Saturday 14 July 2018
Betfred Cup
HT   0 - 1
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Ayr United v Greenock Morton | Team Lineups

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Ayr United v Greenock Morton | Match Report

Honest Man

Lawrence Shankland

The Honest Men got their Betfred Cup campaign off to a flyer with a convincing 3-1 victory over Championship rivals Morton.  Tidser fired the Ton in front, however, United roared back in the second half with a hattrick from Shankland that ensured Ayr's performance was not to go without its just rewards. 

Ayr created the first real chance of the game after 10 mins, Harvie sending a long cross ball to Shankland who cut it back across for Crawford who found space but was denied, from point blank range, by a sprawling Scully in the Morton goal. 

Against the run of play, it was the visitors who went in front, early in the first half, through Tidser.  His free kick from 30 yards found its way under the Ayr wall and nestled into the bottom left-hand corner, giving Doohan no chance.  0-1 despite Ayr's positive start. 

The goal did not stifle Ayr's momentum and they continued to apply pressure. 

Shankland was next to try his luck. On 28 mins the striker turned Kilday in the box before firing a shot just over the bar.  7 mins later and he was at it again, this time fizzing a shot just wide of the left-hand post. 

Despite their pressure, United went in at the break one goal down, but came out in the second half with the same intensity and it paid off quickly when Shankland made it 1-1 on 48 mins, a superb whipped cross from Harvie on the left met the head of Shankland and he directed the ball back across goal and into the bottom left corner to the delight of the Somerset Road End.

Ayr continued to push forward and on 56 mins a Geggan strike from 20 yards had to be well saved by Scully in goal. 

Shankland was proving a constant threat to the Morton defence went close again on 70 mins when he found space in the box but fired over the bar from close range. 

Shankland wasn’t going to be denied for long and he grabbed his second of the game on 72 mins.  The striker picked up the ball on the left and whipped the ball into the curled into the back of the net past the hesitant Scully for 2-1 Ayr.  Somerset was in full voice now as Ayr had completed the turn-a-round and edged in front.  

United still looked hungry, and the slick passing Morton side from the first 45 mins had gone into disarray. The game was put beyond any doubt on 76 mins and it was that man Shankland again to make it 3 for Ayr and a hattrick for the striker himself. And what a way to round off a hattrick it was. Chasing the ball forward, he looked up and deliciously looped the ball over the head of the on-rushing Scully to make it 3 – 1 for the Honest Men.

This was Shankland’s second single half hat-trick at Somerset Park in United’s colours. 

The final chance of the game came the way of substitute McGuffie when he connected with a cross into the box and sent his shot just over the bar from close range.

A great performance from the home side and a positive start to the season for United who now travel to Albion Rovers next Saturday. 

Ayr United v Greenock Morton | Match Timeline

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Ayr United v Greenock Morton | Match Stats

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Ayr United v Greenock Morton | Media

A point blank save by Ryan Scully thwarts Robbie Crawford
Michael Tidser's free kick beats keeper Ross Doohan. 0-1
A last gasp tackle by Kerr Waddell blocks Lawrence Shankland's drive
Andy Geggan and Michael Rose challenge at a corner
Michael Moffat flicks a cross to the far post
Robbie Crawford wins a tackle in midfield
Alan Forrest fights for possession
Lawrence Shankland heads in Daniel Harvie's cross
Andy Geggan is first to a high cross
Lawrence Shankland's long range effort finds the net
Congratulations are dished out by team mates. 1-1
New keeper Ross Doohan cuts out a dangerous cross
Lawrence Shankland flicks a shot narrowly over
Lawrence Shankland lobs keeper Ryan Scully
Shankland is off and running with a hat-trick. 3-1
Craig McGuffie drives narrowly over the bar
Craig Moore is beaten to the punch by keeper Scully
Andy Murdoch strides out from the back

All Images are © David Sargent and Ayr United FC and may not be used without permission

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