Betfred Cup

Group E



By Stewart McConnell

FOR the fourth successive time in competitive action at Fortress Somerset, Ayr put their derby rivals to the sword.

A goal from returning midfielder Andy Geggan helped the Honest Men's season get off to a dream start in this live TV Betfred Cup opener on Friday night.

There was a frenetic atmosphere with both sets of fans in full battle cry before kick-off in what was the first derby showdown at Somerset Park in eight years.

The first opportunity saw Killie midfielder Rory McKenzie whip in a cross-cum shot from 10 yards which was well saved by Jordan Hart in six minutes.

United had a great opportunity five minutes later when a scorching 25-yard effort from skipper Ross Docherty was saved on the line by Jamie MacDonald.

Pressure from Ayr saw Jamie Adams cross for Declan McDaid at the edge of the box but Calum Waters cleared the danger in 14 minutes.

Killie won a free-kick 28 yards out when Jordan Jones was fouled by Andy Geggan in 19 minutes. But the resultant set-piece from Kris Boyd was blocked by the Ayr wall.

A Jamie Adams header was saved on the line by MacDonald and the ball broke to Craig Moore who hit the side netting from six yards in 24 minutes.

Good play on the right by Jones won Killie a corner and the setpiece from Adam Frizzell broke to Alan Power who ballooned over the bar in 31 minutes. A minute later at the other end, Robbie Crawford was tackled on the edge of the box by Scott Boyd and the bell broke to Moore, whose 16-yard shot was saved by the Killie keeper.

United went so close in 39 minutes when a Declan McDaid free-kick was punched out for a corner and their pressure paid off when the resultant set-piece from McDaid was knocked home at the far post by Geggan.

Killie were unlucky in 55 minutes when a Rory McKenzie drive from 25 yards was well saved by Hart.

The visitors had a great opening in 56 minutes when Jones surged to the edge of the box but Rose booted clear.

The hosts threatened again in 61 minutes when a Paddy Boyle rocket from 25 yards was well saved by MacDonald.

The hosts had another chance from a set-piece in 78 minutes when a McDaid header from a Brian Gilmour free-kick was saved.

Once again Hart denied Jones with a point-blank save in 83 minutes.

Robbie Crawford burst into the box only to be denied by a fine save from MacDonald a minute later.

Two minutes into injury-time an audacious 25-yard strike from the inspired McDaid was clutched by MacDonald as United held on for a memorable win.

STARMAN: Declan McDaid 3

Craig Moore 2

Ross Docherty 1.