Ayr United 17s | Academy 17s earn well deserved draw


Ayr United 17s v Partick Thistle 17s

The home side were determined to put on a good performance against their Glasgow rivals in this morning’s early kick off and Ayr were into their stride from the off when in the 3rd minute a good pass from Toni Sisi to forward Gabe Skeoch saw the winger cut the ball back only to see it kicked off the goal line at the back post. Partick hit back on the counter and Ayr keeper Danny Graham had to look lively to come out of his box to clear his lines. However Ayr had their ‘tails up’ and Toni Sisi again did well this time to release Ryan Connolly. The winger cut inside his marker and curled in a good shot from 18 yards which the Partick keeper did well to hold.

However, again the away side countered but the returning Hamish Brown did well to block the effort. Ayr were dominating the majority of play and in 25 minutes Joe Barker turned his marker well but his strike was well held by the away side’s keeper. Partick were next to show winning a corner on Ayr’s right hand side. The resultant kick saw Patrick’s centre back head over the top but was well matched by the Ayr defender. As the game reached the half hour mark and Ayr well in the ascendancy controversy struck. A diagonal ball from Patrick’s midfield found a forward who was instantly flagged offside by the near side assistant referee. However, instead of the free kick being awarded to Ayr the referee ignored the flag and waved play on. There was no obvious advantage to Ayr and so it proved as Partick won the ball back and played it forward into the Ayr penalty box. As the Partick striker ran onto the pass a split second’s hesitation from Ayr keeper Graham gave just enough space for the ball to nestle in the far corner of the goal.

 

After a very promising first half hour Ayr found themselves behind albeit against the run of play. However the home side stuck to their task and continued to build from the back and play the correct way. Good build up play in midfield and decent movement from Ayr’s front three produced several corners but the home side were unable to make the all important break through. Half Time: Ayr United 0 Partick Thistle 1.

Ayr made no changes at the break and began the second half the way they had finished the first, on the front foot. An early corner kick saw centre back Ross Love go close with a header at the back post. Ayr continued to press forward in search of a goal and the majority of play was now inside their opponent’s half. Several corner kicks were again defended well by the away side as their back line stayed solid. In the 65th minute and with no break through arriving Ayr made their first changes of the match. The home side replacing Ryan Connolly and Joe Barker with strikers Josh Dillon and Harry McLaughlin and reverting to a more traditional 4-4-2 system.

Ayr keeper Graham was more or less a spectator at this stage but had to look lively diving to his left to hold a driven shot from distance. Ayr then had to replace centre back Hamish Brown with Finn Ecrepont through injury. Ayr continued to probe with good build up play but again couldn’t find a way through. The only thing really missing in Ayr’s performance was the final ball in the last third of the pitch. As the clock ran down the game entered the final 15 minutes. The home side then replaced defender David Oliphant and midfielder Sean Millarvie with Deri Thomson and Danny Mitchell. Again the home side altered their formation this time adjusting to a 3-4-3 system with Danny Mitchell up top and through the middle. Finally with 6 minutes left Ayr won a corner kick after good pressure from striker Josh Dillon. As the ball was flighted to the back post by Gabe Skeoch central defender Ross Love (pictured) rose to power a terrific header into the top left hand corner for a hugely deserved equaliser.

With 3 minutes left Partick were reduced to ten men when one of their players was ordered off but Ayr couldn’t find a winner. Full Time: Ayr United 1 Partick Thistle 1. Ayr United 17s travel to Lanarkshire next weekend to play Motherwell.

After the game Ayr United 17s Head Coach, John Crawford, said

“I was very pleased with the team’s response after falling behind. I must praise the players for continuing to keep a good shape and for playing good football throughout. There were sound performances in all areas of the team and the equalising goal would have been fit to win any game”

Ayr United: Graham, Wardrope, Brown, Love, Oliphant, Barker, Millarvie ( Capt), Sisi, Connolly, George, Skeoch. Subs: Thomson, Dillon, Bryce, Mitchell, Ecrepont, McLaughlin, Brotherston.

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