Wonder strike kills off Lichties

Last updated : 26 January 2009 By Fargone

Rare Sunday afternoon fixture as the SFL bow to Ayr demands to reschedule the game. Though inconvenient, the hope was that Thursdy's cup replay wold have taken its toll and give us some chance.

At a sunny Somerset Park only maybe 40 or so Lichtie fans had made the journey and, with half the ground closed were forced to sit in the stand. W may not have many more games here before they move to a new ground

Overall - a professional performance by Arbroath who matched Ayr United most of the game, though we were pressed back second half. We had much more possession than the previous week against East Fife. The defences - with one glaring exception looked solid and relatively untroubled throughout while Weir and McGowan worked tirelessly throughout.

The game's turning point came a minute halftime. Holding onto a one-goal lead - through Weir's well-taken penalty (phew) our defence was under little pressure. The ball should have been thrashed away clear but a poor Rennie pass put Raeside in difficulties,, it broke to Williams who smashed it past Hill. Sloppy sloppy work at a critical stage

Th winning goal was a fine one and, though we carved oiut a few halfchances we seemed to lack the confidence to level.

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Steven Weir's penalty gave the Red Lichties a lead they couldn't be grudged but they could not quite reach half-time when Alex Williams equalised.

Arbroath continued to frustrate in the second half but failed to stop Ryan Stevenson bagging the winner with a 30-yard swerver that gave keeper Darren Hill no chance.

Manager McGlashan said: "If we had gone in 1-0 ahead, our tails would have been up but it was a ridiculous time to concede. I can appreciate the quality of the strike for the second goal but not so the timing of the equaliser which gave Ayr such a big lift.

"It's a challenge to stay up but not one that I fear. I would rather have that than mid-table obscurity which means nothing. Let's make this a dogfight that we can win."

Missing banned trio Iain Dobbins, Allan Rattray and Kevin McMullan, Arbroath were always going to be up against it. But they gave Ayr a real fright.

Early on, Colin Cameron had a 25 yarder fumbled by Stephen Grindlay who saved at the second attempt. Then Weir just failed to cash in on a slack pass back from Allan Dempsie.

Arbroath stunned the home supporters by taking the lead in the 35th minute. Cameron's free kick into the box was needlessly handled by David Gormley for a pen-alty which Weir confidently slammed home. But the visitors couldn't take that lead into the break and in the 44th minute, Stevenson set up Alex Williams to drill home his ninth goal of the season with a close-range shot.

Steven Rennie had to head clear from underneath the bar to foil Williams early in the second period. But eventually Ayr's pressure told in the 63rd minute when Stevenson bent home a scorcher to take them to within five points of leaders Raith with two games in hand.

Arbroath had Robbie Raeside and Paul Lunan booked as tensions rose.

Ayr manager Brian Reid said: "Games like these win titles and now we have another massive match at home to Raith on Saturday and we'll be well up for that one."