92 mins on the clock Morton regained possession from kick off and worked the ball out to the right hand side. Ross Forbes collected the ball in space before cutting in from the wing to strike a low drive past the exposed David Hutton to score a dramatic late winner for the home side.
This result saw Morton maintain their title challenge, but leave Ayr devastated at losing the game so late in the day.
Attendance – 1552
Ayr United – Hutton; Devlin; Donald; Murphy; McKenna; McGovern; Murray; Crawford; Preston; Gilmour; Robertson
Subs – Newman; Nisbet; Neill; Muir; Campbell
Morton – Gaston; Kilday; Russell; O’Ware; Lamie; Miller; McCluskey; Forbes; MacDonald; McManus; Caldwell
Subs – Adam; Crighton; McCluskey; Scullion; Ferris; Milojevic
Report – AUMedia