Aufa 17’s take on the ‘Tangerines’
Ayr made the journey this morning to Tannadice Street, Dundee to take on the ‘Tangerines’ at the GA Arena, Gussie Park.
This was always going to be one of the more testing away games in the fixture list and so it ultimately proved to be.
Ayr were quick to show and there appeared to be contact on Robert Frew as he ran into the Dundee Utd box however the referee waved play on. Shortly after Frew again got near the byline and although his cross-cum shot beat the keeper a defender headed off the line to safety.
Dundee Utd then showed some menace of their own when Ayr keeper Danny Graham made a superb save from the striker from point blank range. Ayr’s Joe Barker was now making some telling runs in behind the Dundee Utd back line and linking up well with Ayr’s big striker Danny Mitchell.
Barker then worked his way past two defenders only to be thwarted at the last second as he reached the byeline.
Ayr defender Ross Love then went close with a header from a corner kick as the ball flew past the far post.
However midway through the half the home side took the lead. A quick counter attack down Ayr’s left hand side saw their forward cut inside and unleash a very good shot into the far corner past Ayr keeper Graham.
Slightly against the run of play but Ayr were again quickly on the attack with Danny Mitchell cushioning the ball for Joe Barker to strike the ball from 14 yards out only to see a defender block the goal bound shot.
Ayr keeper Graham then made a smart save as the home side hit back.
Then in the 38th minute the influential Joe Barker once again forced his way past two defenders into the box. As Barker was about to shoot he was unceremoniously upended in the box by the centre back. A stonewall penalty kick and a booking for the defender.
Barker required some attention which unfortunately delayed the spot kick. Euan Griffiths duly stepped up to take the kick but Ayr’s ‘penalty curse’ returned as the home keeper guessed the right way and made a comfortable save.
Due to Ayr’s abysmal record during the past two seasons ‘from the spot’ penalty kicks are now in fact practised in training but more practise is evidently required!!! As the first half came to a close the home side nearly took a two goal lead into the break but for a magnificent saving tackle from Ayr defender Finn Ecrepont.
Half Time : Dundee Utd 1 Ayr Utd 0.
At the interval Ayr had to replace injured centre back Hamish Brown with David Oliphant which saw Finn Ecrepont move in to the centre of defence.
Ayr started the second half well and striker Danny Mitchell nearly evened things up when he switched the ball onto his left foot but his fierce shot from twenty yards went agonisingly past the far post with the keeper well beaten.
Ayr then lost midfielder Joe Barker with injury and replaced him with Ryan Hannah. In an effort to inject some extra pace into the front line Ayr also replaced central midfielder Callum Bryce with forward Danny Wamuziri which saw Robbie Laurie return to the middle.
However, Ayr then suffered what appeared to be a very poor call by the nearside assistant referee. As a cross came in from Ayr’s left side the home team’s striker looked well offside as he finished off the move to make the score 2-0.
The explanation from the assistant for the goal to stand would leave most ‘fair minded’ people with the impression he had little understanding of the offside rule!! As the game entered the final quarter Ayr then proceeded to concede a third goal which effectively ended the game as a contest.
This time the fault lay totally with the away side’s poor defending. As a cross came in rather easily from the left side a Dundee Utd midfielder brushed aside a challenge and had a simple finish to put his side out of sight.
Ayr replaced forward Robert Frew with Logan Angus as they attempted to reduce the scoreline.
Angus in fact had a good run forward but as he cut inside, his shot from distance was saved at the near post by the home keeper.
Three minutes into time added on saw Ayr disappointingly concede a fourth and final goal.
Ayr’s recent suspect defending from set pieces returned when Dundee Utd’s centre half out jumped a defender to head home.
Full Time : Dundee Utd 4 Ayr Utd 0.
Head Coach John Crawford highlighted two key moments in the match which were effectively ‘game changers’. Crawford lamented yet another missed spot kick just before the interval which could have seen his team go in level at the break and also the ‘offside goal’ which effectively gave Ayr a mountain to climb. The coach however was very disappointed in the two late goals which were purely down to poor defending. Crawford added, ‘After three disappointing results we now complete the first half of the league programme with two home fixtures. As a group we need to have a good week’s preparation and go again next weekend against Partick Thistle’.
Ayr United : Graham, Nohar, Brown, Love, Ecrepont, Griffiths, Bryce, Laurie, Barker, Frew, Mitchell.
Subs : Hannah, Oliphant, Wamuziri, Angus.
Sunday 3rd December Ayr Utd v Partick Thistle, Belmont Academy, Kick Off 11.00am.