Ladbrokes Championship



by Calum Campbell

Pictures: David Sargent

AYR had a bit of a point to prove following their drubbing at the hands of Queen’s at Palmerston Park in September.

Indeed they certainly made their point, but their dominant display deserved more than the one with which they returned home.

“I thought we were absolutely terrific,” said manager Ian McCall, “we played some great stuff, passing and moving and keeping the ball. We’re disappointed at the one we lost, we felt we could have prevented it, but even then, it was very much against the run of play.

"I really enjoyed watching that.” It would be very hard to disagree with the manager’s analysis and a standing ovation from the over 700 United fans at the end of the match showed what they thought of their team’s efforts.

United were in the mood from the off, carving out a number of chances for Lawrence Shankland, Declan McDaid, Alan Murdoch and Michael Moffat, the latter only prevented from opening the scoring by an excellent one-on-one save by keeper Martin. With almost half an hour gone, Queens had only managed one real attempt, a shot by Jacobs from the edge of the box which went past the post, but out of the blue they went ahead.

Stirling cut the ball back from the line into the centre of the penalty area and, with Rose apparently hesitating, Queens’ Todd ran in and thumped his shot into the back of the net.

The goal gave Queens a short-term lift but soon United got back into their stride, taking the game to the home side and in 41 minutes earned the equalizer that their play deserved. Michael Rose’s drive from the edge of the box was acrobatically saved turning the ball wide for a corner. As McDaid’s in-swinging corner reached the six-yard box, the Queens' defence remained static, allowing Bell to reach the ball first and deflect towards the near post where Moffat headed into the back of the net.

The second half saw much of the same with United pressing to try and find ways through a deep-set Queens defence. For Ayr, McDaid, Crawford after a jinking run into the box, and Shankland came close with Queens’ usually deadly Dobbie stopped one-on-one by Doohan. It would have been a travesty of justice if the home side had snatched a winner but for Ayr, it was a display that deserved more than just one point.

Next up on Saturday Ayr face Falkirk at Somerset Park.


Michael Moffat 3

Andy Murdoch 2

Ross Docherty 1

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Martin; Mercer, Marshall, Fordyce, Doyle, Stirling, Jacobs, Todd, Dobbie, Semple, Dykes. Subs: Leighfield (gk), Murray, Bell, Frizzell, Irving.

AYR UNITED: Doohan; Smith, Bell, Rose, Harvie, McDaid, Docherty, Murdoch, Crawford, Moffat, Shankland. Subs: Hare-Reid (gk), Higgins, Moore, McGuffie, Ferguson, McCowan, Ecrepont.