Ayr United 1 Dunfermline 1Saturday, 10th Apr 2021
Scottish Championship: two changes for Dunfermline as Scott Banks and Iain Wilson are replaced by Ewan Henderson and Fraser Murray. Declan McManus (12) 0-1: Michael Miller (24) 1-1:
Ayr United and Dunfermline Athletic met for the third time this season. The two previous meetings had produced no goals but having lost only once in their last fifteen visits and challenging for a play off place, this was a match that the Fifers desperately wanted to take three points from.
Scott Banks and Iain Wilson were missing as Ewan Henderson and Fraser Murray started. Craig Wighton, Steven Whittaker and Paul Watson returned to the Pars bench.
Ayr United manager David Hopkin made four changes from the side that last to Dundee in midweek. Goalkeeper Peter Morrison, Michael Miller, Jamie Barjonas and Sam Roscoe came in as Andy Murdoch, Joe Chalmers, Josh Todd and keeper Viljami Sinisalo dropped out.
A minute’s silence was observed before the match in recognition of the Duke of Edinburgh who had died the previous day at the age of 99 before Dunfermline kicked off through Henderson attacking the goal at the home end.
The visitors forced the first free kick of the game in the fourth minute allowing Fraser Murray to launch a dangerous ball into the Ayr box from the left touch line that Morrison punched clear.
Next it was Josh Edwards who lacked on to a Henderson pass and the full back earned a ninth minute corner from his deflected shot. Dom Thomas sent that in from the left deep to the edge of the box but Ayr cleared.
Dunfermline were enjoying the bulk of the early pressure as Ayr lined five men along the back but in 12th minute Henderson flighted in a great ball from the left that Declan McMANUS directed into the far side of the Ayr net with a brilliant glancing header. 0-1
Ayr came to life after losing the goal pushing up with Barjonas threatening on the left before F Murray gave away a free kick 25 yards out left side and Luke McGowan narrowly failed with an effort that just cleared the crossbar.
A Thomas shot was easily held by Morrison at his near post but the home side began to get more time on the ball and pushed into the visitors territory. When Mark McKenzie was allowed to capitalise on a couple of Pars slip ups on the left his cross was hit by Mark MILLER and his shot sneaked through to find the net just inside the right goalpost. 24th minute, 1-1.
A good Thomas cross was headed behind by Roscoe four minutes later and when Thomas sent the corner over, Vytas Gašpuitis turned the ball back to Lewis Mayo on the edge of the Ayr box but his shot was riding all the way and sailed over the bar.
On the half hour Dunfermline defended a long throw launched in from the right and Thomas booted clear. Back at the other end F Murray executed a fine pass from the left that was cut out just before Kevin O’Hara was allowed to connect.
In 38 minutes Thomas won possession and fed a good ball to O’Hara to take into the right side of the Ayr box but his cross was too close to the keeper and he intercepted.
Dunfermline turned up the pressure towards the break with Murray and Henderson combining on the right and then Thomas ducking and diving to find O’Hara who in turn played a superb ball through for McManus but the keeper again came to Ayr’s rescue.
It had been the competitive match that everyone had predicted, one goal apiece and Dunfermline at 54% slightly ahead on possession.
Half time: Ayr United 1 Dunfermline 1
First second half effort came from McManus who accepted an Edwards thrown in to hook a shot narrowly wide left in 48 minutes. “Too easy” was the shout from the United dug out.
Thomas forced a 58th minute corner after a swift Pars move that included O’Hara, McManus and Murray. The 23 year old Ayr keeper fisted away the setplay and six minutes later he had to dive to his right to hold a low shot from McManus.
In 65th minute both sides made substitutions that required adjustments. Paul Watson replaced Fraser Murray with Dunfermline going to three at the back and Andre Wright replaced Luke McGowan as Ayr looked like they were going to be more direct.
The home side earned a corner in 70 minutes off Gašpuitis and there was some defending to be done. Watson made a good tackle to end a McKenzie run before in 73 minutes a double substitution saw Euan Murray and Dom Thomas withdrawn and Steven Whittaker and Craig Wighton thrown into the fight.
There was a let off in 77 minutes when Wright nicked the ball away from Owain Fôn Williams and fortunately the ball slipped wide right of the goal.
Dunfermline then turned on the pressure with McManus seeing two good on target shots blocked and then Wighton winning a corner on the right. It turned out to be two and when Henderson delivered for the second time Mayo’s header effort was held by Morrison.
Comrie’s foul on Patrick Reading afforded Ayr the opportunity from an 86th minute free kick but that was turned behind. Back at the other end Edwards delivered a great ball in from the left but although O’Hara met it the ball flew wildly wide left.
With all four of Saturday’s Championship ended up as draws the results made no impact on the league places and now there are four games in which to secure a play off place.
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Murdoch, Tom Walsh, Joe Chalmers, Dario Zanatta, Michael Hewitt, Peter Urminsky (GK)
SCORERS: Miller (24)
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Vytas Gašpuitis, Euan Murray (c) (Steven Whittaker 73), Josh Edwards: Dom Thomas (Craig Wighton 73), Ewan Henderson, Lewis Mayo, Fraser Murray (Paul Watson 65): Declan McManus: Kevin O’Hara
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis McCann, Kyle Macdonald, Kerr McInroy, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: McManus (12)
REFEREE: Greg Aitken
WEATHER: Sunny 7°C
NEXT MATCH: Scottish Championship (home) v Dundee, Tuesday 13th April 2021, kick off 6.00pm live on BBC Scotland
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Ayr United 1-1 Dunfermline
Sat, 10th Apr 2021
Ayr United 1-1 Dunfermline (goals)
Sat, 10th Apr 2021
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Preview Ayr UnitedSaturday, 10th Apr 2021
Scottish Championship (away) Saturday 10th April 2021, kick off 3.00pm at Somerset Park, behind closed doors
Dunfermline were leapfrogged by Inverness following their 4-1 win at Cappielow on Tuesday night while Dundee extended their lead over the Pars to five points with a 3-0 win away to Ayr United. Saturday’s game becomes seventh v fifth.
The two league matches between Dunfermline and Ayr United this season have failed to see a single goal.
The Ayr league record against Dunfermline is lost 48, won 31 and drawn 27 but of late it has improved with four wins in the last ten meetings.
Milestones v Ayr United (away)
Last League Victory | 03/12/19 | 1-0 | Championship
Last League Defeat | 25/08/18 | 1-4 | Championship
Best League Victory | 12/03/94 | 4-0 | First Division
Worst League Defeat | 07/04/51 | 0-8 | Div Two (old)
Last Goalless Draw | 07/11/20 | 0-0 | Championship
First Ever Meeting | 29/03/13 | 0-1 | Division Two
Ayr United 0-0 Dunfermline
Sat, 7th Nov 2020
Last time at Somerset Park
Ayr United 0 Dunfermline 0
Championship, Saturday 7th November 2020
Dunfermline met Ayr United hoping to continue the form that had taken them to the top of the table after the first three league games. No goals from either side meant Dunfermline lost their place at the top of the Championship table.
A neat series of slick exchanges after Mayo headed to Turner who passed to Fraser Murray and involved McInroy and then McManus who sent the ball left for Thomas but he was taken down on the edge of the box. To many it looked like the infringement was inside the box but referee Craig Napier gave a free kick that F Murray sent high over the wall and over the bar. Another two Dunfermline corners were taken by Thomas from the right with cries of handball as Houston got the second away.
Five minutes from the break Thomas came really close from a free kick taken 20 yards out, the ball just dropping outside the far post.
Thomas had a further good chance in the second half taking the direct route, brushing off a couple of defenders before making the keeper save his shot. At the other end Ayr sub Innes Cameron snapped a shot that went narrowly wide right.
The visitors finished with a final push, Thomas’ 89th minute free kick was defended out to Wilson whose shot from 23 yards out was held by the keeper. Then Thomas pumped another ball into the Ayr box and this time it was Dow’s header that went wide right. Wilson had a shot in added time but it was to finish all square for a point each.
AYR UNITED: Viljami Sinisalo: Jordan Houston, Jack Baird (c), Sam Roscoe, Patrick Reading: Joe Chalmers: Luke McCowan (Dario Zanatta 75), Andy Murdoch (Michael Miller 92), Cammy Smith, Michael Moffat: Bruce Anderson (Innes Cameron 80).
SUBS NOT USED: Michael Hewitt, Mark McKenzie, Paul Smith, Ellis Hare-Reid (GK)
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Lewis Mayo, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Steven Whittaker: Fraser Murray (Ryan Dow 61), Kyle Turner (Iain Wilson 74), Kerr McInroy, Dom Thomas: Declan McManus (Kevin O’Hara 79).
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis McCann, Miller Fenton, Lucas Berry, Cammy Gill (GK)
Last Twelve League Meetings v Ayr United
Dunfermline have won four of the last twelve league matches, Ayr United four and four have been drawn. The Pars are undefeated in their last three visits to Somerset Park.
Date | H/A | F-A | W D L | League
23/01/21 | H | 0-0 | Championship
7/11/20 | A | 0-0 | D | Championship
04/01/20 | H | 0-1 | L | Championship
03/12/19 | A | 1-0 | W | Championship
19/10/19 | H | 3-2 | W | Championship
29/03/19 | H | 0-1 | L | Championship
23/02/19 | A | 1-0 | W | Championship
22/12/18 | H | 0-0 | D | Championship
25/08/18 | A | 1-4 | L | Championship
18/03/17 | H | 0-1 | L | Championship
07/01/17 | A | 2-0 | W | Championship
03/12/16 | H | 1-1 | D | Championship
Dunfermline have won only once in their last six games and their away form in the Championship shows just one win in eleven, that one a 4-1 win over Alloa Athletic in October.
Ayr United have lost their last two games, both at home. They have drawn two and won two of their other six recent matches. Tuesday night saw Dundee reap revenge for Ayr’s win at Dens Park on 16th March.
Hearts (H) D 0-0
Raith Rovers (A) L 1-5
Dundee (A) L 2-3
Morton (A) D 0-0
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) L 0-1
Morton (H) W 1-0
Dundee (A) L 0-3
Clyde (H) L 0-1
Alloa Athletic (A) D 2-2
Elgin City (A) W 4-0
Raith Rovers (H) D 1-1
Dundee (A) W 3-1
Current League Stats
League Position: 5th
League Points: 31
Goal Difference: +10
League Record: P22 W8 D7 L7 GF30 GA28
Last Six Match Form: WLDLLD
League Position: 7th
League Points: 26
Goal Difference: -2
League Record: P23 W6 D8 L9 GF28 GA30
Last Six Match Form: WDWDLL
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Hearts): Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Vytas Gašpuitis, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Scott Banks (Fraser Murray 79), Iain Wilson, Lewis Mayo, Dom Thomas: Kevin O’Hara (Ewan Henderson 84), Declan McManus (Lewis McCann 89).
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Kerr McInroy, Paul Allan, Cammy Gill (GK)
AYR UNITED (v Dundee): Viljami Sinisalo: Jordan Houston, Jack Baird (c), Corrie Ndaba, Patrick Reading: Aaron Muirhead: Josh Todd (Tom Walsh 54), Andy Murdoch (Jamie Barjonas 79), Joe Chalmers (Andre Wright 75), Luke McCowan (Michael Moffat 90): Mark McKenzie.
SUBS NOT USED: Michael Miller, Sam Roscoe-Byrne, Peter Urminsky (GK)
Other Championship Fixtures
Hearts v Alloa Athletic (Friday)
Dundee v Morton
Queen of the South v Inverness Caley Thistle
Raith Rovers v Arbroath
Remaining Dunfermline fixtures:-
10/04/21 - Ayr United (A)
13/04/21 - Dundee (H)
17/04/21 - Queen of the South (H)
24/04/21 - Arbroath (H)
30/04/21 - Alloa Athletic (A)
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- Dunfermline 0 Hearts 0
- Raith Rovers 5 Dunfermline 1
- Dundee 3 Dunfermline 2