Peterhead 0 v 4 Ayr United
Ayr recorded back to back 4-0 away victories by thrashing 10 man Peterhead at Balmoor. Goals from Ross McCrorie, Jordan Preston and double from Craig Moore were enough to earn Ayr 3 points and move above Peterhead to 2nd place in the league.
Iain McCall returned to the touchline following his recent illness and made one change from last week’s line-up with Ross McCrorie coming in for Alan Forrest.
Ayr got off to a bad start and after only 8 mins conceded a penalty. Andy Graham failed to control a loose ball midway in the Ayr half allowing Jordan Brown to break into the box, he was tackled by Nicky Devlin who seemed to get a toe on the ball but the referee pointed to the spot.
Rory McAllister stepped up to take the penalty but his shot bounced back off the left hand post and Brown failed to convert the rebound with Ayr throwing bodies in front of the ball to prevent a goal.
2 mins later and McAllister was sent off for a moment of madness off the ball. McAllister raised his elbow catching Peter Murphy on the face and was sent off for his troubles.
On 16 mins (and one man down) it was the home side that nearly took the lead. Shane Sutherland managed to turn Murphy and his strike from 25 yards looked as if it would loop into the net but was deflected just wide of Ayr’s goal.
However, it wasn’t long before Ayr made the most of their numerical advantage and took the lead. On 24 mins Craig Moore collected the ball and drove into the Peterhead half, his pass to Preston seemed to be too heavy but Preston managed to outpace 2 players before sending through to McCrorie in the box. McCrorie’s cutback was met by Moore who coolly finished from close range. A clinical attack and Ayr were 1-0 up.
Ayr almost doubled their advantage 5 minutes later when keeper Graeme Smith failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Moore but he failed to divert his shot into the net from close range
Continuous pressure from United proved too much for the home side and Ayr made it 2 right on half time. Ross Docherty whipped in a dangerous corner and Smith couldn’t get a proper hand on the ball which fell to McCrorie who outmuscled Sutherland to fire the ball into the net.
5 mins into the second half and the home side almost found a way back into the game through Shane Sutherland whose header from a corner was cleared off the line by Ross Docherty.
With 53 mins on the clock Ayr made it 3-0. A long ball by Peter Murphy was met by Donald on the left and he drove down the wing before cutting the ball across to Crawford. Crawford laid the ball off to Preston and he fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to increase Ayr’s lead.
3 mins later and Jamie Redman almost pulled a goal back for the home side. Under pressure, keeper Fleming struggled to hold onto the ball as it swung in from a corner but from 6 yards out Redman couldn’t direct his shot goalwards.
McCrorie almost doubled his goal tally for the game after 61 minutes however he fired over from inside the box.
Ayr then added a fourth as Moore got his second of the game after 81 mins. Forrest collected the ball midway in the Peterhead half and his pass sent Preston through into the box. Preston’s layoff ball found his strike partner Moore who gave Smith no chance firing high into the net from close range topping off a successful day for the Honest Men.
Ayr now welcome play off chasing Airdrie to Somerset next week as United aim to secure 2nd place in the league.
Smith, Ferry, Noble, Strachan, Brown, Dzierzawski, Stevenson, Redman, McAllister, Sutherland, Riley. Substitutes: Jarvie (GK), McIntosh, Blockley, Ferries, Lawrence, Rodgers.
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Docherty Graham, Murphy, McCrorie, Crawford, Preston, Moore, Donald. Substitutes Newman (GK), Forrest, McLauchlan, Wardrope.
Referee Euan Anderson
Match Report: AUmedia