Sunday 29th April 2012
Ayr United 13’s Vs St Johnstone @ McDiarmid Park
Ayr travelled to St Johnstone to face one of their toughest challenges of the season and were once again fortunate to face perfect sunny conditions. Ayr started the game well combining good passing and good pressure to force St Johnstone back into their own half for much of the first period.
Following good work by Daniel McAllister on the right the ball broke to Jackson Sivewright who managed to stab the ball through to Leon Murphy in midfield. Murphy played a delightful slide rule pass into the feet of Euan McCance who flicked the ball over the onrushing keeper.
Ayr extended their lead following a good inswinging corner from Will Graham which was nodded home by Leon Murphy at the front post. Ayr then snatched at several good chances which would have put the game beyond St Johnstone. St Johnstone still posed a threat with their pace up front and fired a warning by hitting the post late in the first period.
The second period proved a difficult one as St Johnstone came more into the game and Ayr’s passing became poor gifting possession to the opposition. As Ayr failed on several occasions to clear their lines down the left the ball made its way into the box where a low shot would eventually squirm under keeper Taylor Davidson. Ten minutes later a copy cat goal occurred except this time down the right hand side. Ayr failed to clear their lines and the ball was well struck from the edge of the box into the top corner. At this point St Johnstone were the stronger team and the end of the second period was a welcome relief.
Ayr woke from their slumber in the third thanks in part to the excellent contribution of Kieran Balfour who was excellent all day and caused chaos with his strong running from midfield. An example of this was an excellent reverse pass from Robbie Graham into the path of Balfour who then slid in Jamie Martin to finish with precision.
The game was sealed towards the end of the third period when a thirty yard strike by Daniel McAllister arrowed its way into the roof of the net definitely making it a contender for goal of the season.
Coach John Kelly was delighted on the whole with the performance with only a few defensive errors letting the team down. When the team moved the ball quickly they looked unplayable and the fact the scoring was once again shared around the team was a major positive.