Ayr United 0 Dunfermline 0Saturday, 7th Nov 2020
Scottish Championship: Fraser Murray and Lewis Mayo start in place of Kevin O’Hara and Aaron Comrie.
No goals from either side as Dunfermline lost their place at the top of the Championship table.
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.
Stevie Crawford was missing Aaron Comrie after sustaining a knock in the win over Queen of the South, Lewis Mayo came in his place and Fraser Murray was selected at the expense of Kevin O’Hara.
Ayr United were without the injured Tom Walsh and Aaron Muirhead was suspended following his red card against Morton the previous Saturday. Jordan Houston came into the home side’s starting eleven which included former Pars players Michael Moffat and Bruce Anderson.
No fans due to Covid-19 restrictions, Dunfermline changed in the main stand and the home side in the more modern building outside the ground above the sun-kissed open terracing. The visitors were out ahead of their hosts who slowly emerged on to the pitch.
There was a minute’s silence of respect and memory for Remembrance prior to kick off. Both teams took ‘the knee’ before Kerr McInroy got the match underway attacking the goal at the home end. It was the seventh minute before a Dom Thomas cross across the face of goal created danger. As Ayr defended two Pars corners followed before the Ayr keeper Viljami Sonisalo was tested by Fraser Murray and he did well to stop the well hit shot at his near post.
A tenth minute free kick was sent into the Ayr box by Thomas but the 19 year old Finnish keeper went down as he defended the challenge mounted by Declan McManus and Euan Murray. The decision went the home side’s way but Ayr had to survive another Thomas cross from the left that was swept away by Patrick Reading.
Owain Fôn Williams was first called into serious action when Paul Watson sliced a Reading cross. The ball dropped from height for the Welsh keeper to fist away from under his crossbar.
Mayo’s challenge on Cammy Smith handed Ayr a 19th minute free kick on the left edge of the Fifers box but when the fouled man recovered his delivery was headed clear first by McInroy and then Steven Whittaker.
Another Thomas free kick yielded two Pars corners but Ayr defended them well thwarting Whittaker who was best placed. There was danger for Dunfermline in 27 minutes when a F Murray pass to Whittaker clipped the latter’s boot. Anderson broke at pace feeding Luke McCowan on the right and Williams had to dive to his right to hold on to Moffat’s effort.
A neat series of slick exchanges after Mayo headed to Turner who passed to F 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.
Possession in the first half was pretty even but the Pars would be disappointed that Ayr had prevented them cashing in on any of their many corners.
Half time: Ayr United 0 Dunfermline 0
It was the eighth minute of the second half before any keeper was called upon but Sinisalo did really well to hold a McInroy attempt after F Murray and Turner had penetrated the right side of the Ayr box.
Dunfermline certainly looked the more positive as the hour mark neared and the home side were being forced into misplacing passes. Stevie Crawford introduced Ryan Dow in place of Fraser Murray in an effort to lift his team on.
It was Ayr however, who managed to raise their game. Just seven yards out Josh Edwards executed a really good tackle on Luke McCowan as he homed in on goal. Ayr created further danger when Houston was able to cross from the right but Euan Murray rose to head the ball back for Williams.
Dow earned a 69th minute free kick on the right but Thomas’ delivery was headed away by Jack Baird. Three minutes later McInroy had a crack from 28 yards out but the ball went wide right.
The Pars broke from an Ayr corner with McInroy picking up Thomas who then fed the ball inside to Dow. The vice captain made a great turn and displaying fantastic vision switched play to send Turner away down the right. As the former Stranraer man made towards goal he was brought down on the edge of the D and a free kick was given. That was Kyle’s last involvement since before Declan McManus blasted the ball over Iain Wilson replaced him.
McManus was fouled in 79 minutes to win a free kick again on the D. The striker was duly replaced by Kevin O’Hara before McInroy curled his left footed shot from the setpiece wide right.
Thomas took 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.
SUBS NOT USED: Michael Hewitt, Mark McKenzie, Paul Smith, Ellis Hare-Reid (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Anderson (66), Murdoch (89)
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)
YELLOW CARD: Watson (69), McInroy (84)
REFEREE: Craig Napier
WEATHER: Sunny 8°C
NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup (home) v Clyde, Saturday 14th November 2020, kick off 3.00pm behind closed doors.
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Ayr United 0-0 Dunfermline
Sat, 7th Nov 2020
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Preview Ayr UnitedSaturday, 7th Nov 2020
Scottish Championship: Saturday 7th November 2020, 3.00pm kick off at Somerset Park, behind closed doors.
Ayr United are at home for just the third time this season and they are unbeaten at Somerset Park after wins over Annan and Queen of the South. Their league record against Dunfermline is lost 48, won 31 and drawn 25 but of late it has improved with four wins in the last eight meetings. The Fifers however have won on their last two visits.
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 | 01/10/16 | 0-0 | Championship
First Ever Meeting | 29/03/13 | 0-1 | Division Two
In the last twelve fixtures between Dunfermline and Ayr United the Pars have won five, drawn three and lost four.
Last Twelve League Meetings v Ayr United
Date | H/A | F-A | W D L | League
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
01/10/16 | A | 0-0 | D | Championship
12/03/16 | A | 2-0 | W | League One
Last time at Somerset Park
Ayr United 0 Dunfermline 1
Ladbrokes Championship, Tuesday, 3rd Dec 2019
Dunfermline Athletic travelled to Ayrshire hoping for a win that would take them to fourth place in the league just two points behind their opponents.
Again from the right Tom Beadling sent the ball through the Ayr six yard box but it was a misplaced Ayr pass that led to Dunfermline scoring in 68 minutes. Josh Edwards gathered the ball just inside the Ayr half, drove forward, slipped the ball left for Kiltie to cross and Kevin NISBET was nicely placed to head the ball past Doohan from close in. 0-1
There was plenty to defend in the closing minutes but the Fifers were flawless and held on for three very welcome points. Up to fourth place in the Championship, the highest place since the opening fixtures of the season.
AYR UNITED: Ross Doohan: Aaron Muirhead, Sam Roscoe, Jordan Houston, Daniel Harvie: Alan Forrest (Mark McKenzie 69), Andy Geggan, Ross Docherty(c), Stephen Kelly: Michael Moffat (Craig McGuffie 77), Craig Moore
SUBS NOT USED: Finn Ecrepont, Mark Kerr, Ellis Hare-Reid (GK)
DUNFERMLINE: Cammy Gill: Aaron Comrie, Lee Ashcroft (c) (Josh Edwards HT), Danny Devine, Lewis Martin: Ryan Dow, Harry Cochrane, Tom Beadling, Kyle Turner: Greg Kiltie, Kevin Nisbet (Andy Ryan 81).
SUBS NOT USED: Gabby McGill, Joe Thomson, Lewis McCann, Anthony McDonald, Ben Swinton (GK).
Last Season’s Form
Final League Position: 6th
League Points: 37
League Record: P28 W10 D7 L11 GF41 GA36
Goal Difference: +5
Last Six League & Cup Match Form: WWWWWW
Final League Position: 4th
League Points: 40
League Record: P27 W12 D4 L11 GF38 GA35
Goal Difference: +3
Last Six League & Cup Match Form: WLWWDL
Recent Competitive Matches
Queen of the South (H) W 3-2
Alloa Athletic (A) W 4-1
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) W 3-1
Kilmarnock (A) W 3-0
Falkirk (H) W 2-0
Dumbarton (A) W 1-0
Morton (A) L 2-3
Inverness Caley Thistle (A) D 1-1
Queen of the South (A) W 2-1
Annan Athletic (H) W 1-0
Hamilton (A) L 1-2
Albion Rovers (A) W 5-2
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Queen of the South): Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie (Iain Wilson 38), Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Steven Whittaker: Dom Thomas, Kyle Turner, Kerr McInroy: Kevin O’Hara (Fraser Murray 69), Declan McManus.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Mayo, Lewis McCann, Miller Fenton, Lucas Berry, Cammy Gill (GK)
AYR UNITED (v Morton): Viljami Sinisalo: Aaron Muirhead, Jack Baird, Patrick Reading, Sam Roscoe, Cammy Smith (Michael Miller 86), Andy Murdoch, Luke McCowan, Michael Moffat (Jordan Houston 56), Joe Chalmers, Bruce Anderson (Innes Cameron 67).
Aaron Muirhead will be suspended following his 52nd minute straight red card against Morton on Saturday. Former Pars loanee Bruce Anderson (pictured above) is now on loan from Aberdeen to Ayr United.
Other Championship Fixtures
Alloa v Dundee (Friday night on BBC)
Arbroath v Queen of the South
Hearts v Inverness Caley Thistle
Raith Rovers v Morton
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