By Austin Benson
Hamilton were on the road again as Stuart Taylor’s side arrived at Somerset Park ahead of their crucial match against Ayr. A victory for Accies would extend their winning streak to three.
Ayr United kicked us off, and almost scored within the opening minute, as James Maxwell’s ferocious effort from outside the box was carried away by Fulton. Aaron Muirhead’s header from the resulting corner was too high, as Accies got a goal kick in the 2nd minute.
Accies would get themselves into the game soon after as David Moyo’s effort was deflected out for a corner in the 3rd minute. Steve Lawson’s initial crosses troubled Ayr’s defence, however they were soon cleared.
This attack fueled Accies with confidence as David Moyo sent a long ball in behind Ayr’s defence to find Andy Winter, who curled his effort from outside the box and into Ayr’s bottom right corner to give Accies the lead in the 6thminute. Andy Winter now has three goals in as many games for Stuart Taylor’s side.
David Moyo intimidated Ayr’s defence early, almost capitalising on some sloppy play as his strike went ahead of Ayr’s onrushing ‘keeper in the 8th minute. However, the ball would narrowly glance wide of United’s open goal.
Despite signs of promise down the Ayr United left hand side defender Jamie Hamilton kept his defensive wits about him to keep the onrushing attackers at bay.
Ayr had their first concrete chance in the 17th minute, as James Maxwell’s shot from a Reading cutback was deflected away for a corner. In a flurry of United corners, Ryan Fulton would be troubled only once, having to save Andy Murdoch’s close-range shot in the 20th minute.
The next 10 minutes petered out with neither side gaining any clear cut opportunities. However, on 30 minutes an Ayr counter attack as Maxwell broke through in a 1-on-1 situation. However, Fulton saved well to keep Accies ahead.
As the half came to an end Accies had a chance to double their lead as Jamie Hamilton’s headed effort was swiftly parried away by ‘keeper McAdams in the 43rd minute.
Hamilton were pressed early into the second half from Ayr, as McInroy’s shot from a Bryden layoff was too high in the 48th minute and went out for an Accies goal kick.
Dan O’Reilly showed defensive steel throughout the remaining half, winning last ditch challenges, and clearing well when necessary. In the face of increased urgency from Ayr, O’Reilly was crucial to keeping Accies’ slim advantage.
Accies had one of their first chances of the second half, as Andy Winter sent a pinpoint cross towards Moyo in the United box, but his header went over in the 56th minute.
David Moyo would be booked soon after in the 61st minute following a confrontation with Sean McGinty and Fraser Bryden amidst calls for an Accies free kick. McGinty and Bryden would also see yellow in the 61st minute for their roles in the scuffle.
Goal scorer Andy Winter made way for Scott Martin in the 64th minute, with Stuart Taylor eager to see this lead out.
Hamilton’s chances became slightly scarcer afterwards, however David Moyo would see his shot deflected out for a corner in the 68th minute. Steve Lawson’s delivery was unfortunate not to beat Ayr’s defence, which looked more resilient as opposed to the first half.
Dan O’Reilly was booked in the 71st minute for alleged timewasting, as Ayr seemed anxious of how little time was left.
Steve Lawson brought down James Maxwell and collected a booking in the 76th minute, as Stuart Taylor prepared his second substitution of the night. Kieran MacDonald went off for Matthew Shiels in the 78th minute to bolster Accies’ defense going into the final 10 minutes. However, Accies would still have multiple opportunities to double their lead.
Andy Ryan was caught offside in the 83rd minute, after running ahead of his marker to receive Moyo’s through ball.
Scott Martin drove a shot from outside the box, with ‘keeper McAdams having to adjust his body to save in added time.
However, with virtually the last kick of the match Kerr McInroy would smash home to bring the hosts level. The wonderstrike sailed past a diving Ryan Fulton
Accies; Fulton, Popescu, Easton (C), Hamilton, MacDonald (Shiels 78’), Ryan, Spence, Winter (Martin 64’), Moyo, Lawson, O’Reilly
Unused Accies subs; J.Smith, L.Smith, Hughes, Mullin, Mimnaugh, Brown
Ayr; McAdams, Houston, Reading, Muirhead, McGinty (C), Murdoch, McInroy, O’Connor (Adeloye 46’), Maxwell, McKenzie (Moffat 70’), Bryden
Unused Ayr subs; Albinson, Ecrepont, Fjortoft, Baird, Smith, Hewitt, Kenyon
Referees; Chris Graham, AR1 Sean Carr, AR2 Brian Christie