Ayr United 4-2 Morton
Moffat (9), McCowan (55), Forrest (64), McGuffie (90+2) – Tumilty (73), Cadden (79)
by Ewan Boyle
It was a tough opening match for Morton as they suffered a 4-2 defeat against Ayr United after the Ton’s comeback attempt in the second half was denied by a late Ayr goal.
The game at Somerset Park saw a crowd of 1,935 fans watch the opening game of the Ladbrokes Championship campaign for both teams.
An early chance for Ayr came on 6 minutes as Alan Forrest broke into the penalty area and had a shot on goal which Sam Ramsbottom was able to block and send out for a corner.
However, the deadlock was broken early on as Michael Moffat found some space in the box and sent the ball past the Morton goalkeeper to give Ayr United the lead.
Sam Ramsbottom denied Ayr’s Luke McCowan a chance to round the goalkeeper as he was able to pull off a fantastic save just as McCowan looked certain to score.
Morton had a huge chance on 17 minutes as Peter Grant got on the end of a cross and attempted a looping header over Ayr goalkeeper Ross Doohan but Doohan was able to get a hand to it and knock it out for a corner.
Peter Grant picked up an injury on 26 minutes and was replaced by Cameron Blues which caused some issues for the Ton side.
A bizarre moment came on 55 minutes as the ball hit off the face of an Ayr United player and sent through Michael Moffat who passed across goal to an unmarked Luke McCowan who sent it home for Ayr’s second with appeals of offside following the goal.
A goal back for Morton looked a certainty on 61 minutes after John Sutton was able to header the ball towards goal however the attempt was blocked by Ayr and cleared out to Nicky Cadden who swung the ball back in to Robbie Muirhead whose free header went narrowly by the post.
John Sutton had another big chance for Morton shortly after as the striker tried to send the ball down to the goalkeeper’s left but the ball trickled by the post.
Ayr’s third goal came on 65 minutes as Alan Forrest‘s shot from distance curled around the goalkeeper and into the top corner and seemingly putting the game to bed at this point.
What seemed a consolation goal for Morton came on 73 minutes as Reghan Tumilty capitalised on a mistake from Ross Doohan and sent it home from close range.
A shock was almost on the cards for Morton on 79 minutes as Bob McHugh done extremely well to play a pass through to Nicky Cadden who sent the ball under Ross Doohan’s legs for Morton’s second with the Ton now needing one goal to perform a sensational comeback.
The comeback was not to be for Morton as Sam Ramsbottom came well off his line to block a Kris Doolan effort but the ball fell to Craig McGuffie who lobbed the Morton goalkeeper from 25 yards on 90 minutes plus 2 added on.
Morton now turn their attention to next Saturday’s home game against Alloa and will hope to avenge their performance at Ayr and get a victory.
4. McLean 5. Grant 3. Van Schaik
2. Tumilty 8. McAlister (c) 6. Jacobs 19. Cadden 9. Muirhead
Subs used: 18. Cameron Blues (for Grant, 27′), 11. Bob McHugh (for Muirhead, 66′), 14. Cameron Salkeld (for Nesbitt, 74′)
Subs not used: 22. Alexander Easdale, 12. Kalvin Orsi, 7. Chris Millar, 17. Reece Lyon
Booked: Van Schaik (53′), Nesbitt (21′)
Ayr United (433): Doohan, Geggan, Bell, Roscoe, Harvie, Murdoch, Docherty, Kelly (Adams, 84′), McCowan (McGuffie, 71), Moffat (Doolan, 71), Forrest
Subs not used: McKenzie, Kerr, Ferguson, Hare-Reid
Booked: Geggan (67′)
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Attendance: 1,935 (521 away fans)
⭐️ Star Man: Nicky Cadden
image: Gary Bradley