Ladbrokes League One



By Stewart McConnell

A STUNNING strike four minutes into stoppage time from double hero Lawrence Shankland saw gritty Ayr snatch a share of the spoils.

They had been stung by a Wasps side who twice took the lead and had gone 3-2 ahead through a highly questionable penalty.

But the result ended a three-game losing streak for the Honest Men, whose fighting spirit bodes well for the months ahead.

In the opening minute a cross into the box by former Ayr man Jim Cawley was easily cleared by the United defence.

United went ahead in four minutes when a precision cross from Michael Moffat was headed home at the back post by recent signing Shankland.

Then in six minutes Craig McGuffie shot well wide from 20 yards as the hosts continued to dominate.

As United kept pressing Michael Rose sent an effort well wide from 20 yards in nine minutes. Less than a minute later, Neil Parry dived to save at the feet of McGuffie.

At the other end Frank McKeown headed narrowly over the bar from a corner in 12 minutes.

United missed a sitter in 14 minutes when McGuffie sent over a great cross to Moffat, who headed straight at the goalie.

Shankland then went on a darting run before sending a curling effort high and just wide from 12 yards in 22 minutes.

Alloa went close four minutes later when Jon Robertson shot just wide with the Ayr defence at sea.

Home defender Craig Reid came to Ayr's rescue with a headed clearance from a Taggart cross in 26 minutes.

However in 36 minutes, the Wasps seized the lead when a Robertson cross from inside the box hit Frank McKeown on the back, deflected off Reid and landed in the back of the net. United had a good chance five minutes later but McGuffie sent a 22-yard effort narrowly wide.

United came close three minutes after the break when Moffat headed a McGuffie cross inches wide of target from 12 yards.

A great opportunity cans Ayr's way in 56 minutes when the energetic Declan McDaid picked up a return pass from Moffat and shot just over the bar from six yards.

A Shankland effort from a McDaid corner was blocked on the line by Parry a minute later.

The Wasps were unlucky on the hour when a Cawley shot was deflected wide by the home goalie. Then the resultant corner from Iain Flannigan was powerfully headed home from six yards by Cawley, who won a aerial challenge with Moffat.

Yet another chance was spurned by Ayr in 66 minutes when McDaid made a good run before shooting just over the bar from 25 yards.

Shankland headed an inswinging McDaid corner over the bar from six yards in 70 minutes.

Substitute Brian Gilmour sent a 25-yard drive just over the top in 76 minutes.

The hosts deservedly levelled in 79 minutes when Moffat made a great run and crossed to the back post where Jamie Adams thundered the ball home from six yards.

Three minutes later Hart made a stunning save to thwart former Ayr player Craig Malcolm, from 12 yards.

Alloa were awarded a penalty-kick in 84 minutes when a McKeown header was adjudged to have hit Adams on the hand although replays confirmed the ball hit him on the head. Scott Taggart netted from the spot.

A Moffat effort was cleared off the line in 88 minutes.

Four minutes into injury-time United levelled in stunning style when Moffat crossed to Shankland who surged into the box before shooting low into the bottom corner. And boss Ian McCall was sent off for over-zealous celebrations.