Ayr Utd 17s v St Mirren 17s
Sunday 22nd October 2017
Ayr 17s hosted St Mirren this morning in the early kick off at Belmont Academy. Fresh from a promising performance last week against Aberdeen the Honest Men were determined to put a stop to a run of four consecutive single goal defeats.
The blustery conditions were to prove difficult for both teams who were trying to get the ball down and play.
Ayr were first to show when midfielder Joe Barker let fly from just outside the box but the Buddies keeper saved comfortably.
Ayr full back David Oliphant was next to try his luck from distance but the ball flew past the far post.
Ayr were certainly dominating with the wind behind them and in twenty minutes deservedly took the lead.
This time Paul Smith delivered an inviting cross towards Ayr striker Kaylum Ferguson but a Buddies defender in attempting to clear steered the ball over his own goalkeeper and into the net.
At this stage Ayr were well on top and creating opportunities.
Robbie Laurie was next to have a go but his effort went past.
Ayr could well have gone two in front when a great cross from Paul Smith whistled across goal and centre back Callum Bryce narrowly failed to get the all important touch.
However, St Mirren were dangerous on the break and Ayr keeper Danny Graham made an all important double save when their striker got on the end of a short pass back from Ayr’s midfielder Robbie Laurie.
Then on thirty five minutes Ayr had a great opportunity to put daylight between themselves and the away team.
Ayr striker Kaylum Ferguson intelligently intercepted a square pass and ran through 1-1 with the keeper.
However the Ayr forward had too much time to think and his extra touches allowed the keeper to block and a certain goal was prevented. St Mirren had now come more into the game and Ayr then did what has happened so often this season, conceded when just having spurned a good opportunity.
This time Ayr’s wide player Paul Smith failed to track his man and when the second ball came back into Ayr’s box a St Mirren player prodded the ball home for the leveller.
Half time duly arrived with the home side hugely disappointed not to be ahead.
Half Time : Ayr United 1 St Mirren 1
Ayr made a change at the interval replacing Paul Smith with front player Josh Dillon.
In fact it only took Dillon a couple of minutes to make his presence felt when he cut in from the right and saw his shot and subsequent rebound blocked by the keeper.
As the pressure mounted on the away side Ayr should have gone in front.
This time incredibly the home side had three attempts to score.
Firstly, Josh Dillon fashioned some space for himself getting his shot away only to see it blocked near the goal line. As the ball rebounded back Joe Barker was next to see his shot blocked on the line by a defender.
Again, the ball cannoned back out and Kaylum Ferguson looked a certain scorer only to see his shot also blocked with a defender’s lunge.
Ayr then replaced striker Kaylum Ferguson with Danny Wamuziri but it was keeper Danny Graham to the rescue when he did well to come and clear his lines to prevent a dangerous attack. Wamazuri then showed great pace to cut across the centre back only to see his cross whistle past to safety.
Ayr however kept knocking at the door and their persistence paid off on 75 minutes when the all important goal finally arrived.
Ayr won a corner on the right hand side and quick thinking from Gabe Skeoch and Joe Barker unlocked the door.
From the training ground, Skeoch played the ball to the front post area and Joe Barker got himself across his marker to slot home from eight yards out.
Ayr’s game management then proved better than in recent weeks when they kept the ball mainly in their opponent’s half as the clock ran down.
St Mirren did have one final effort when a dubious free kick was won outside the box but was defended well and the game was won.
Full Time : Ayr United 2 St Mirren 1
Ayr Head Coach John Crawford was very pleased to see his team win and praised them for their perseverance in the second half. The coach said,
‘Confidence comes from winning games and you could see we were a bit nervous towards the end of the match.
However, great to get the win today and move forward now to next week’.
Ayr United : Graham, Nohar, Bryce, Love, Oliphant, Griffiths, Laurie, Skeoch, Barker, Smith, Ferguson.
Subs : Dillon, Angus, Hannah, Wamuziri, McKinnon.
Next week sees the Ayr team travel through to the Oriam in Edinburgh to face Hearts of Midlothian.