Ayr United Reserves 0 Dunfermline Reserves 3

There were four survivors from last week’s Reserve Cup match against Dundee United in the Dunfermline Athletic eleven that took on Ayr United in the Reserve League match against Ayr United at Townhead Park, Cumnock on Monday afternoon. The visiting team fielded two sets of brothers – Sutherlands and Tods – meaning the welcome return to competitive action of Andrew Tod, to play his first 45 minutes since September.

Both clubs fielded young elevens with Ayr no.10 at 21 the oldest outfield player on the park. On the quarter hour mark, Jake Rennie produced the first effort at goal of the match but his right footed shot from the left side narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Four minutes later Ayr’s Bruce Strachan had the first effort on target but straight into the hands of Max Little. Then midway through the half, Andrew Tod won the ball to send Jake SUTHERLAND through on goal and he needed no invitation to cooly slot the ball into the far left of the Ayr goal. 0-1

The combination clicked again just four minutes on when Jake laid the ball back for A TOD to find the same spot in the Ayr net. 0-2

Dunfermline increased their lead in 36 minutes when a sweet move down the right that saw Taylor Sutyerland exchange the ball with Mark Beveridge before cutting back for Ewan McLEOD to crash past Derren Fairns. 0-3

As half time approached the Ayr keeper was called upon four times to keep out good attempts. Rennie blasted a shot on target that was beaten out to Beveridge and his drive was well held by the keeper. Then in time added on the Sutherland brothers opened up the defence by firstly Jack’s and then Taylor’s efforts were saved.

It was a first half in which the visitors played with confident style. They enjoyed good spells of possession interlaced with impressive passing.

Half Time: Ayr United 0 Dunfermline 3

Scottish Schoolboy internationalist Freddie Rowe replaced Andrew Tod for the second half and the Pars continued from where they had left off with John Tod and Rennie sending efforts over the bar and Beveridge striking a shot that was blocked.

On the hour Rowe threaded a fine pass through for Rennie but somehow the firmly left executed shot went wide right. Next Taylor swung in a cross from the right corner flag that his brother met but the keeper held his finish. That was his last involvement as both the players out on loan to Crossgates Primrose were withdrawn in 62 minutes to be replaced by Kian McHale and Liam Middleton.

Fairns blocked a cracking shot from Rennie before Little pulled off a good save to keep out an Ayr header although unknown to him the offside flag had been raised. Next time it did matter as Smith unleashed a shot that the Pars keeper turned behind.

Ayr came into the game much more in the final 15 minutes but Little held from Shaun Donnelly and then from Smith. This turned out to be a very good result with a particularly strong first half performance.

AYR UNITED: Derren Fairns: Kyle Fraser (David Craig 54), Jude McClymont, Carter Jenkins, Lewis Allan, Dario Viviani, Scot Tomlinson (Evan Ferguson 63), Shaun Donnelly, Max Guthrie, Paul Smith, Bruce Strachan (Adam McNally 72)
SUBS: Jack Allan, Liam Breuls (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Viviani (72)

DUNFERMLINE: Max Little: John Tod, Sam Young, Conley Adamson: Michael Beagley, Ewan McLeod (Kian McHale 62): Mark Beveridge, Andrew Tod (Freddie Rowe HT), Jake Rennie: Jake Sutherland (Liam Middleton 62), Taylor Sutherland
SUBS: all used
SCORERS: J Sutherland (22), A Tod (26), McLeod (36)
YELLOW CARD: Young (74)

REFEREE: Kieran Traynor

NEXT MATCH: cinch SPFL Reserve Cup Semi Final (away) v Hamilton Academical, Tuesday 26th March 2024, kick off 2.00pm at New Douglas Park

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