Ayr United 2 - 3 Inverness CT

League Match
Tuesday, January 29th, 2019, 7:45 PM at Somerset Park, Ayr
Attendance: 1,559
Referee: Nick Walsh
Ayr United Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Declan McDaid (53)
Lawrence Shankland (85)
Nathan Austin (9)
Nathan Austin (12)
Liam Polworth (18)

Team Managers
Ian McCall John Robertson

Starting Eleven
Ross Doohan
Liam Smith
Steven Bell
Michael Rose
Daniel Harvie
Andy Murdoch
Robbie Crawford
Ross Docherty
Declan McDaid
Craig Moore
Michael Moffat
Cameron Mackay
Shaun Rooney
Carl Tremarco
Brad Mckay
Jamie McCart
Joe Chalmers
Anthony McDonald
Sean Welsh
Liam Polworth
Nathan Austin
George Oakley

Bench
Ellis Hare-Reid
Chris Higgins
Lawrence Shankland
James Hilton
Finn Ecrepont
Luke McCowan
Aaron Muirhead
Martin MacKinnon
Kevin McHattie
Cameron Harper
Darren McCauley
Charlie Trafford
Jordan White
Daniel Mackay

Substitutions
Lawrence Shankland -> Craig Moore (46)
Chris Higgins -> Ross Docherty (46)
Aaron Muirhead -> Robbie Crawford (82)
Jordan White for Nathan Austin (58)
Charlie Trafford for Anthony McDonald (70)
Darren McCauley for George Oakley (82)

Bookings
Robbie Crawford(79) Liam Polworth (36)
George Oakley (69)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Cameron Mackay (GK) 7 apps -
Shaun Rooney 26 apps5 goals
Jamie McCart 29 apps1 goal
Carl Tremarco 158 apps12 goals
Brad Mckay 102 apps4 goals
Joe Chalmers 74 apps5 goals
Liam Polworth 190 apps18 goals
Anthony McDonald 1 app (debut) -
Sean Welsh 24 apps3 goals
Nathan Austin 32 apps12 goals
George Oakley 63 apps17 goals
Darren McCauley (sub) 2 apps -
Charlie Trafford (sub) 45 apps -
Jordan White (sub) 30 apps11 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Anthony McDonald (17 years 322 days)
Oldest Player:Carl Tremarco (33 years 118 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 95 days
Domestic Players:8 (72.73 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Cameron Harper (17 years 84 days)
Oldest Player:Carl Tremarco (33 years 118 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 281 days
Domestic Players:13 (72.22 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts
Anthony McDonald(Signed January 24th, 2019)

Milestones

Ayr Raid: Inverness surged into a three goal lead inside 20 minutes, Nathan Austin bagging the first two goals and Liam Polworth adding the third with a low shot from outside the box. It remained 0-3 at the interval but substitute Lawrence Shankland made his presence felt as he set up Declan McDaid to open Ayr's account eight minutes after the break. Shankland scored from a free kick with five minutes to go to set up a tense finish but Inverness just managed to hold on to take all three points.

That's a tremendous result that has put us back into the top four and denied Ayr a return to the top of the table.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

John Robertson made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 at Falkirk. Jambos loanee Anthony McDonald started in place of the injured Aaron Doran and George Oakley replaced Jordan White. Cammy Mackay kept the keepers jersey with Mark Ridgers still out with back pain.

Ayr kept faith with Craig Moore and Michael Moffat up front which meant that Lawrence Shankland was on the bench.

Nathan Austin started the ball rolling towards the Somerset Road end on a freezing night at Somerset Park in front of 1559 shivering fans. The 76 visiting ones would be warmed up well before half time.

Immortal Howden Ender was one of the 76...........

To start with a round of applause for the recorded 76 fans who made it to Somerset Park despite the road conditions in both North and South directions. The records also show that there was 1559 in total attendance although it looked more to me. And we were then treated to the best 9 minutes of the season. The first, in the eight minute, had a degree of luck to it. Superb through ball from Polworth and Nathan Austin took it round Rose and Doohan with a little help from Rose but he finished well which has not always been the case this season. And just as one bus leaves another turns up, three minutes later (certainly wasn’t sponsored by ScotRail). A terrible pass by Smith found Oakley who played in Nathan Austin who again rounded the keeper but knocked it in with his left foot. Not sure how the defender on the line missed the clearance but hey-ho. And as most if not every fan in the ground were shaking their heads we go three up. Liam Polworth sweetly stuck a low 20 yarder which went in via the post. As good a strike as I have seen this season. But any chance of a 7-0 Somerset repeat were soon dashed as Ayr appeared to waken up. They could well have got a goal back before half time. A header came off the crossbar and Cammy MacKay made a fine save just on the half time whistle. In many ways it was fortunate for us that we held out as the second half may have been even more arduous.

Enter Lawrence Shankland for the second half. It felt that the combination of a McCall bollicking, Shankland enthusing the crowd and Ayr lifting their effort made the second half a very, very long one. The first goal in the 53rd minute was made by Shankland and finished off by McDaid. Although I would have given the “assist” to Jamie McCart – although the ball did appear to hit a divot. There were two penalty claims thereafter although I feel that both being denied were the correct decision. The ball clearly played Tremarco’s hand and Oakley had lost the ball in a rumble in the box. Also in the 58th minute Robbo made his first substitution which basically puzzled me. He hooks Austin whose pace was the main worry for the Ayr back four and would have been a bonus on the break. And he brings on White ?!! Trafford replaced McDonald in the 70th minute but that was understandable. McCauley replaced Oakley in the 82nd minute and that was one that may have been better happening 15-20 minutes earlier. And three minutes later the inevitable Shankland goal made us fear that another draw was on the cards. And it was – and you could hear a collective sigh of relief from 76 Highlanders when Muirhead headed over in injury time – although I thought that Tremarco’s presence put him off.

Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "You can't give teams a three-goal start. I thought they had 20 minutes, then we dominated, but we couldn't get an equalizer – have to agree.

Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "You know if you lose a goal here, the atmosphere can change and it's a brilliant throw back coming here – spot on again. Robbo added - "If we win on Saturday, we're back in the hunt going into the break for the cup. We're just targeting whatever team is directly above us. – who can argue against that?

Match report written by tm4tj/IHE



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Ross County 22 12 6 4 37 20 17 42
2. Ayr United 22 11 6 5 37 21 16 39
3. Dundee Utd 22 10 6 6 31 30 1 36
4. Inverness CT 22 7 12 3 32 26 6 33
5. Queen of the South 22 7 9 6 34 25 9 30
6. Morton 22 7 8 7 24 30 -6 29
7. Dunfermline 22 6 7 9 22 28 -6 25
8. Stirling Albion 22 5 8 9 23 32 -9 23
9. Partick Thistle 22 5 4 13 21 35 -14 19
10. Falkirk 22 4 6 12 20 34 -14 18