Ayr United 2-2 Hamilton Academical
SPFL cinch Championship
At Somerset Park, Ayr
Saturday 13th August 2022, kick-off 3PM
By Nickolas McInally
It was a trip to Ayrshire for John Rankin and our Accies side as we looked to capitalise on a positive performance in the draw with Partick Thistle a week previously.
Free of suspension, as was Shaun Want, he was joined by Darian MacKinnon the club’s new first team coach, a sight which pleased the Accies faithful prior to kick-off.
The match began with Ayr United looking to make their home advantage count in the baking sun. The physical presence of Akinyemi battling with Brian Easton to win his side a set piece and opportunity to put pressure on the Accies defence.
The ball in found the head of an Ayr attacker. However, his effort was right at goalkeeper Ryan Fulton.
However, the period of dominance gave the men in white confidence. Just moments later a clearance from Ryan Fulton clattered off Matthew Shiels and fell into the path of Ayr’s O’Connor.
His effort looked to be going wayward, but Akinyemi was able to stick a boot out and give the home side the lead.
As the match grew in to the 7th minute the home side nearly doubled their lead.
A long-range free kick from Reading struck the post of Fulton and went out for a goal kick.
However, we soon found our rhythm and started to regain control of the match. On 10 minutes a well worked passing move presented a crossing opportunity for Andy Winter which was well cleared.
Three minutes later it was Winter who got the goal to draw Accies level. After working a half yard of space on the edge of the box he was able to curl his effort into the top corner.
Both sides battled for control of the match and Akinyemi was able to get space in behind the Accies defence but his shot from outside the box well held by Fulton
It was the 34th minute before the match was to see it’s next chance of note. A long ball forward sent Akinyemi through with Brian Easton. However, a slip from the Accies captain allowed a 1 v 1 with Fulton.
Fortunately, Dan O’Reilly recovered well to do enough to keep the scores level.
Just moments later Accies sought to gain the crucial advantage. A long-range free kick from Mimnaugh forcing keeper to save well for a corner.
On 40 minutes, a ball in from the Accies left, fell to the feet of O’Connor who was tackled by Doyle. After some hesitation the ref pointed to the spot.
The resulting penalty by Dipo Akinyemi was well saved by Fulton.
Accies started the half well. Fulton’s pinpoint pass found the advancing Matthew Shiels. He then combined with Smith to create a crossing opportunity. However, Andy Winter was unable to get a touch on it.
Just moments later Ayr had the ball in the net but the offside flag was raised. A slack header from Shiels gave a shooting opportunity to O’Connor. He dragged his effort, but it was tapped home from an offside position.
A cross flashed across the 6-yard box by Smith was unable to be converted by Tiehi
Then a header across from Shiels into the path of Tiehi but, the ‘keeper held well
As the game entered the 72nd minute Accies went in front. A corner floated towards the back post was met by Dan O’Reilly and the Irishman rose highest to powerfully nod the ball past Albinson.
The home side looked for an immediate response. A ball in from the Accies left found Ashford. However, his effort hit the side netting.
Reading skipped past the challenge of Winter as Ayr pushed for an equaliser. However, a header from Ashford was well saved by Fulton.
However, just moments later the home side had that crucial goal as a ball fell to Murdoch on the edge of the box who volleyed the ball in to the top corner to secure a share of the points.
Accies; Fulton, Doyle, Shiels, O’Reilly, Easton (C), Martin, L Smith (Want 84), Tiehi, Mimnaugh, Winter, Lawson,
Subs unused; J.Smith, Ngandu, Brown, Owens, McGinn, One, Newbury
Ayr; Albinson, Reading, McGinley, Musonda, McAllister, O’Connor, Murdoch, Dempsey, Ashford, Akinyemi, McKenzie
Referee Gavin Duncan; Assistants Graeme Leslie & Brian Christie