Academy 14s v Falkirk 14s
Ayr United 14s welcomed Falkirk 14s to Prestwick Academy on Sunday and it was Ayr that started brightly, moving the ball well from the back. Ayr forced an early corner which was cleared to Robbie Graham whose shot from 25 yards tested the Falkirk keeper. The next chance fell to Will Graham whose left foot shot from outside the box struck the post with the keeper well beaten. The Ayr defensive quartet of Nathan Baird, Fraser Patterson, Lyall Cameron & Robbie Graham had made a confident start and looked comfortable creating moves from the back.
However against the run of play Falkirk latched onto an Ayr kick out and their striker expertly chipped Ayr goalkeeper Taylor Davidson. Ayr responded quickly though and a through ball by Callum Ogston sent Jamie Martin clear but his shot was narrowly over. Ayr were pushing hard for the equaliser but gave away a free kick in a dangerous position. With Ayr expecting a direct shot on goal the Falkirk player squared the ball to his team mate who struck a superb shot into the top corner leaving Davidson with no chance. The first period drew to a close with Ayr feeling very disappointed to be behind.
Ayr started the second period slowly and they were punished for a slack pass out from the back. Falkirk scored further goals without having to work too hard for them. However as the period progressed Ayr created several good opportunities. First a Leon Murphy (pictured) header from a Graeme Squire’s cross tested the keeper. A Callum Ogston free kick was then superbly saved by the Falkirk keeper who clawed the ball away from the top corner. The next opportunity fell to Thomas Dunlop who latched on to a lobed pass from Jackson Sivewright however before he could shoot he was flatted by the keeper and the referee pointed to the spot. However the resultant penalty was firmly struck by Leon Murphy but unfortunately it crashed off the bar with the keeper well beaten and Falkirk scrambled the ball to safety.
Ayr started the third period brightly with Will Graham & Leon Murphy working hard in the centre of midfield and constantly demanding the ball. Both put in good performances throughout the game. Will Graham created space for himself but had to watch in horror as his 25 yarder crashed of the junction of bar and post and this was typical of Ayr’s luck throughout the match.
Just when Ayr were in the ascendency they were punished for an error at the back. However Jamie Martin deservedly got Ayr on the score sheet when he controlled a pass into the box, turned and shot high into the net. Ayr continued to push forward to try to add to their tally and Will Graham was unlucky to see another 25 yarder beat the goalkeeper but narrowly flew wide of the post. For all Ayr’s good play Falkirk defended well and they saw out the game.
Overall the Ayr coaches were pleased with the majority of the performance and the fact that the boys are continuing to try to play the ball out from the back. It would be very easy to start hitting long balls from the back and missing out the midfield. The player’s movement off the ball is improving and they just need to quicken up their distribution. The coaches rued the three strikes that hit the woodwork which on another day could easily have gone in and would have resulted in a truer reflection of the game.