Ladbrokes Championship

By Sunny Wyrich

UNITED ended a run of three consecutive Championship defeats with a 1-1 draw against Arbroath on Tuesday night.


Stephen Kelly scored straight from a corner in the first half to give the Honest Men the lead, but Michael McKenna equalised through a penalty shortly after the break to hold the hosts at a wet and windy Somerset Park.


In the opening stages, Ayr had the strong wind at their back and most of the play took place in the Arbroath half, but United struggled to convert the advantage into clear-cut chances.


Then in 22 minutes, Ayr finally opened the scoring. Stephen Kelly delivered a corner from the left and, assisted by the wind, the ball floated straight into the net to give the hosts the lead.


Craig Moore almost doubled the advantage just before half time with a stinging effort, but Arbroath keeper Derek Gaston got a hand on it and the ball hit the side netting.


Arbroath levelled the game in 48 minutes from the spot. Sam Roscoe attempted a clearance in the box and as Michael McKenna came in later to take the ball off him, the players collided. Referee Colin Steven adjudged the incident a foul on McKenna who stepped up and converted the penalty.


Now with the wind at their back and exhilarated from the equaliser, the Red Lichties were pressing for a second goal and caused Ayr troubles every time they broke forward. The momentum was with Arbroath and Colin Hamilton, McKenna and Luke Donnelly all came close to scoring for the visitors.


Ayr struggled to break forward and were held in their own half, but the back line dealt well with the attacks and kept the score at 1-1.


Arbroath were denied a late winner twice in the dying minutes of the game. First when a stunning save from Doohan kept out a shot from Steven Doris and only seconds later when Thomas O'Brien hit the crossbar from distance.

AYR UNITED: Doohan; Houston, Bell, Roscoe, Harvie, Moore, Docherty, Kelly, Muirhead, Kerr, Moffat

Subs: Hare-Reid (GK), Ecrepont, Geggan, McGuffie, McKenzie, McCowan, Forrest



Gaston, Gold, Hamilton, Little, O'Brien, Whatley, Kader, Stewart, McKenna, Virtanen, Linn

Substitutes: Jamieson (GK), Doris, Swankie, Spence, Donnelly, Murphy, Thomson


Referee: Colin Steven

Attendance: 777