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Ayr United Reserves were in action on Monday night when they took on East Kilbride at K-Park Training Academy in the SPFL Reserve Challenge Cup. Before the game Ayr had played 2 games in the competition with their previous results being a 11-10 penalty shootout win of Albion Rovers and a 2-0 win over Queens Park. East Kilbride had played 3 games in the competition and with their previous results being a 5-0 loss to Airdrieonians, a 2-0 win over Albion Rovers and a 4-2 penalty win over Queens Park.

Ayr had their first chance of the game 6 mins in when Murphy made his way into the box but his cross into the 6 yard box was narrowly missed by Goma.

East Kilbride took the lead 1 min later when a cross into the box was scrambled over the line by Henry.

The first booking of the game came on 18 mins when Bell was booked for a late tackle on Goma.

1 min later Ecrepont played a great long ball up to Hewitt who was unlucky as he controlled it but the East Kilbride defender hit the ball off of him and it went out for a goal kick.

Both teams created a number of chances before the 45 mins ended but East Kilbride went in at half time with a 1-0 lead.

2 mins into the second half McLaughlin was shown a yellow card.

Ayr levelled the score 5 mins later after Ecrepont crossed the ball into the box and Skeoch controller it and fired into the net.

East Kilbride made their first substitution of the game 58 mins in when McAvoy replaced Johnstone.

9 mins later Fitzpatrick was shown a yellow card for a foul on Hewitt.

East Kilbride made another substitution 74 mins in when Mulgrew replaced Stewart.

Ayr made their first substitution of the game 77 mins in when Connor replaced Goma and they made another substitution 3 mins later when Smith replacesd Trialist No 2.

81 mins in East Kilbride’s centre back Bell was shown his second yellow of the game after a foul on Smith and the home team had to play the remainder of the match with 10 men. 2 mins later they made their third and final substitution when Clark replaced Connor.

Ayr were given their first yellow card on 89 mins when Miller was booked and United received another 2 mins later when Love was also booked.

The game ended 1-1 which meant penalties awaited.

Both teams scored all 5 of their penalties with Murphy, Trialist No 10, Skeoch, Miller and Hewitt being the scorers for Ayr and McLaughlin, Stevenson, McAvoy, Henry and Fitzpatrick being the scorers for East Kilbride. The penalties went into sudden death and Ecrepont stepped up to take the first one. He scored with ease and it was down to Clark to score to give his team the chance to win the bonus point. He stepped up but his penalty was saved by Hare-Reid and it was Ayr who went away with the bonus point.

Ayr now sit at the top of the West table of the west table with 7 points (P3 W1 D2 L0 GD 2) and have 1 more game left to play. East Kilbride are now unable to overtake them as they have played all of their games and finished with 6 points (P4 W1 D2 L1 GD -3). Ayr will play their final game of the group stage against Airdrieonians in January. Airdrie currently sit 3rd in the table with 5 points (P3 W1 D1 L1 GD4) so the result will determine whether it is Ayr United or Airdrieonians who top the table.

Whoever tops the table will go on to play Livingston in the final as they won the East section of the competition finishing with 8 points (P3 W2 D1 L0 GD 6). The final will be played at the end of February.

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

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