IRN-BRU Cup Second Round


Montrose win 6-5 on penalties

AYR United crashed out of the IRN-BRU Cup after a lacklustre display against League Two Montrose at Somerset Park.

Goals from Iain Campbell and Craig Moore saw the game to extra time and ultimately penalties despite United missing a host of chances to win the game in 90 minutes. The Honest Men missed the goalkeeping heroics of Greg Fleming as the Gable Endies took the shootout 6-5.

It was 1986 the last time a Montrose side had beaten Ayr United but the away side took a shock early lead after Craig Johnston was brought down just outside the box. Up stepped Iain Campbell and he struck a wonderful effort beyond the outstretched arm of Jordan Hart after just three minutes.

Montrose could have been 2-0 up after nine minutes. A corner from the left was whipped in at the near post and, as Ayr couldn't clear, the ball was almost turned home but for an Honest boot tipping it round the post.

The home side were dealt another blow after 10 minutes when captain Ross Docherty went down injured and had to be subbed off with Craig McGuffie coming on.

Ayr should have been level after 19 minutes. Declan McDaid sent a dangerous ball across the box from the right with Micheal Moffat lurking but the striker couldn't find the net as Jordan Millar made a good stop.

The Honest Men were level 10 minutes later when Moffat played a lovely ball through the heart of the Montrose defence and into the box where Craig Moore confidently thumped it into the back of the net.

They had a great chance to take the advantage when the duo combined again on 36 minutes. Moffat slipped the ball through to Moore who curled a shot inches wide of the far post from the edge of the box.

Just moments later and McGuffie sent a cross from the left into the six yard box where Moore was ready to pounce but his header was saved at point-blank range by Millar.

Ayr created the first chance of the second half when Paddy Boyle picked up the ball on the left and floated a cross towards the near post and, with the goal gaping, Moore headed over from close range.

A free-kick from McGuffie on the right lead to a great opportunity when Millar should have gathered the ball easily but spilled it at the feet of Moore. His effort was blocked on the line with Moffat lurking but the linesman's flag was up.

Moffat was the next to test the Montrose keeper when a mix up in defence saw him presented with an opportunity. The ball fell kindly for him as he bicycle-kicked it towards goal but, with Millar beaten, the effort went narrowly wide.

Ayr were starting to turn the screw on their League Two opponents. McGuffie's ball through found Moffat clear, one-on-one with Millar after 62 minutes but the United frontman's effort was tipped wide by the keeper.

McGuffie had a good chance to put Ayr ahead in 72 minutes when Moore slipped him in on the right and he curled the ball towards the far post but it flew just over the bar.

The home side came close again after 79 minutes. Boyle's cross eventually fell for Robbie Crawford in the box but his half volley went just beyond Millar's right-hand post.

Seconds later, McGuffie's ball from the left found Crawford again but his header crashed off the bar. It was to be the last chance of the 90 as the game petered out.

It then took until the second period in extra time for either side to forge a decent opening. With tired legs on both sides, Montrose conceded a free-kick about 25 yards from goal on 108 minutes. Michael Rose confidently stepped up but sent the ball just over the bar.

Montrose had their chance to win it on 113 minutes. Subs Kieran Thomson and Connor McLaren combined to send the latter one-on-one with Hart but the keeper made a good stop.

With no further action, Grant Irvine blew his wistle one last time to take the game to penalty kicks.

Misses from Brian Gilmour and Matthew Allan saw the shootout go to sudden death and when Chris Higgins allowed Connor McLaren to send Hart the wrong way and Montrose to progress.

AYR UNITED: Hart; Higgins, Boyle, Rose, Geggan, Moffat (Forrest 73), Crawford, Moore, McDaid (Gilmour 69), D Ferguson (McCowan 114), Docherty (McGuffie 12). Subs: Avci; Faulds, Reid.

MONTROSE: Millar; Ballantyne, Allan, I Campbell, Steeves, Webster (R Ferguson 108), Redman, Callaghan, Johnston (Thomson 97), Hay (Templeman 66), R Campbell (McLaren 73). Subs: Fleming; Dillon.

Attendance: 906

Starman: Craig McGuffie 3, Craig Moore 2, Michael Moffat 1