Dunfermline Athletic

Fixtures : Ayr United

Sat, 12th Dec 2015 Kick Off: 15:00

Ayr United 1 Dunfermline 2

Saturday, 12th Dec 2015

Ladbrokes League One: same again starting eleven and bench for Pars. Michael Moffat (33) 0-1; Gerry McLauchlan (36) 1-1; Cardle red card (52); David Hopkirk (70) 1-2

Dunfermline and Ayr United was certainly Match of the Day. With the sides equal on points at the top of League One there was all to play for when the two met for the second time in a fortnight.

Allan Johnston went with the same team that started against Brechin City the previous Saturday. Andy Geggan had sat that game out serving a one match suspension but missed out again due to an injury sustained in midweek in training.

Ayr United had several injuries to contend with and midfielder Jamie Adams was out suspended. Their bench had only five players and their team showed three changes from the side defeated 1-0 by the Pars in the Scottish Cup third round. Brian Gilmour, Robbie Crawford and Peter Murphy came in for Andy Muir, Michael Donald and Adams.

Captain Josh Falkingham won the toss and the teams changed ends before Ayr United kicked off attacking the goal in front of their own support. The visitors gave as good as they got for the first ten minutes. Former Ayr player Michael Moffat was yellow carded in the third minute when through on the left side of the Ayr box and going down a bit too easily when keeper Greg Fleming slid out.

The Ayr keeper survived a skied clearance that Moffat challenged but the ball escaped wide left while at the other end Ben Richards-Everton did enough to keep out Alan Trouten when presented with a good chance on the six yard line.

Joe Cardle got around his marker Andy Graham in 17 minutes but his squared ball along the 18 yard line was behind Moffat and the opportunity was lost. Ayr replied with a slow and deliberate build up ended by Lewis Martin as he cut out Allan Forrest's final ball.

Trouten forced a 21st minute corner and Brian Gilmour's cross was first headed by McLauchlan, gathered by Murphy and then taken on by Preston but the defence scrambled the ball away. Gerry McLauchlan was next to be shown yellow midway through the half. Moffat was going to get around the big centre back and so he blatantly took the player out. From the free kick Paton sent the ball right into Fleming but the keeper fumbled the ball and the ball slipped narrowly wide left.

In 27 minutes skipper Paddy Boyle got an opportunity to shoot from 35 yards out but the effort was easily taken by Sean Murdoch. Two minutes later Faissal El Bakhtaoui broke in on the left side of the Ayr box and appeared to have a foot whipped away from him before he was able to shoot. The shot trundled just wide of the right goalpost triggering protests from the Pars players and bench.

There was no doubting the Pars 33rd minute opener. El Bakhtaoui made a run on the right and backheeled the ball back for Paton to cross from the right edge of the box. When the cross came in MOFFAT was well placed to get down low and head the ball past Fleming and into the bottom left of the Ayr goal. 0-1

There was an immediate response from the home team with Murdoch doing really well to keep Forrest out at his left post. The resultant corner was defended back out to Gilmour and when he whipped across his follow up a glancing header from McLAUCHLAN slipped inside the right goalpost. 1-1

The match had been competitive but it went up a gear following the goals. Paton was yellow carded for a needlessly hard challenge just inside the Ayr half but Ian McCall's men pressed hard for another.

El Bakhtaoui was taken out as the Pars pushed forward but no decision from the referee and the half time whistle ended the half all square.

Half time: Ayr United 1 Dunfermline 1

Ayr were forced to bring on Michael Donald for Ross Docherty for the restart and the home side began the half with great intent. Everything changed within seven minutes however with the sending off of Joe Cardle. The Pars winger had cut in from the left and went down in the box. Referee Andrew Dallas showed the Pars man a yellow card, deeming him to have dived but then after an altercation with Ayr's Peter Murphy a red card was then shown before play had resumed.

Ayr brought on Nicky Devlin in place of McLauchlan and then David Hopkirk was introduced to take the place of Moffat but in reality he slotted into the role vacated by Cardle. There were 25 minutes remaining and it looked like the Pars were set up to contain Ayr.

The home side pushed up and play was all in front of Murdoch for a spell. Midway through the half sub Michael Donald slipped the ball right for Robbie Crawford to crash a low drive from 25 yards out narrowly wide of the left goalpost.

Then just into the 70th minute the Ayr central defence made a mistake that allowed El Bakhtaoui to send HOPKIRK in on goal he drew the keeper went around him on the left side and slid the ball into the empty net. 1-2

There was some dogged defending by the Fifers, Murdoch fisted a clearance, Hopkirk headed away from a Gilmour free kick and then from an 83rd minute corner it looked like Ayr might have found that equaliser. When the ball came over from the right it landed for Murphy and the home stand were crying out for him to hit it. He did and the ball deflected up for Boyle to head the ball towards the top right but miraculously Murdoch plucked the ball out of the air and into his hands.

Some home fans were heading for home when sub Ross Caldwell thrashed a shot low on target but again Murdoch came to the rescue. More Ayr fans departed but for the travelling support this ten man stand off was not for the faint hearted.

There were more goalmouth scrambles with McAusland and Talbot playing the heroes Gimour's low range effort in 89 minutes was held by Murdoch. Murdoch fingertipped a 92nd minute shot from Crawford away for a corner on the left and there was another nervy goalmouth to defend before the referee blew up after 47 minutes of the second half.

What a win in the circumstances. Very happy fans and team leaving Somerset Park.

AYR UNITED: Greg Fleming; Andy Graham, Gerry McLauchlan (Nicky Devlin 54), Peter Murphy, Paddy Boyle (c); Ross Docherty (Michael Donald HT), Alan Trouten (Ross Caldwell 76), Brian Gilmour, Robbie Crawford, Allan Forrest, Jordan Preston
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Muir, Shaun Newman (GK)
SCORERS: McLauchlan (36)
YELLOW CARD: McLauchlan (23), Gilmour (77)

DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch; Lewis Martin, Marc McAusland, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Michael Paton, Shaun Byrne, Josh Falkingham (c), Joe Cardle, Michael Moffat (David Hopkirk 55), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Spence, Shaun Rooney, Rhys McCabe, Ryan Wallace, Mickael Antoine-Curier, David Hutton (GK).
SCORERS: Moffat (33), Hopkirk (70)
YELLOW CARD: Moffat (3), Paton (41), Cardle (52), El Bakhtaoui (80)
RED CARD: Cardle (52)

REFEREE: Andrew Dallas
WEATHER: Sunny 5C
ATTENDANCE 2076

NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes League One: (home) v Stenhousemuir. Saturday 19th December 2015, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park

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Preview Ayr United

Saturday, 12th Dec 2015

Dunfermline are unbeaten in their last ten league matches and Ayr are unbeaten in the league since losing their opening match.

Just two weeks after knocking their hosts out of the William Hill Scottish Cup, this Saturday Dunfermline Athletic return to Somerset Park to meet Ian McCall's Ayr United this time in the Ladbrokes League One. As a consequence of Ayr United being without a match on Saturday Allan Johnston's side took the advantage and the three points they secured for overcoming Brechin City 3-1 allowed them to overtake Ayr, albeit on goal difference and having played one more game than their rivals.

This will be the 91st league meeting; the Pars have won 41 to Ayr's 27, 22 have been drawn.

Milestones v Ayr United (away)

Last League Victory

31/01/15

2-0

League One

Last League Defeat

05/12/09

0-1

First Division

Best League Victory

12/03/94

4-0

First Division

Worst League Defeat

07/04/51

0-8

Div Two (old)

The Pars have lost only three of the last 27 league meetings.  Ayr United have only won 6 of the last 47 games between the sides in all competitions stretching back to 1983. 

Last Fifteen League Matches v Ayr United 

Date

H/A

F-A

W D L

League

12/09/15 H 0-2 L League One
07/03/15 H 2-1 W League One
31/01/15 A 2-0 W League One
06/12/14 H 4-2 W League One
10/10/14 A 1-0 W League One
19/04/14 A 1-1 D League One
22/02/14 H 3-0 W League One
14/12/13 A 4-2 W League One
28/09/13 H 5-1 W League One
10/04/10 A 2-1 W First Division
20/02/10 H 0-1 L First Division
05/12/09 A 0-1 L First Division
10/10/09 H 3-1 W First Division
11/04/00 A 2-0 W First Division
22/01/00 H 2-0 W First Division

This season the sides have already met twice, once in the league at East End Park when goals from Alan Forrest, midway through the first half, and then Jordan Preston early in the second, secured a 2-0 victory. Dunfermline then won the Scottish Cup tie two Saturdays back and there is little doubt that the remaining three matches between Ayr United and Dunfermline will have a very important bearing on who will win the League One title.

The four matches between them last season were all won by Dunfermline. Faissal El Bakhtaoui's goal on the half hour led to the first victory and then a 4-2 win at home came after Andy Stirling and Allan Smith before the midway point in the first half. Scott McLaughlin got one back but Shaun Byrne restored the two goal advantage. Eleven minutes into the second half Alan Forrest made it 3-2 only for Allan Smith to score again in the following minute. In January the Pars won 2-0 at Somerset Park and then completed the slam of wins with a 2-1 win in March.

In the six matches between the teams the previous season Dunfermline won four and two were drawn. So the record is in the Fifers favour.

Ayr United Dunfermline
Current League Position
2 1
Recent League Results
DWWDWW WDDWDW
League Points
34 34
Goal Difference
+17 +33
Home / Away League Record
P8, W6, D2, L0 P8, W5, D2, L1
.

Recent Form this season - home / away
  Ayr United (home)

  Dunfermline (away)
  Dunfermline L 0-1   Ayr United W 1-0
  Airdrieonians W 3-0   Albion Rovers D 1-1
  Albion Rovers W 1-0   Airdrieonians W 2-0
  Stranraer W 3-1   Cowdenbeath D 0-0
  Cowdenbeath W 5-0   Stranraer  W

 3-0

  Peterhead D 1-1   St Mirren  L

 0-4

Dunfermline are unbeaten in their last ten league matches and Ayr are unbeaten in the league since losing their opening match 3-0 at Albion Rovers.

Last Time Out

DUNFERMLINE (v Brechin City):
 Sean Murdoch; Lewis Martin, Marc McAusland, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Michael Paton, Shaun Byrne, Josh Falkingham (c), Joe Cardle (David Hopkirk 69); Michael Moffat (Ryan Wallace 69), Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Mickael Antoine-Curier 78). 
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Spence, Shaun Rooney, Rhys McCabe, David Hutton (GK)

AYR UNITED (v Dunfermline): Greg Fleming; Andy Muir, Gerry McLauchlan, Andy Graham, Paddy Boyle (c); Michael Donald (Robbie Crawford 55), Ross Docherty, Jamie Adams, Allan Forrest (Ross Caldwell HT), Alan Trouten, Jordan Preston (Brian Gilmour 62).
SUBS NOT USED: Craig McCracken, Shaun Newman (GK)

Referee will be Andrew Dallas.

C'mon Ye Pars!



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