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Ayr United 2-0 Stranraer

  • Post published:8 July 2023

Scorers: Murphy (20) and McAllister (90)

Strikes in either half ensured Championship Ayr were victorious over Stranraer at Dam Park in Ayr.

Scott Agnew’s side was missing Martin McDonald and Sean McIntosh but did boast new faces in Cammy Williamson, James Dolan, Tom Orr and Ben Armour, with more on the bench.

Stranraer had enjoyed plenty of the ball in the opening 15 minutes without really carving out any clear-cut chances.

Home goalkeeper Charlie Albinson spilled a straight-forward cross from Matty Grant but none of the visiting forwards reacted quick enough to capitalise on the error.

Dolan then had an effort on target which the goalkeeper held on to comfortably before the opening goal came at the opposite end.

Thomas Orr and Ben Armour were limited to few chances

Former Ayr man Dolan surrendered possession on the halfway line and Tipo Akinyemi played the ball wide to former Scotland international Jamie Murphy.

The experienced frontman took his time to weigh up his options before sliding a left-foot shot across George O’Connor and into the bottom right corner.

Akinyemi should have got his name on the scoresheet moments later but curled his shot wide of the target from the edge of the box.

Chances were few and far between but Armour almost snatched a leveller when he turned quickly from a corner but blasted just over the bar.

Ayr’s leading scorer from last season was presented with another clear opening when Stranraer failed to clear but Akinyemi chipped both the goalkeeper and wide of the target.

Ayr changed their full lineup at half time

The hosts had the luxury of naming a completely different XI for the start of the second half while Agnew held off on making changes until the hour mark.

Those that came off were spared the heavy downpour that followed after a first half of glorious sunshine.

Among the later changes was a first appearance for goalkeeper Andy Downie, who has regularly been among the substitutes as Stranraer have struggled for shotstoppers at times in recent seasons.

He made one glorious save from trialist Ethan Archer, who cut in from the left and looked to have scored with a dipping shot from distance.

However, the substitute goalkeeper would be beaten with virtually the last touch of the ball.

Nick McAllister peeled off his man from an Ayr corner and, although Downie got something to it, he could not keep it out.

Ayr United (first half): Albinson, Reading, McGinty, Musonda, Watret, Smith, Pendlebury, Murdoch, Murphy, Amartey, Akinyemi.
Ayr United (second half): Mutch, Hewitt, McAllister, Stanger, Ecrepont, Tomlinson, Dempsey, McKenzie, Bryden, Viviani and Archer.

Stranraer: O’Connor (Downie 75), Grant (Aitken 75), Ross (Robertson 65), Girvan, Williamson, Gallagher (Fleming 75), Forrest (Hughes 75), Walker (Hawkshaw 65), Dolan (Donald 60), Orr, Armour.
Not used: None.

Photos: Bill McCandlish