Ladbrokes League One



by Hugh Maxwell and Calum Campbell

Pictures: David Sargent

THE Honest Men left Hampden Park with a confidence boosting three points thanks to goals from Jamie Adams and Lawrence Shankland.

Goallkeeper Jordan Hart played a big part in the victory with a series of excellent saves in open play and an heroic double save from a penalty at a vital point.

The first real chance fell to the home side after only five minutes.

Midfielder David Galt found space and time in the box and his curling effort smacked off the post as Ayr scrambled the ball to safety. In 14 minutes, with the Spiders continuing their early pressure, Luke Donnelly was next to try his luck, this time with a header which flew over the top of Hart's goal.

Despite a flurry of chances for the hosts the opening goal came for United in 23 minutes through Adams. Brian Gilmour picked the ball up midway through the Queen’s Park half and primed himself to shoot before disguising a clipped ball to the back post for Adams to head back across goal and into the bottom right corner.

Ayr hadn't been at their best in the opening stages with Queen’s Park dominating but the quality of the goal’s construction, and not a little relief, brought the 500-plus travelling supporters to their feet.

United were growing in confidence and minutes later defender Ciaran Summer’s attempted headed clearance from an Andy Geggan throw-in fell to Michael Moffat in the box and the striker pounced, adjusting his body before firing towards goal on the volley. Just as Ayr fans were preparing to celebrate, keeper Willie Muir (a former Honest Man) got down well to save.

In 32 minutes, Hart was called into action with a double save. First, at full stretch, he palmed away a close-range header from striker Luke Donnelly before recovering swiftly to stop Dominic Docherty’s follow-up drive.

Into the second half and Queens had a glorious chance to get back into the game. In 55 minutes, they were awarded a penalty after Michael Rose was adjudged to have fouled Donnelly in the box. This seemed a harsh decision with Rose appearing to have made contact with the ball and not the man and, for the second week in a row, United feared the worst.

Ross Millen saw his effort saved by Hart who dived to his left, then reacted at pace to keep out the rebound attempt.

Ayr were looking to try and kill the game off and in 59 minutes, Moffat found Shankland who, from 20 yards curled a shot just wide.

In 68 minutes, Ayr gave themselves a two-goal cushion. A through ball from Geggan reached Shankland, back to goal some 35 yards, who delightfully stepped away and turned, leaving midfielder Fotheringham trailing in his wake. The striker then veered left, creating space for himself, and moved just inside the penalty area before directing a low shot, through the narrow slot and into the back of the net. This was no less than the industrious Shankland deserved.

The hosts were not giving up and in 77 minutes Orr saw his close range shot blocked by Rose. In 86 minutes, centre half, Adam Cummins thought he had headed Queens Park back into the game from an inswinging free-kick but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Two minutes later United defender Chris Higgins cleared the ball off the line to ensure that Ayr finished the game with a clean sheet.


1st Jordan Hart

2nd Lawrence Shankland

3rd Ross Docherty.