Ayr United 1 - 0 Inverness CT

League Cup Match
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011, 7:30 PM at Somerset Park, Ayr
Attendance: 987
Referee: Brian Winter
Ayr United Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Eddie Malone (60) None.

Team Managers
Brian Reid Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Kevin Cuthbert
John Robertson
Eddie Malone
Chris Smith
Martyn Campbell
James McKernan
Michael McGowan
Andrew Geggan
Gareth Wardlaw
Mark Roberts
Michael Moffat
Jonny Tuffey
Ross Tokely
Chris Hogg
Thomas Piermayr
Roman Golobart
Gavin Morrison
Johnny Hayes
Graeme Shinnie
Aaron Doran
Richie Foran
Shane Sutherland

Bench
Ryan McWilliams
Alexander Burke
Gareth Armstrong
Ross Robertson
Jonathan Tiffoney
Ryan Esson
Nick Ross
Andrew Shinnie
Martin Laing
Gregory Tade

Substitutions
Gareth Armstrong => Martyn Campbell (10)
Jonathan Tiffoney =>
Mark Roberts (65)
Ross Robertson => Michael Moffat (85)
Nick Ross for Johnny Hayes (22)
Andrew Shinnie for Shane Sutherland (65)
Gregory Tade for Gavin Morrison (77)

Bookings
Gareth Wardlaw (53) Roman Golobart (40)
Gregory Tade (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Jonny Tuffey (GK) 8 apps -
Roman Golobart 2 apps -
Thomas Piermayr 5 apps -
Chris Hogg 16 apps1 goal
Ross Tokely 562 apps35 goals
Johnny Hayes 77 apps17 goals
Gavin Morrison 16 apps1 goal
Aaron Doran 21 apps3 goals
Graeme Shinnie 30 apps -
Shane Sutherland 40 apps2 goals
Richie Foran 99 apps29 goals
Nick Ross (sub) 57 apps2 goals
Andrew Shinnie (sub) 3 apps -
Gregory Tade (sub) 6 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Roman Golobart (19 years 160 days)
Oldest Player:Chris Hogg (2013 years 25 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 151 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Roman Golobart (19 years 160 days)
Oldest Player:Andrew Shinnie (2013 years 25 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 176 days
Domestic Players:15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Revenge is sweet for Ayr:

Inverness were sent tumbling out of the Scottish Communities Cup at Somerset Park under Ayr's new floodlights.

There would be no repeat of the thrashing dished out last time and Ayr would go on to make the headlines; deservedly so. 

A low strike by Eddie Malone on the hour was enough for the Honest Men to get the better of the SPL side who are suffering from a confidence crisis at the moment.

Ayr had dominated the first half but Inverness came out of the blocks flying at the start of the second half, however our failings in front of goal are there for all to see and it is Ayr who progress to the next round of the competition at the expense of the SPL's bottom club.

A small but perfectly formed band of Inverness fans witnessed another setback for this season, it's maybe just as well there were only a handful there.   Harry's bar was much quieter this time around as the teams took to the field about to test out Ayr's new floodlights.

It was the Honest Men who started the game brightly and Jonny Tuffey was in action in the first few minutes to deal with a couple of corners and a strike on target.  Michael McGowan curled an effort round Tuffey's post in the fifth minute as Ayr pushed the SPL strugglers onto the back foot. 

Martyn Campbell left the field in the ninth minute after sustaining an injury to be replaced by Armstrong, but the flow of the tie continued as Inverness struggled to cope. 

Shane Sutherland tried his luck from 18 yards and at the other end Moffat sent an angled shot high over the bar as the game opened out a bit more.

In the 22nd minute Inverness suffered another blow when Jonny Hayes went off with a shoulder injury and his replacement was Nick Ross.  Not the news that Inverness fans wanted to hear with our already extensive injury list leaving us a bit threadbare.

The McGowan show was about to start as he sent an effort just wide with the aid of a deflection off Thomas Piermayr.  On the half hour he curled a free kick just wide from 25 yards and moments later Aaron Doran went even closer for the Caley Jags as he shaved the bar with his free kick.  McGowan though was proving to be a difficult customer to deal with and he got on the end of a Geggan feed but Tuffey was able to beat away the shot.  That man McGowan again turned his marker for the umpteenth time but once more Tuffey matched the shot and kept the scoreline blank.

Inverness' frustration was beginning to show and Golobart was yellow carded for upending Wardlaw, but with half time approaching Eddie Malone made a timely intervention as Nick Ross was about to open the scoring.

Billy Reid would have been the happier man at the break and Inverness will once more have their ears bent by Terry Butcher after a poor first half, but Ayr were certainly the better in the opening period.

Half Time: 0-0

Right eenuff mun, the Caley Jags came out of the blocks flying at the start of the second half.

In the 47th minute the woodwork denied Inverness as a Tokely shot came back off the post and a grateful Kevin Cuthbert gathered the ball.

Gareth Wardlaw earned a booking for simulation as he dropped in the Inverness box.  However, a few minutes later Ayr took the lead when Malone hit a low drive into the net after a McGowan corner fell to him.

This spurred the Inverness side into more frenzied action but without an out and out striker the goals never materialised.  Andrew Shinnie replaced Sutherland as Butcher tried to freshen up his attack and Tiffoney came on for Roberts as Inverness turned the screw, Shinnie having a volley on target immediately. 

A great chance for Ayr to seal it as Geggan heads a McGowan cross just wide in 74 minutes from around eight yards, but the score remained at 1-0 with the game still in the balance.

With just over ten minutes to go Gregory Tade entered the fray at the expense of Gavin Morrison, this was the last throw of the dice for Butcher.

The visitors were now camping in the Ayr half and Foran saw a header well saved by Cuthbert as the seasiders held on grimly. 

Unbelievably the Gods are still against us as a last gasp 'goal' from Ross Tokely was adjudged to be offside, much to the relief of a tiring Ayr United but there was still time for that man McGowan to bring out another stop from Jonny Tuffey.

A couple of minutes of time added on was not enough for Inverness to force the tie into extra time and Ayr deserved their moment of glory as Inverness slumped to yet another frustrating defeat. 

Full Time: 1-0

No complaints from me about the result, we knew it was going to be tough and so it proved, but our inability to take advantage of the chances that do come our way is rather worrying.  Well done to Ayr who took a terrible beating in 2010 but turned it round this time and humbled the SPL club.

The panic buttons have not been pressed yet, but there are signs that this is going to be a long season as the treatment table get bigger every week. These are tough times for Butcher and Malpas as the side seem incapable of securing a win and confidence is draining away before our very own eyes. Kilmarnock are up this weekend and unless the signing fairy visits Inverness soon, then we might have to be content with another week at the foot of the table.

Match report written by tm4tj