SCOTT BROWN hailed Fraser Bryden for getting back among the goals as Ayr United put some crucial light between themselves and the Championship relegation dogfight.

Bryden’s strike just after the hour mark from Anton Dowds’ cross earned the Honest Men a vital 2-1 win away to fellow strugglers Inverness on Saturday.

The result pulls Ayr four points away from the relegation play-off spot – and also puts them within four points of the promotion play-offs.

The winning goal was Bryden’s first in the Championship this season and Brown said he was thrilled to see the 19-year-old find the net.

“Most strikers are a bit selfish and want to score the goals,” Brown said, referring to Dowds’ decision to cross the ball for his team-mate, “but it seemed Fraser was in a great position.

“Between the posts is the best way to score goals, and Fraser wants to score goals. He’s a natural goalscorer.

“He’s a local boy, he supports Ayr and I’m delighted for him to get his goal because he’s not scored that many in the league this season so he has to add that to his game and he’s doing that.”

George Stander headed in a Harry McHugh cross with only five minutes on the clock, only for the hosts to level in first-half stoppage time when Billy McKay converted what looked like a soft penalty award by referee Iain Snedden.

And after having two weeks to mull over the disappointing loss at Dunfermline in their previous fixture, Brown said he was delighted with the way his players responded – both to that defeat in Fife and to the penalty setback after the break on Saturday.

“It was a disappointing result last weekend,” he said. “But for them to bounce back – the lads stuck at it, they kept working, we went a little bit more direct and we probably could have scored a couple of goals later on as well.

“There’s always going to be a few decisions that go for you and go against you, and the lads didn’t crumble. We managed to keep them down to one shot on target.

“The organisation from front to back – the lads got it spot-on today. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”