Ayr United 17’s take on Partick Thistle 17’s on Sunday 29th April 2018
After the recent away defeat to Fife Elite the home side were eager to produce a better performance at home to their Glasgow rivals.
Ayr started the game well creating two very good early opportunities.
Firstly, a good ball from Ayr keeper Danny Graham was flicked on by Gabe Skeoch to striker Robert Frew. Although the striker brought a save from the Partick keeper he would probably have been better served taking the shot earlier and across the keeper.
However, Ayr now dominating proceedings then created an even better opportunity leaving captain Gabe Skeoch through one on one with the keeper. The striker appeared to try and side foot his shot instead of hitting through the ball which resulted in a weak effort being easily stopped by the keeper.
Partick though showed they were sharp on the counter attack and on a couple of occasions went close.
Then on twenty minutes the away side unexpectedly took the lead. A speculative shot from around 25 yards appeared to take Ayr keeper Graham by surprise and although getting fingertips to the ball only succeeded in helping it high into the top corner of the net.
Really the same script of recent weeks with Ayr creating chances, not taking them and then losing soft goals! Not a good recipe for winning football matches! Ayr had now changed to a more orthodox 4-4-2 system with Kaylum Ferguson and Robert Frew through the middle.
Since the concession of the goal Ayr started to follow a similar pattern of giving the ball away cheaply and lacking any real composure in possession. Half time duly arrived with the home side again behind at the interval and needing to regroup.
Half Time : Ayr Utd 0 Partick Thistle 1
Ayr made two changes for the second period replacing midfielder Andrew Heaney and Kaylum Ferguson with striker Danny Mitchell and midfielder Logan Angus in an effort to get better penetration in the last third of the pitch. However, Partick showed they were a threat with their two strikers causing Ayr all sorts of problems.
Twice Ayr keeper Graham did well making good stops with players getting too much freedom.
Then a huge turning point in the game after an hour when Ayr striker Gabe Skeoch rose at the back post challenged by the Partick keeper. The Ayr striker headed home through the keeper’s hands for what looked an equaliser but the match official deemed an infringement had taken place! It is extremely difficult to work out what the infringement was and fair to say that the official was probably the only person in attendance who saw one!
However, Ayr kept knocking at the door and an excellent cross from Logan Angus deserved better with unfortunately no takers. Ayr then replaced midfielder Joe Barker and striker Robert Frew with Aidan Moffat and Paul Smith as they searched for the all important goal.
Logan Angus was unlucky with a decent effort from outside the box which flew past the keeper’s right hand post.
Then with 72 minutes played Ayr conceded a second goal and again this goal was cheaply given away.
The ball was initially lost in midfield when a stronger tackle could firstly have averted danger. The ball was played up to the Partick No 9 who was given too much space to turn and get his shot away which nestled in Ayr keeper Graham’s left hand corner.
A mountain to climb now with time the enemy for the home side. Ayr keeper Graham then made a smart save from a free kick outside the 18 yard box. Down to the other end and this time another free kick but on this occasion for the home side.
Striker Danny Mitchell shaped up and bent the ball round the Partick wall and into the net. Game on again! Ayr then replaced full back Lewis Nohar with forward Danny Wamuziri and going three strikers through the middle.
As the the home team exerted a fair amount of pressure Patrick’s discipline cost then two players in the closing minutes, one for two yellow card offences and a straight red for their No 9. Although Ayr continued to press to the end the second goal would just not come and another disappointing home defeat was served up.
Full Tine: Ayr United 1 Partick Thistle 2
Head Coach John Crawford didn’t hold back with his after match comments. The coach said, ‘Not nearly good enough in terms of quality on the ball and final pass. Cheap goals conceded again today and chances missed. The same theme throughout recent weeks. Too many players today failed to turn up and the individual and team performances were well below what is expected. Hugely disappointing performance and poor result on the day.’
Ayr United :
Graham, Nohar, Bryce, Brown, Oliphant, Griffiths, Heaney, Ferguson, Barker, Skeoch, Frew.
Subs : Moffat, Mitchell Wamuziri, Smith, Angus.