Saturday 07 July 2018
Friendly
HT   1 - 1
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Ayr United v AFC Fylde | Team Lineups

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Ayr United v AFC Fylde | Match Report

Ayr faced up to English Vanarama National League side AFC Fylde in a closed-door match at the sportscotland Inverclyde national sports training centre at Largs on Saturday and came away with a 2 – 1 win. This, the final pre-season match for the Ayr side saw them shaping up well against the strong and robust Lancastrian side who are much fancied to be title contenders this season.

Conditions were hot, cloudy and humid and could have been expected to sap strength but both teams treated this as a competitive match with the pace high and tackling, at times, belying the ‘friendly’ title.

United went for Fylde from the off, dominating the opening stages with Shankland, Moore, Crawford, McDaid, and Forrest all going close, with link up play a delight to watch. Midfield looked at its most effective of all the friendlies with Crawford dancing through some tough challenges and distributing well whilst trialist Andy Murdoch was impressive as a box to box man with great breakup challenges.

Ayr were certainly no ‘boot it up the park team’ with all areas showing skill and Geggan and Harvie’s powerful overlap play caused the Fylde back four numerous problems.

It came as some shock, and much against the run-of-play, when Fylde took the lead on 24 mins, a cross from a freekick on the left was met by ‘The Coasters’ trialist centre forward who powerfully headed into the net. Spurred on by the goal, Fylde attempted to put more pressure on the United defence, but Adams and Rose were a match for their efforts and United worked hard not to let their opponent’s confidence build.

After a short period, United were back chasing goals. Shankland, Crawford, and McDaid all went close while Moore was denied by a miraculous one-on-one save by the Fylde keeper.

On 41 mins Ayr got the equaliser their play deserved. Ayr put pressure on the Fylde right back as he took the ball wide towards his own corner flag and McDaid came away with the ball and made his way in from the left. Under a heavy challenge, the United winger managed to knock the ball to Forrest in the centre of the box and he stroked home past the keeper.

And so it stayed till half time.

McCall replaced Shankland with Moffat for the second 45 mins and United continued where they left off, pushing towards the Fylde goal.

McDaid was causing continual problems for the English visitors with his speed, movement and tricky footwork and United threatened from all over, down both flanks and through the centre.

As the half wore on, United continued their pre-season pattern of introducing a series of younger players until with some 20 mins to go the team had become very youthful indeed. It might have been thought that, under pressure from the experience Fylde team, United would fold but that was not to be, and it was Ayr who grabbed the winner.

With Ayr continuing to press McDaid received the ball wide on the left some 20 yards out and lifted a delightful cross onto the head of Moore in the penalty area and the striker’s header looped into the net. 2 – 1 United and deservedly so.

A step up in quality from Ayr, but with the manager wanting more, and the younger squad players also having the chance to impress, with McCowan, in particular, looking in his element.

Ayr United v AFC Fylde | Match Timeline

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Ayr United v AFC Fylde | Match Stats

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