Late McLaughlin brace hands Forfar first League One defeat

Pic credit Christopher Coutts.
Pic credit Christopher Coutts.

Forfar Athletic suffered their first league loss of the season at Ayr United after an end-to-end game ended 2-0.

A late brace from Scott McLaughlin was enough to give Mark Roberts’ Honest Men their third league win from as many games.

No changes were made from last week’s 2-0 win over Dunfermline but that lasted three minutes, Aaron James getting stretchered off to be replaced by Mark Baxter after the summer recruit collided with an Ayr forward.

United had almost opened the scoring shortly before that incident, Brian Gilmour spraying the ball out to Alan Forrest but Rab Douglas did well to stop the youngster from netting.

After eight minutes Forfar had their first chance, Baxter swinging in a cross that Stephen Husband nodded past the post before Gavin Swankie’s 30 yard strike was well held by David Hutton.

Dale Hilson then sliced the ball just over before at the other end, Jon Paul McGovern’s effort was nodded over the bar by Michael Dunlop, the resultant corner coming to nothing.

In the 23rd minute Forrest hooked his shot wide as he looked to impress the watching Scotland U19 manager Ricky Sbragia.

On the half hour mark Husband’s cross was nodded out towards Derek Young who lashed wide before Hilson’s run down the wing towards goal almost created a chance.

Seconds before half time Michael Donald swung a cross in that was met by Nicky Devlin at the back post but his header across goal had no takers and went out of play.

McLaughlin tried his luck a minute into the second half but couldn’t keep his long range effort down.

Chances were non-existent until the 66th minute when Forrest set up Peter Murphy but he saw his shot deflected over and the corner was punched away easily.

Forrest then went close for the Honest Men again before a Forfar attack ended in Danny Denholm’s shot being blocked, with the follow-up from Hilson cleared.

The Loons went the closest either side had to scoring with 13 minutes to go when sub Omar Kader’s cross was knocked towards goal by Denholm, Hutton couldn’t save properly and a defender had to clear off the line.

Ayr then took the lead with five minutes to go, a long ball finding Dale Shirkie but Douglas blocked his shot. The defence didn’t clear properly and McLaughlin took great delight in firing the ball home from the edge of the box.

They doubled their lead in the 88th minute, McLaughlin grabbing his second from the spot after Kader bundled over Forrest.

Ayr United: Hutton, Devlin, Donald, McKinlay, Murphy, Gilmour (McKenzie 80), Forrest, McLaughlin, Donnelly, McGovern, McGill (Shirkie 65). Subs not used: McArthur, Roberts, Muir, Newman.

Forfar Athletic: Douglas, Dunlop, James (Baxter 7), Malcolm, Dods, Husband, Hilson (Dale 83), Young, Templeman (Kader 66), Swankie, Denholm. Subs not used: Malin, Fotheringham, Steeves, Salmon.