Ladbrokes League One



By Stewart McConnell

Pictures: David Sargent

LACKLUSTRE United were knocked off the top of the table as they suffered their first league defeat of the campaign.

They lost out to a well-organised Arbroath side who were too good for them in all departments.

Ian McCall's side were simply not at the races. However this could just have been a bad day at the office.

It was the visitors who opened strongly and in three minutes, a header from 14 yards by Gavin Swankie glanced just over the bar. Then two minutes later an Alan Forrest effort from eight yards was well save by David Hutton.

A cross into the box by Declan McDaid just evaded the outstretched leg of Craig Moore in front of goal in nine minutes.

A cross into the box from Andy Geggan in 12 minutes was booted clear by the Arbroath defence.

A cross-cum-shot seconds later from Geggan was cleared by the Arbroath defence.

Another cross into the box in 14 minutes from McDaid was easily dealt with by the visiting defence in 15 minutes.

Seven minutes later at the other end Jordan Hart easily saved a Danny Denholm shot from eight yards.

Swankie dodged two challenges and burst into the box in 36 minutes - only to see his fierce 12-yard drive tipped away by Hart.

Then United went straight up the park and Moore shot right at David Hutton in 38 minutes.

The hosts went ahead in 42 minutes when a Moore shot from eight yards was saved and Chris Higgins drove home the rebound.

The Red Lichties levelled two minutes into first half injury-time when Omar Kader knocked the ball home at the second attempt from six yards.

Arbroath were the strongest side in the league yet faced by Ayr.

The visitors came close again in 50 minutes when a 10-yard volley from Swankie was pushed away by Hart.

Home striker Michael Moffat made a darting run to the edge of the box two minutes later before shooting narrowly wide.

Arbroath deservedly took the lead in 59 minutes when Mark Whatley sent a 30-yard volley into the top corner.

The visitors went close again in 61 minutes when an eight-yard header from Steven Dons hit the top of the net and went over.

A Kader shot from outside the box was cleared by the Ayr defence in 63 minutes.

The hosts had a half chance in 68 minutes when a Geggan shot from the edge of the box was easily saved by Hutton.

Swankie went down at the edge of the box under pressure from Higgins and the resultant free-kick from Denholm was well saved by Hutton in 74 minutes.

Geggan headed towards Moffat but a defender cleared just outside the box in 83 minutes.

Ayr missed a great chance in 87 minutes when Craig McGuffie set up Moore in front of goal but he ballooned for ball over the bar.

A McGuffie shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide by the Arbroath defence in injury-time. But it was too little, much too late and the visitors easily saw the game out.

This game could serve as a wake-up call to the hosts who are hard to beat on their day.

STARMAN: Craig Moore 3

Paddy Boyle 2

Chris Higgins 1