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Loons Rampant as Ayr Pay the Penalty

Saturday, 16 October 2010 17:00

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Forfar Athletic 4 Ayr United 1


Wow ! Saturday’s match at Station Park had everything from a delayed kick off to two sending’s off, from two different referees to two missed penalties. Most importantly for the home side, it saw a return to winning ways, thanks to some wonderful attacking play, which lead to four goals, and an amazing four penalty kicks being awarded in their favour, three of which were in the space of 5 second half minutes !

Traffic congestion meant that the game was delayed by 15 minutes, but when it did start the home side signalled their determination for victory as early as the 2nd minute when Scott Allan released Chris Templeman on the left, Chris sent over an inviting cross into the Ayr danger area, but there were no takers.

Forfar didn’t have to wait too much longer before opening the scoring when the first of their penalties was awarded after Templeman was fouled in the box. Some would say that Keenan, who had just been booked when he conceded the freekick leading up to the penalty award, should have been shown his second yellow card of the afternoon for the challenge. He wasn’t, however this was only a stay of execution and he would not see out the duration of the game.. Ross Campbell fired home the spot kick and the Loons were in front.

The home side were enjoying the majority of the play, with Deasley, Allan, Templeman, Hilson and Campbell all troubling the Ayr defence whenever they received the ball. Unfortunately for the visitors the Forfar defenders were also piling on the pressure and an inch perfect McCulloch cross was met by the head of Templeman who could only direct his effort into the safe grasp of Crawford. Minutes later and a one-two between Hilson and Ross Campbell saw Campbell inches away from sliding home goal number two. On the half hour mark, once again Ross came close to adding to his tally, this time after Scott Allan had avoided three Ayr challenges before slipping the ball through for Campbell.

For the remainder of the first half the Loons dominated proceedings however could not increase their one goal lead. I cannot end my first half report though without mentioning the amazing run and show of skill from Scott Allan on the stroke of half time. He beat four Ayr players at considerable ease and seemingly walked into the penalty box before shooting low into the arms of the visiting custodian.

The beginning of the second period showed Ayr at the their best, and Ross Campbell did well to clear off the line following a header from a corner, and minutes later McKay shot low past Gallacher only to see his effort rebound back off the keepers right hand post.

What happened during the reminder of the match will remain in the memories of both sets of fans for years to come.

Dale Hilson weaved his way down the left flank beating two players before crossing low for Chris Templeman to fire home. Following a clumsy challenge on Templeman Robertson received his second yellow card and was therefore sent packing. Five minutes later and he was joined by team mate Keenan who, as mentioned previously, was already carrying a yellow card, collected another when he brought down substitute Fotheringham in the box. Ross Campbell took the spot kick, but it was parried away by Crawford. Two minutes later and after Scott Allan had collected a loose ball on the edge of the Ayr penalty box and ran towards goal he was chopped down to give the home side their third penalty of the afternoon. Allan brushed himself down and stepped up to take the kick himself. David Crawford was the hero for Ayr saving his second penalty in as many minutes.
But that was not the end of the penalty kick excitement – Ross Campbell was soon brought down in the box resulting in another clear cut decision for the referee. Martyn Fotheringham took the kick and dispatched it for goal number three.

To their credit Ayr kept plugging away and gave their travelling fans some cheer with two minutes remaining. Andy Rodgers crossed wide from the left and as Ross Campbell slipped and missed the clearance header, the ball fell to Willie Easton who drilled the ball high and wide of Gallacher’s reach and into the back of the net.

But the afternoon was Forfar’s and the final word was with the Loons. Deasley beat Taggart to the ball and put Graham Gibson in the clear, “Gibbie” rounded Crawford for a simple finish.

It’s hard to sum up this match without dwelling on the bizarre, however, it should not be forgotten that this was a very accomplished Forfar performance thanks to an all round strong team effort.

Match Report by Kevin Brown

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