Match Report

Second Division leaders Queen of the South came from behind to secure three points against bottom of the table Ayr United at Somerset Park.

The Honest Men took advantage of some slack defending from The Doonhamers as they twice took the lead through Darian MacKinnon before being pegged back by first Nicky Clark and then Paul Burns in the first half.  Gavin Reilly followed up his hat-trick against Arbroath with two more in the second half to see his team run out 4-2 winners.
The match began quickly for the home side as Darian MacKinnon fired them in front after eight minutes.  Queens centre-back Chris Higgins gave away a free-kick in the middle of the Queens half and was lucky not to be cautioned by the referee.  David Sinclair stepped up and floated the ball into the far-post area where the ball bounced around and eventually dropped to MacKinnon lurking five yards out.  The Ayr forward made no mistake as he fired into the roof of the net.
The Honest Men almost doubled their lead five minutes later as MacKinnon found his strike-partner Michael Moffat who laid the ball onto the on-rushing Ross Robertson.  The winger?s well-hit effort was pushed out emphatically by Lee Robinson in the Queens goal.
Just as the home fans thought their team were going to extend their lead Queens hit back through top scorer Nicky Clark.  The away side had been looking dangerous from set-pieces and the equaliser came from a Chris Mitchell corner.  The right-back for the day swung in the ball to the front post where it bounced around the Ayr box before falling to Clark who managed to poke the ball home before the Ayr goalkeeper could claim it.
Nicky celebrates his strike - photo from Sandy Robertson 
The Doonhamers were only on level terms for three minutes though as Darian MacKinnon netted his second for the day with just 18 minutes on the clock.  Ryan McStay found Moffat down the Ayr left where the striker was allowed to turn inside onto his right foot before crossing to find MacKinnon free inside the six-yard-box who headed into the corner.
Willie Gibson then had a penalty shout turned down by the referee before Ayr had two chances to extend their lead before the half-hour mark.  Firstly Sinclair had an opportunity from 20 yards but he placed his shot just wide of the post before MacKinnon?s cross found its way to Ross Robertson at the back post.  The winger had time to pick his spot but he couldn?t connect properly and his shot didn?t threaten Robinson?s goal.
These were chances Ayr would come to regret missing as Queens immediately went up the other end and scored through new signing Paul Burns.  It came from another Chris Mitchell corner from the right and was as simple a goal as they come as Burns met the cross six yards out and fired his header past the exposed Darren Martin.  The Ayr defence cannot have been happy as Burns, with possibly the exception of Dan Carmichael, was the smallest man on the park but he rose to finish well to signal his return to the club.
This second equaliser seemed to energise the away side as Burns almost added a third just minutes later.  Nicky Clark was freed down the Queens? left and he got to the byline before cutting back a low cross to find Burns at the front post.  It was an easy chance but he couldn?t control the shot and it flew high over the crossbar.
The Queens midfield was beginning to assert control at this point and after some nice passing by Gibson and McKenna they opened up the Ayr defence again.  McKenna played a lovely reverse pass into the Ayr box where Carmichael burst onto it but the diminutive winger couldn?t beat the onrushing Ayr goalkeeper.
Burns heads home - pohto from Sandy Robertson
Paul Burns - back with a bang! - photo from Sandy Robertson
The game began to settle down for the final ten minutes of the first half as each team were restricted to efforts from range and the two sides went in level at the break.
The second half began slowly as both teams looked to tighten up at the back.  Neither manager should have been happy with the defensive showings in the first half and evidently their words were ringing in the ears of the players as efforts on goal were few and far between.
That was until an hour on the clock as Queen of the South kept some sustained possession of the ball and made it count.  Mark Durnan strode out of defence with the ball and played a long, high ball over the top of the Ayr defence who failed to clear.  The ball bounced before Gavin Reilly controlled the ball and swivelled to put the ball past the Ayr goalkeeper and gave his side the lead.
Gavin Reilly finishes in style - photo from Sandy Robertson 
The youngster then notched his sixth league goal of the season in classy fashion five minutes later.  Reilly found himself face to face with his marker John Robertson and burst past showing the defender a clean set of heels before rolling the ball past the goalkeeper.  It was a wonderful goal that Reilly made look so easy.
The Queens players were now full of confidence and it showed as Gibson fired a long-range piledriver that stung the hands of Martin before Clark hit a shot just wide after some nice footwork opened up the space.  The away side were in total control of the match and it looked like they might score every time they ventured into the Ayr half.
There were to be no further goals, however, as Allan Johnston freshened up the team with Lyle and Orsi coming on for Reilly and Gibson before shutting up shop as Ryan McGuffie replaced Nicky Clark.

  • Robinson

  • Mitchell

  • Higgins

  • Durnan

  • Holt

  • Carmichael

  • McKenna

  • Burns

  • Gibson


  • Clark

  • Reilly


  • Atkinson

  • Lyle


  • McGuffie


  • Young

  • Orsi


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14:47 Hi folks and welcome to Somerset Park as bottom of the table Ayr United welcome table-toppers Queen of the South.
14:48 Here are the teams for today...
14:49 Queens: 1 Robinson 2 Mitchell 3 Holt 4 Durnan 5 Higgins 6 Burns 7 Gibson 8 McKenna 9 Reilly 10 Clark 11 Carmichael
14:55 Subs: 12 Atkinson (gk) 14 Lyle 15 McGuffie 16 Young 17 Orsi
14:56 Ayr United: 1 Martin 2 McAusland 3 Twaddle 4 McCann 5 Robertson 6 Sinclair 7 Crawford 8 McStay 9 Moffat 10 MacKinnon 11 Robertson
14:57 Subs: 12 Winters 14 Brownlie 15 Shankland 16 Wylie 20 Brown (gk)
14:58 And, not that you care, today`s referee is Alan Muir assisted by Craig Napier and Matthew Denne.
15:00 Queens have had a dream start to the season being unbeaten in 8 whilst Ayr have had a nightmare start to theirs with just one win.
2 min Free-kick for Queens in a dangerous position wide on the right. The ball drops to Burns but his effort is blocked and then cleared.
4 min Queens have started in a 4-4-2 with a midfield of Gibson on the left, Carmichael on the right and Burns and McKenna in centre midfield.
8 min Goal Ayr. MacKinnon the scorer
10 min Higgins gave away a free-kick that was floated into the back-post and the ball bounced off an Ayr attacker and fell to MacKinnon 5 yards out
12 min Yellow Card : Ayr`s Moffat for a clumsy challenge on McKenna
15 min Good save by Robinson! MacKinnon causing problems again as he lays it onto Robertson whose shot is beaten away by the Queens `keeper.
15 min GOAL QUEENS! Clark the scorer
17 min Queens back on level terms as Mitchell floats a corner in. The ball finds its way to Clark who heads in from 6 yards out.
18 min Goal Ayr. MacKinnon the scorer
20 min Poor defending from Queens as Moffat beats Durnan out wide and finds MacKinnon free inside the 6 yard box who heads home.
21 min Queens have a penalty appeal turned down as Gibson twists and turns and goes down a bit too easily for the ref`s liking.
23 min Yellow Card : Ayr`s McAusland takes down Gibson cynically as the winger flies past him and is rightly booked.
26 min Another chance for Ayr as Queens struggle to clear and the ball falls to Sinclair on the edge of the area who places the ball past the post.
28 min Queens looking dangerous when they go forward but the defence have struggled to contain the Ayr strikers. Could be a few more goals yet.
29 min Real chance for Ayr. MacKinnon again troubling the Queens defence and his low cross finds Robertson free at the back post but he shoots wide
30 min GOAL QUEENS! Burns the scorer
31 min Another Mitchell corner finds Paul Burns free in the centre and he makes no mistake on his return to the club.
32 min How did he miss?! Nicky Clark is freed down the left wing and he plays a low cross into the path of the Paul Burns who somehow fires over.
35 min Queens chance! Nice play as McKenna plays in Carmichael one-on-one with the `keeper. He goes for the little chip but it`s blocked.
43 min Long range strike from McKenna skews wide. We`ve had a bit of a lull in play, all these goals must have tired the players out...
Half Time HALF TIME - Ayr 2:2 QOS
Half Time Good attacking play coupled with poor defending has given us plenty of goals here in Ayr.
Half Time Allan Johnston will be looking for a much improved defensive display from his side but will be pleased with the threat posed up front.
48 min The Ayr players are having a moan at the ref as they feel they should have had a penalty. There was contact and some would have given it.
52 min Neither team is able to gain any real possession at the start of the 2nd half and the ball is in the air a lot just now.
57 min Ayr putting the pressure on as Mark Durnan makes a couple of well-timed challenges inside his own box.
62 min GOAL QUEENS! Reilly the scorer
63 min Queens were starting to get a hold of the ball and a long, high ball from Durnan causes havoc in the Ayr box. Reilly spins and fires it in
67 min Gibson fires wide! Great run down the right by Nicky Clark sees him cut inside and lay the ball to Gibson who hits from the edge of the area
68 min GOAL QUEENS! Reilly the scorer
70 min Wow! So easy for Gavin Reilly as he faces up to Robertson and just bursts past the defender before rolling past the on-rushing `keeper.
72 min That was a great goal from the youngster Reilly and the Queens strikers are looking very confident out there.
74 min Gibson smashes a 30-yard piledriver and the Ayr `keeper can only push it out. Reilly is unlucky as the ball rebounds behind him.
75 min Great footwork from Nicky Clark as he pulls off a nice drag-back before hitting his shot a yard wide of the far post.
77 min Queens have really taken control of the match since their 3rd goal. Some Ayr fans have given up and are leaving already.
80 min Clark nearly gets in behind but he can`t get the ball out of his feet and the Ayr defender recovers to tackle.
81 min Great play by Mitchell as he steals the ball before jinking his way into the box to fire a low cross across the face of the goal.
81 min Substitution : Orsi on for Gibson
81 min Substitution : Lyle on for Reilly
83 min Chance for Ayr. Nice play from the home side inside the Queens box sees McStay have an effort but it rolls harmlessly wide.
87 min Substitution : McGuffie on for Clark
90 min Looks like Queens are looking to close the game out as they leave Derek Lyle up front on his own with McGuffie coming on in midfield.
90+1 min Chance for Ayr. Moffat gets in but Robinson pushes him wide. The forward then tries to find MacKinnon but Durnan cuts it out.
90+2 min Great run by Orsi. The winger cuts inside 2 defenders and hits his shot towards the near post but the keeper stops it.
16:53 FULL TIME - Ayr 2:4 QOS
16:54 A good away win for Queens as they continue their unbeaten start to the season.
16:55 Clark and Reilly were both looking in good form ahead of Tuesday`s cup tie at Rangers.