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Report By Sunny Wyrich
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United had to settle for a point against Raith Rovers on Friday night as a high-intensity Championship encounter under the lights of Somerset Park ended in a goalless draw. The Honest Men had the better chances, but a great performance from Rovers keeper Jamie MacDonald kept the scoreline at 0-0.

A change to the starting XI saw Michael Miller come back into the line-up to face his former club in place of the suspended Cammy Smith.

Ayr's first chance came on 5 mins when Luke McCowan did well to get a shot across the face of goal past Kyle Benedictus. Michael Moffat came racing forward for a tap in, but Jamie MacDonald blocked at his feet.

Although United had the slightly better start to the match, Rovers swiftly edged their way in and recorded their first attempt on goal on 8 mins. Manny Duku got on the end of Daniel Armstrong's delivery into the box but volleyed his effort just past the post.

Bruce Anderson got on the break and managed to get a shot away under pressure, but his attempt missed the target by inches. On the other side of the park, Jordan Houston headed a Duku cross away in front of the goal and neither side found the back of the net.

Rovers gradually started to take control of the game with good passing play and looked the likelier side to open the scoring with 20 minutes gone.

Ayr just survived a moment of danger on 32 mins when a one-two between Kieran MacDonald and Ethan Ross set the latter up for an effort on goal. Sam Roscoe covered United keeper Viljami Sinisalo well and cleared off the line before Kyle Benedictus picked up the ball and flashed a shot just wide.

Rovers were applying pressure with good movement and looked a threat upfront, but Ayr managed to fight off their opponents' attacks and it remained goalless at the break.

Duku found the back of the net eight minutes into the second half, but the offside flag was up to deny the forward an opener.

Ayr responded three minutes later when Anderson squeezed the ball through to Moffat but yet again, MacDonald did well to block the attempt.

The game had evened out and turned into a high-intensity encounter where either side could break the deadlock any moment.

MacDonald called Sinisalo into action on 74 mins with a powerful shot from distance, but the keeper saved at full stretch.

United picked the pace up again in the final stages of the game. Substitutes Dario Zanatta and Innes Cameron combined on 85 mins, allowing the latter an attempt on goal, but MacDonald stood firm and blocked.

Moments later, Aaron Muirhead met a corner in the box, but his header clattered off the crossbar, missing an opener by inches.

Despite good attacking play, neither side found a winner and the final whistle sealed a 0-0 draw.

The result means that Raith and Ayr stay level in the league table on 12 points in third and fourth respectively. Inverness are two points adrift with their game in hand to be played against Dundee on Saturday.

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SPFL Championship: Ayr United v Raith Rovers
201211 Raith Post Match

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