From the Ayr U site
Ayr United 0-1 Arbroath
With Ayr being in a position where they could neither be promoted or relegated, Roberts fielded a youthful side who were defeated 1-0 in the penultimate game of the season.
Graeme Smith was Ayr’s saviour, making two penalty saves and putting in an assured performance in the United goal but it wasn't enough to avoid defeat.
Roberts made a number of changes for the last home game of the term with Longridge, Brownlie and Marenghi returning to the starting line-up.
Arbroath were awarded a penalty after 18 minutes when Neil McGregor was penalised for a foul. Graeme Smith was on hand though to dive to his left and save Doris’s spot kick.
United were close to taking the lead shortly before the break after Michael Donald made a marauding run down the left wing but saw his shot clutched by Tony Bullock.
In the second half, Arbroath were awarded a second penalty of the game after Longridge handled in the area but Smith was able to make another great save from Sheerin’s spot kick.
Despite holding strong for the most part of the game, the Red Lichties did make the net bulge after 60 minutes when a cross from the right flank was met by Euan Smith at the front post who nodded home beyond Smith.
As the game progressed, Roberts fielded himself, Nisbet and Wardrope who impressed in the last 15 minutes and were unfortunate not to notch a late equaliser.
Despite the defeat, Roberts’ youngsters looked comfortable throughout with Jackson Longridge putting in a composed performance and Robbie Crawford excelling in midfield, like he has done so often this season.
After the match, Mark Roberts said: “The game was all about blooding the youngsters and seeing how they could adapt to the first team environment and the boys who came off the bench were only 16 but they did very well.
“Jackson played well at left back and Aaron Wylie was good as well.
“There wasn’t much in the game but they had the better of the chances. The first penalty was a stone-waller and I’m not too sure what happened with the second spot kick.
“Graeme Smith was our most experienced player on the park and he made several great saves. I definitely want to keep him next year.
“I’m happy with the way things went throughout the game. There is no doom and gloom about here at the moment. It’s all about building for next season.”
Ayr: Graeme Smith, McAusland, McGregor, Brownlie, Longridge, Wyllie (Wardrope 72), McLaughlin, Crawford, Donald, Moffat (Nisbet 59), Marenghi (Roberts 65). Subs Not Used: Brown, McCann.
Booked: Crawford, McGregor.
Arbroath: Bullock, Banjo, Travis, Keddie, Hamilton, Euan Smith, Sibanda (Rennie 50), Chisholm, Sheerin, Bayne (Patrick Smith 90), Doris (Holmes 50). Subs Not Used: Gray, Malcolm.
Goals: Euan Smith 60.
Ref: Greg Aitken
By Michael Lamont