BEN DEMPSEY says confidence has surged to a new high in the Ayr United squad after the Honest Men climbed to the top of the Championship table.

The 22-year-old opened the scoring from the penalty spot just before the hour mark as Lee Bullen’s men chalked up a 2-1 win over Cove Rangers at Balmoral Stadium on Saturday – in the process becoming the only side in the second tier who have yet to lose a league game.

Dipo Akinyemi’s goal put clear blue water between the sides following the former Charlton man’s spot-kick, awarded after Mark Reynolds’ handball, as Ayr survived a late scare in the form of Jamie Masson’s injury-time penalty for the hosts to move a point clear at the top of the table.

“We dominated from minute one to minute 90,” Dempsey told Ayr United’s own Black and White TV after the match.

“The confidence going through the group at the minute is so high. We’re confident going into every game and I think we showed that today.

“We were dominating the first half, but maybe getting a bit frustrated because we weren’t taking our chances.

“But then the first one came, we relaxed and got the second one pretty quickly after.

“We’ve got good squad depth at the minute so everyone knows if they’re coming on, no matter in what position, they know they can do a job there.

“It was a bit nervy with the penalty at the end but we did well and deserved the win.”

Bullen labelled Ayr’s first-half showing “probably the most controlled we’ve been in any game this year” - but vowed not to get carried away by the performance.

“It’s a brilliant three points,” he said, “because not many teams will come up here and get three points.

“If there were any negatives, one is not getting the clean sheet and two is not scoring more goals, that the performance deserved.

“The first half was really controlled and we created chances we should have taken. It should have been more but we’ll take the 2-1 win.

“And that’s three points closer to safety.”