Ayr Utd v Kilmarnock 17s

Ayr take on near neighbours Kilmarnock in the local derby

This morning saw Ayr take on near neighbours Kilmarnock in the local derby match at Belmont Academy.

Play in the opening twenty minutes became quite congested in midfield with both teams pressing quickly. Kilmarnock however fashioned a chance when following a corner kick their striker got a free header from 6 yards out which Ayr keeper Graham did well to force over the crossbar.
Ayr were next to show and there were claims for a penalty kick when a Kilmarnock defender appeared to catch Ayr midfielder Logan Angus without contact on the ball. However the referee saw nothing wrong and play continued.
Gabe Skeoch was next to get a shot away following decent lead up play from Robert Frew. Ayr midfielder Euan Griffiths then hit a strong shot from the edge of the box but a Kilmarnock defender did well to block.

Euan Griffiths

Euan Griffiths

A foray forward by Ayr saw a Kilmarnock defender  bring down midfielder Robbie Laurie right on the edge of the box but Gabe Skeoch’s free kick was competently dealt with by the away keeper.
The interval duly arrived with Ayr looking comfortable but with nothing to show for their pressure.

Half Time : Ayr Utd 0 Kilmarnock 0

Right at the start of the second half Ayr proceeded to show their defensive ‘achillies heel’ once more. This time an Ayr free kick was curled into the Kilmarnock box and cleared.
As the play built up both Louis Nohar and David Oliphant could have done better with headed clearances.
Ayr midfielder Logan Angus then had an opportunity to clear the ball but failed to complete his clearance properly.
This unfortunately allowed the Kilmarnock midfielder to beat Ayr keeper Graham from a tight angle at the near post.
A very bad goal to lose by the home team and given the ball travelled some 80 yards should have been dealt with rather than the catalogue of errors which occurred.
Ayr reverted to a 4-4-2 set up with Danny Mitchell pushing up top beside Gabe Skeoch. Wide players Daniel Wamuziri and Paul Smith replaced Robert Frew and Logan Angus in an effort to create from wide areas.
In fact within minutes of coming on Paul Smith had delivered two quality

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

crosses, the second of which from a corner should have brought a leveller.  Smith’s well flighted ball was met by Ayr’s Danny Mitchell from 8 yards out and the big midfielder should certainly have hit the target at least with the free header.
Ayr virtually played the whole of the second half in Kilmarnock territory but they were sadly lacking in any decent creativity to break down a resolute defence.
With 15 minutes left Ayr replaced strikers Skeoch and Mitchell with Kaylum Ferguson and Josh Dillon closely followed with midfielder Robbie Laurie making way for Callum Bryce.
Ayr forced a succession of corners but disappointingly failed to capitalise with any. As time ran out Ayr looked like a side who had completely run out of ideas as to how to get in behind their opponents.

Full Time : Ayr United 0 Kilmarnock 1

Ayr Head Coach John Crawford looked for no excuses in what he saw as a very poor performance on the day from his team.
The coach said, “Just not good enough! Poor tempo, poor goal conceded and extremely poor in terms of creating chances in the last third of the pitch. The coach added that the last three results have all been 1-0 defeats and it is plain to see that the team currently has a problem both creating and finishing chances”

Ayr United : Graham, Nohar, Brown, Ecrepont, Oliphant, Griffiths, Mitchell, Frew, Laurie, Angus, Skeoch.
Subs : Dillon, Bryce, Ferguson, Hannah, Wamazuri, Smith, McKinnon.
Next week sees the Ayr team make the long journey north to take on current league leaders Aberdeen.

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