AYR United boss Lee Bullen has hailed his players, who he says are capable of "really lighting up this league".

It comes after his side picked up their third victory of the season, defeating Airdrieonians 2-1 on Saturday, October 7.

It was the first time that Rhys McCabe's side have dropped any points at home this season, and Bullen says his side are now showing exactly what they are capable of.

A number of players came in for high praise, including goalscorers Anton Dowds and Logan Chalmers, who fired Ayr 2-0 ahead in the game.

Bullen commented: “A goal for (Anton) Dowdsy, a goal for Logan (Chalmers), an assist for Jamie (Murphy) – they’re going great guns.

“We’re creating those opportunities now and you can see the confidence starting to lift.

“We will take a couple of bloody noses now before the end of the season, that’s just the nature of this league, we’re not going to go on a run where we’ll win every game.

“But we do also know that we have firepower in there that can cause problems for all the teams in the league and on our day we’ll be a match for people.

“We’ve not proved that until the last few games where performances have got a lot better.

“We looked a lot more solid defensively as well, starting from the front in our shape, and then when we did win the ball we know we’ve got individual players that can really light up this league.”

Attacking prowess has never been a major concern for Bullen, who said his side's defensive showing was the main positive to come out of the weekend's win.

Last week, Bullen told how he would love his side to pick up more "scrappy 1-0 wins". While that wasn't the case at the weekend, he was delighted with how Ayr responded to being pegged back to 2-1 with 20 minutes to play.

He added:  “That was the most impressive thing for me, other than the concentration levels of the squad for the 90 minutes, most people of an Ayr persuasion when they got their goal back with 20 minutes to go would have been worried but we actually saw the game out relatively comfortably.

“I thought we showed a lot of composure and resilience. It wasn’t a case of Airdrie bombarding us and us holding on for dear life.

“It was a really good performance, we fully deserved the three points against a good side. They’ll cause sides problems, especially at their place.”

Particular praise came for goalkeeper Charlie Albinson, despite a relatively quiet afternoon.

Despite only making one save of note, it came at a vital time with the game locked at 0-0 when the 'keeper got down superbly to deny Lewis McGregor who was through one-on-one.

“It’s massive," Bullen commented, "that’s him back to normal, I think he’d honestly admit that he hasn’t hit the levels he hit last season – but I think most of our players could have said that up to now.

“They certainly did on Saturday, and that is what made Charlie (Albinson) the stalwart that he was last year – he was absolutely magnificent.

“I’m delighted for him and I’m delighted for us as a football club in general.”

As he discussed players getting back to playing at their highest level, Bullen said he was not surprised by the turnaround in performance despite concerns after the opening matches of the season.

He continued: “It’s not been rocket science. To lose three of your midfielders - that have come all the way through pre-season and had a brilliant run in the League Cup group – was always going to rock any team.

“You have to bring in three brand new midfielders and settle them in, I’m not being patronising but most people would understand it’s going to take five to ten games before these new players are able to settle in.

“You can slowly but surely see it growing week by week and as it was shown there at the weekend, there’s a lot more understanding, belief and confidence in the lads.

“I always knew it was going to improve but it’s hard when results are going against you to try and convince others of that – you’ve just got to stay quiet, forget the outside noise and trust in the team and the players that you’ve got.”

Now, Bullen is beginning to look up the table after Ayr gained points on every team in the Championship on Saturday, after every other match that was played ended in a draw.

He said: “We gained at least two points on everybody, with there being draws elsewhere.

“That’s the way the leagues going to be, it’s ridiculous. We’re disappointed the way we’ve started the season but we’re sitting there looking at the table and you’re three points off the play-offs, it’s madness.

“It’s going to be like that all the way through the season, one defeat can knock you right down the table and one win can take you right up.

“It’s a bizarre, strange but amazing league to be involved in.”

Bullen will now prepare his side to travel to face Dunfermline a week from Saturday, October 21, as The Honest Men look to secure back to back league wins for the first time this season.

He added: “It’s important to back up wins, it would be great to do that, but we are also aware that Dunfermline are a tough nut to crack away from home.

“It’s a really tough game, this season there’s no run of games that you can look at and think there’s a couple of games we’ll be able to pick up four or six points – it’s impossible to say that.

“We’re delighted to get these three points, especially going into a weekend off, it just gives the place a little bit of a lift, gives the supporters a lift and the players and all the staff.”