Dunfermline Athletic

Fixtures : Ayr United

Sun, 4th Dec 2016 Kick Off: 13:30

U20s v Ayr United

Sunday, 4th Dec 2016

SFA Youth Cup: Somerset Park, kick off 1.30pm Sunday 4th December. Craig McGuffie (43) 1-0:


- - Listen to John Potters post match thoughts

AYR UNITED 1 DUNFERMLINE 0

Having disposed of Berwick Rangers, Livingston and St Mirren the Pars earned a Fourth Tound tie away to Ayr United. The hosts play in the Development League West but are unbeaten this season at home having won four and drawn two of their six home matches.

The Dunfermline Athletic side showed two changes from that which defeated Dundee United in midweek. Out went Conner Duthie who played in Saturday`s first team match and the ineligible Lewis Spence. Into their places came 16 year old Jack McClair and Scott Lochhead, at 19 the oldest player on the park.

Ayr United included 18 year old Craig McGuffie who had made 20 first team appearances this season.

The Fifers kicked off but Cammy Gill was the first keeper involved holding a ricocheted clearance on the minute mark. There were some promising early touches from the Pars, Lochhead looking particularly influential and then McClair played the ball to Brandon Luke on the left to run on overlapping to cross but keeper Lyall Avcii gathered.

A sixth minute corner for Ayr was sent over from the right and Jamie Ballantyne rose to head the ball on but he was off target and Dunfermline cleared. Five minutes past before a foul on Lochhead handed Robbie Crawford the chance to direct a free kick goalwards but Ayr successfully defended his low ball from 35 yards out. Another free kick two minutes later when Crawford was fouled allowed Lochhead to lob in a free kick from the right byeline but the keeper held.

McGuffie tried to catch Gill out from a 40 yard free kick shooting when everyone was lined up to attack a high ball in but Gill read that. The Pars then had two shots at goal both held by the keeper. Lochhead ended his powerful run from halfway with a 25 yard shot that did not match the quality of the run. Then Cammy Smith eased off Ballantyne to get away an effort from the left but not good enough to beat the all green keeper.

There were 18 minutes on the clock when Johnny Galloway`s pass sent Smith into the right side of the Ayr box. His cut back towards Luke was intercepted however. Two minutes later Smith was through again but skewed his attempt away to the left.

Crawford sprayed the ball right for Duncan and Smith was aligning himself for the volley when a Stuart Faulds dived in to clear. John Potter`s call of "better" was spot on after some fine passing between Crawford, Luke and Duncan. It did look as though the Pars were taking a grip of the tie but then Ayr countered and Sean McKenzie was unlucky his attempt from 12 yards belted off a defender.

Four minutes from the interval referee David Ingram awarded Ayr a free kick 35 yards out. Most of the Dunfermline team believed it was their free kick so when Ayr took it quickly it was just as well Gill was out to dive on the ball on the edge of his penalty box.

Then in 43 minutes McGUFFIE beat a couple of players and took the opportunity to shoot from 35 yards. His low shot crept inside Gill`s left hand post 1-0

The optimum time score and there was little the visitors could do to redeem themselves before the half time whistle.

Half time: Ayr United 1 Dunfermline 0

Scott Lochhead was pushed higher up the park for the second half but the early deliveries were overhit and the Ayr keeper had no difficulty in dealing with those.

When Granger took down Smith 30 yards out the Pars had an opportunity from the 55th minute free kick. Lochhead powered his attempt over the wall and out the ground off the roof of the stand. Ciara Lafferty then replaced Robbie Crawford in the first substitution of the tie with Lochhead moving to play wide right.

Two minutes later there was a bit of a let off for the Pars when McKenzie was through on Gill. The keeper came out of his box to meet the player but missed the ball. Fortunately Morrison covered back and swept away the danger as McKenzie was contemplating an open goal.

Dunfermline cleared a 61st minute Ayr corner after Morrison again pulled off a necessary clearance. Prospects improved when Galloway`s 63rd minute pass sent Duncan up the right but there was no one able to convert the cross.

Ayr had a further opportunity to increase their lead as McGuffie then avoided the defence to play in Hilton but Gill came out to kill the chance. Faulds struck a shot over the bar and next Gill rose above sub McLean Simpson to hold Thorburn`s lob over from the left.

The Fifers were finding it hard to get anywhere near the Ayr goal. Sub Ciaran Lafferty turned the ball back for a Lochhead but his cross in from the left was headed away. Next minute McClair provided a similar cross from the left that Smith just could not reach. In 76 minutes Lafferty did get on the end of a pass in from the left but failed to get enough purchase on his attempt and Avcii held was relative ease.

Two minutes later sub Matthew Todd ran on to a pass deep right and centred an inviting ball that again narrowly evaded Smith. Dunfermline were running out of time and Ayr were running out of steam. An 80th minute corner was an inswinger from Lochhead but Ayr headed away.

McClair played a fine pass in for Lafferty on the top of the box but greater control was required. The Pars piled forward but when losing possession their opponents pushed up and Morison was yellow carded for cutting down Simpson 25 yards out. McGuffie powered the free kick on target but Gill made a fine save to concede a corner. From the corner Galloway had to boot the ball off his line.

An 88th minute clash between Lochhead and Thorburn handed Lafferty a pop at goal from the 25 yard out free kick. That took a deflection and went for a corner on the left but Ayr dug in and defended.

AYR UNITED: Lyle Avcii: Adam Caldwell, Grant Thorburn, Jamie Ballantyne, Scot Granger, Stuart Faulds, David Waitte, Kieran Balfour, Sean McKenzie (McLean Simpson 66), Craig McGuffie, James Hilton (Luke McGowan 82)
SUBS NOT USED: Colin Granger, Craig Brown, Leon Murphy, Nathan Baird, Jamie Brothertston
SCORERS: McGuffie (43)
YELLOW CARD: Simpson (90+1)

DUNFERMLINE: Cammy Gill: Reece Duncan, Paul Allan, Stuart Morrison, Jack McClair: Johnny Galloway (c): Robbie Crawford (Ciaran Lafferty 55), Evan Horne (Matthew Todd 71), Scott Lochhead, Brandon Luke: Callum Smith.
SUBS NOT USED: Josh Robertson, Owen Andrew, Gregor Jordan, Joe Russell (T) (GK)

REFEREE: David Ingram
WEATHER: Sunny 5C
ATTENDANCE

NEXT MATCH: SPFL Development League (away) v Hamilton Accies Wednesday 7th December 2016, kick off 7.00pm at New Douglas Park


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