Ladbrokes Championship



by Sunny Wyrich


AYR had to settle for a point against Championship leaders Dundee United in a 0-0 draw on Tuesday night.

Both sides created good chances in an intriguing encounter, but neither could find the back of the net and it remained goalless under the lights at Somerset Park.

The game took off to an energetic start with both teams showing intent and pushing forward, but for most of the first half, the sides cancelled each other out in midfield and failed to create clearcut chances in the final third.

Stephen Kelly came closest to an opener for Ayr in 40 minutes, when he got on the end of a long pass forward from Alan Forrest but hit the ball wide from an angle.

Dundee United's best chance to break the deadlock followed two minutesr later when ex-Ayr striker Lawrence Shankland beat Ross Doohan to play the ball across the empty net and into the path of Paul McMullan, but Daniel Harvie cleared off the line and the scoreline remained 0-0 at the break.

The second half continued where the first 45 minutes left off with both teams attacking but, yet again, major chances were sparse.

As the game progressed, the Tangerines stepped up the tempo and started to gain the upper hand. Most of the play now took place in the Ayr half and Dundee United's attack put constant pressure on the home defence.

Ian Harkes looked certain to put the visitors in front in 66 minutes when McMullan set him up in the box with only Doohan left to beat, but the midfielder sent his shot past the post and missed a golden opportunity to take the lead.

As Dundee United failed to capitalise, Ayr got back into the game and started to dominate with 15 mins left.

Aaron Drinan fired two powerful shots from distance just wide, while Terrors keeper Benjamin Siegrist collected a Jordan Houston header, and then Stephen Kelly drilled a low attempt, inches past the post.

The Honest Men almost gained victory in the dying minutes when good set-up work in the Dundee United box eventually set Drinan up for a drive from 18 yards, but Siegrist went down to collect and the final whistle confirmed a goalless draw.

Ayr remain third in the table, two points ahead of Dundee and three adrift of Inverness.

AYR UNITED: Doohan, Houston, Kerr, Forrest, Harvie, Muirhead, Drinan, Kelly, Roscoe, McCowan, Bell

Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Tiffoney, Moffat, Smith, Gillespie, Murphy, Malley

DUNDEE UNITED: Siegrist, Smith, Powers, Connolly, Reynolds, McMullan, Bingham, Harkes, Shankland, Appere, Watson Substitutes: Mehmet (gk), Sporle, Pawlett, Robson, Glass, Freeman, Neilson

Referee: David Munro

Attendance: 1674