SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 0 AYR UNITED 2: 12/09/15
Same again starting eleven for both sides. Alan Forrest (23) 0-1; Jordan Preston (59) 0-2
Ayr United had failed to win in the ten matches played against Dunfermline over the last two seasons but Pars boss Allan Johnston was aware that Ian McCall had got them playing really well and even tipped the Somerset Park side to be title contenders this season.
The Pars boss went with the same starting eleven as at Forfar the previous Saturday while Ayr United playing their first match in 11 days did likewise. The visitors fielded former Pars Greg Fleming and Paddy Boyle. After an impressive start in the Under 20s Development League match at St Mirren on Tuesday, latest signing Mickaël Antoine-Curier was on the bench for Allan Johnston's side.
Ahead of kick off there was a rousing reception for Faissal El Bakhtaoui who was presented the League One Player of the Month for August. The Pars kicked off towards the Cowdenbeath end but it was Ayr who had the first opportunity from a somewhat harshly awarded free kick 35 yards out. Andy Geggan cleared the danger but in fifth minute a fast move down the right saw Alan Forrest in for a low shot that he drove into the sidenetting.
Ayr enjoyed the early possession and it not been the greatest of starts for the home team but the Pars first effort came from distance in eight minutes by Geggan but his shot was blocked.
Back at the other end Callum Fordyce headed away a Boyle cross and with the next move Craig Moore was allowed to rise at the back post to send his header into the right sidenetting. Joe Cardle tried a shot from 30 yards but the deflection ended up safely in Fleming's hands. There was a chance on the break for Michael Moffat played through by Michael Paton in 18 minutes but the keeper turned the striker's low shot away.
Friom the resulting corner Geggan got in a header but the ball cannoned off a defender to the keeper. Then at the midway point of the first half Ayr won possession off Cardle in their own half and Alan Forrest was sent away towards the Pars goal. He played the ball to Moore who was running to the right edge of the box and received in return a clever backheeler that put him in on goal FORREST took a touch to wrong foot Ben Richards-Everton and stuck the ball past Sean Murdoch. 0-1
Four minutes later Cardle cut in from the left and launched a shot at goal. Moffat got a touch but Fleming was not to be caught out and held.
Jason Talbot forced a 32nd minute corner on the left after picking up a Cardle pass from the centre circle but when that came over Richards-Everton headed into the pack of Ayr defenders. Five minutes later Dunfermline went down to ten men while Fordyce recovered from a bloody nose. The Pars captain returned to face a 39th minute free kick that Peter Murphy hit wide left.
Jamie Adams was yellow carded for brusque challenge on Josh Falkingham but then in 43 minutes Callum Fordyce went down as Moore came through him in the Ayr half causing both physios to come on to attend the stricken Pars captain. Stretcher party was called on as it became obvious that it was a serious one. Callum was rushed off to hospital with a suspected broken left leg. The home fans let their feelings known about they felt about referee Kevin Graham as Shaun Rooney came on. Lewis Martin moved into central defence beside Richards-Everton.
A fairly tough first half for the league leaders but it was a very good goal that separated the sides at the break.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Ayr United 1
A 50th minute corner sent over from the right by Cardle was headed into Fleming's hands by Richards-Everton and another one minute later was cleared. Dunfermline then looked a bit more composed than they had done at any point. Possession was good and the crowd encvouraged them forward as Falkingham won a 57th minute corner.
The McCathie Stand screamed had ball as Paton's cross from the left was stopped but play moved on. A throw in deep down the left was only defended out as far as centre back Murphy and he lobbed in a 59th minute cross from the left that tested the defence but Moore pushed away Talbot to challenge keeper Murdoch who failed to take. Talbot headed off the line but Jordan PRESTON crashed the ball into the Pars net for 0-2.
Ryan Wallace replaced Michael Paton and two minutes later on 65 the sub sent Rooney up the right, his cross was turned back by Devlin to Fleming with the home fans again screaming hand ball. Rooney had a great chance just thereafter but Ayr scrambled it away.
Cardle set off on a run in 70th minute and put in a good cross for El Bakhtaoui but his shot was kept out.
McLaughlin was the fourth Ayr player to be yellow carded as he came through from behind on Wallace and from the free kick Cardle sent the ball towards Antoine-Curier but he could not get enough on his header.
The big striker then turned provided but El Bakhtaoui blasted the good chance over the crosssbar. A Cardle free kick in 78 minutes changed nothing except Richards-Everton got a bloody nose and needed Kenny Murray's attention.
Time was running out for the Fifers and Cardle and Alan Trouten scrambled on the touchline as the Pars man tried to move play on. Both players were yellow carded before Joe sent the ball over and again the visitors survived.
El Bakhtaoui cut an inviting ball back in 84 minutes but just behind Antoine-Curier and Cardle. Dunfermline didn't give up but found no way through the Ayr defence. They held out for their first East End Park win since February 2010.
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch; Lewis Martin, Callum Fordyce (c)(Shaun Rooney 45+1), Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot,; Michael Paton (Ryan Wallace 63), Josh Falkingham, Andy Geggan, Joe Cardle; Michael Moffat (Mickaël Antoine-Curier 58), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
SUBS NOT USED: Shaun Byrne, David Hopkirk, John Potter, David Hutton (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Cardle (83)
AYR UNITED: Greg Fleming; Nicky Devlin, Gerry McLauchlan, Peter Murphy, Paddy Boyle; Alan Forrest (Alan Trouten 78), Ross Docherty, Brian Gilmour (Michael Donald 84), Jamie Adams; Jordan Preston, Craig Moore (Ross Caldwell 71).
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Muir, Andy Graham, Robbie Crawford, Shaun Newman (GK)
SCORERS: Forrest (23), Preston (59)
YELLOW CARD: Devlin (28), Adams (40), Moore (66), McLaughlin (73), Trouten (83)
REFEREE: Kevin Graham
WEATHER: Damp, overcast 14C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes League One: (away) v Stenhousemuir
Saturday 19th September 2015, kick off 3.00pm at Ochilview Park.
Betfred Cup v Peterhead: Saturday 22nd July 2017, kick off 3.00pm