Tuesday 09 April 2019
Ladbrokes Championship
HT   1 - 0
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Ayr United v Queen of the South | Team Lineups

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Ayr United v Queen of the South | Match Report

Honest Man

Steven Bell

United’s frenetic end to the season continued with another game under the lights on Tuesday night as visitors Queen of the South made the journey up from Dumfries for another pivotal game for both sides.  Ayr were looking to end the poor home performances with a win to once again leap-frog Inverness into third spot and the Doonhamers in danger of dropping in to the relegation zone were also desperate to claim all three points.

With so many games in such a short space of time, Ian McCall once again rotated the squad in an attempt to rest some players, with Mark Kerr getting the nod over Andy Murdoch on this occasion. Kicking off in the early evening sun and on a pitch that looked in excellent condition considering the amount of games played on it in recent weeks, Somerset Park fans were set for another barnstorming game and they were not be disappointed.

Queens got themselves into the Ayr United box within the first minute from a free kick, needlessly given away by Shankland as he barged Iain Wilson in the centre of the park. Although Ayr managed to get the free kick away at the first ask, the stand side assistant referee had already got her flag up for an offside infringement.

Ayr stormed up the pitch from their own dead ball opportunity and Calvin Miller took a long range shot from 10 yards out only to see the ball palmed away by Jack Leighfield in the Queens goalmouth.  Shankland collected the loose ball and pulled the trigger only to see Michael Doyle block the shot with a lunging dive in front of him. The danger was still not over as Robbie Crawford collected the ball at the edge of the box, but the Queens defence was able to challenge the striker and clear the ball up the park and away.

A rapid series of corner kicks for the home side caused consternation in the visitor’s defence with Shankland perhaps producing the miss of the season as he skyed an open goal over the bar when it looked easier for him to score.

Queens suffered a major blow as the star striker Stephen Dobbie pulled up with a hamstring pull after an innocuous challenge from Andy Geggan. With the player unable to continue he was substituted by Ian McGrath and his game and potentially season was over.

Despite all the pressure Ayr were exerting on their visitors it looked as if the half was going to remain scoreless until it all went wrong for the visitors two minutes from the break.  Josh Todd was penalised for a hand ball at the far side and it was left to Mark Kerr to a long ball to the right hand upright where Stephen Bell headed it back. Crawford was first to react, but Josh Todd only succeeded in bring the player down for a penalty. Shankland once more stepped up to take the spot kick and although it initially looked as if he was going to repeat his trick of blasting balls over the bar, it was low enough and powerful enough to go in off the underside of the goal and in to the net. 1-0 Ayr United.

History seemed to be repeating itself for as in the previous game it was the visitors that were to come out stronger in the second half, putting the Ayr defence under more pressure, but were unable to cause Ross Doohan too much extra concern.

Ayr looked dangerous in attack with Calvin Miller on the right wing getting in behind the Queens backline on numerous occasions, but the overall play was scrappy and disjointed as both teams searched for the next goal.

Queens had their best chance of the game with only 6 minutes remaining on the clock as Andy Stirling whipped in an inviting cross from the left hand side to be met by Ian McGrath rising high above Rose in defence, only to see the ball skid harmlessly past Doohan’s left upright. The last throw of the dice saw Mercer drilling a high cross in to the box from the far side only for Doohan to appear from a ruck of players and grab the ball out the night sky.

The game finished with the home team winning by the solitary goal scored in the 43rd minute and cementing their playoff position with the three points. Next up is the televised game against Dundee United. The last encounter there saw Ayr fire 5 goals against the Arabs and McCall will be looking for another performance like that to try and close the gap on Dundee United to just the three points.

Ayr United v Queen of the South | Match Timeline


Ayr United v Queen of the South | Match Stats

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Ayr United v Queen of the South | Media

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

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