Ladbrokes Championship



By Stewart McConnell

A SCINTILLATING second half performance from United saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Attacking the Somerset Road end, Ayr, trailing 2-0, totally bashed the Bairns after the break and could have won by two to three clear goals had they taken some of their other chances.

United went into the game looking to make amends for their shock hammering against Queen of the South at Palmerston two weeks earlier and were up against a struggling Falkirk side who were without a solitary point.

Good play by Michael Moffat and Robbie Crawford won Ayr a corner-kick on the left hand side in three minutes. It was cleared and the resultant set-piece from Liam Smith was headed just over the bar by Michael Rose from eight yards.

There was an untidy opening to the game with little in the way of fluid football for the opening 10 minutes.

Falkirk forged a good chance in 14 minutes when Aaron Muirhead made a run and shot narrowly wide from 20 yards.

Falkirk took the lead in 18 minutes when Deimentas Petravicius played a superb pass to the unmarked Zak Rudden to slide the ball home from six yards.

United were unlucky in 21 minutes when a long range free-kick from Mark Kerr was headed just over the bar from 12 yards by Jamie Adams.

However the Bairns doubled their advantage four minutes later when goalmaker Petravicius turned goal taker as he lashed the ball home from the edge of the box.

United came close in 37 minutes when an Alan Forrest effort from 10 yards was blocked by a defender.

Then a minute later a Lawrence Shankland volley from 10 yards was clawed out of the air by Leo Fasan.

However United were right back in the match three minutes after the break when Shankland pounced on a loose ball and thundered home a shot from 14 yards.

United had a great chance to level in 56 minutes when an Andy Geggan cross was dropped by Fasan but the rebound from Robbie Crawford was deflected wide by a defender.

Geggan smashed home an unstoppable volley from 12 yards to level the match in 63 minutes. Then two minutes later the game was totally turned on its head when a corner-kick was deflected into the path of Shankland, whose 12-yard shot was deflected into his own net by Fasan. Ayr were throwing everything but the kitchen sink at their vulnerable opponents.

A Shankland volley from 12 yards was well saved by the visiting goalie in 74 minutes.

The Bairns carved out a rare opening in 77 minutes when a 25-yard volley from Paul Paton was brilliantly parried away by Doohan.

Then livewire substitute Declan McDaid saw his 22 yard shot well saved by Fasan. A Crawford effort from 10 yards was cleared off the line by a Bairns defender in 89 minutes.

McDaid saw his 20-yard bullet deflected inches wide by a defender on full-time as United held on for an important three points and continued their impressive start to the campaign. A few more teams can expect a torrid time at Somerset Park.