Forfar Athletic recorded their first win of the year on Saturday with a 2-1 win over struggling Ayr United, writes Lee Smith.
Faroese international Odmar Faeroe came back into the starting XI for the first time since being injured while representing his country in October, replacing Barry Sellars. Omar Kader and Michael Bolochoweckyj were also in for Charlie King and Jamie Bishop who were on the bench.
The game started off evenly with no one really coming close to troubling either ‘keeper, bar Gavin Malin’s volley that went wide in the sixth minute.
Two minutes later Chris Templeman had a shot deflected past the post, and Danny Denholm’s pin-point corner was headed into his own goal by Ayr defender John Robertson who had been pressured by Faeroe.
Ayr United had their first real chance in the 19th minute when David Sinclair’s free kick from the corner of the box went just over the bar.
After half an hour they came even closer to scoring when their free kick, which looked as if it had been practised on the training ground, led to Kyle McAusland’s header being cleared off the line by Iain Campbell.
Mark McCulloch came close to scoring a rare goal after Chris Templeman set him up and his shot from outside the box went out for a corner. From the resultant flag kick the ball went out to Iain Campbell, whose cross was headed over by Danny Denholm.
The Honest Men had the final chances of the first half with McAusland heading over when no-one else was near him and Robbie Crawford’s long range shot was straight at Jack Hamilton.
David Sinclair was rewarded for his efforts in the 48th minute when Ayr were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and he curled his attempt into the bottom left corner much to the delight of the 40 or so Ayr fans who were already making a lot of noise.
Within five minutes the Loons had retaken the lead when good play allowed Gavin Malin to thread the ball to Gavin Swankie who placed the ball past ex-Loon Ally Brown for his 12th goal of the season.
Two minutes later Swankie almost made it 3-1 when he capitalised on a poor pass back by Darren Brownlie but Brown did well to stop his attempt. Odmar Faeroe was then replaced by Michael Bolochoweckyj as he felt the effects of playing his first game in three months.
With an hour gone Ayr almost equalised when John Robertson’s cross was headed out to David Sinclair, who saw his powerful shot saved by the ‘keeper. In the 69th minute Dale Hilson was subbed before he was sent off after he was booked earlier, with Omar Kader coming on for him.
Three minutes later Michael Bolochoweckyj was booked for a rash challenge and Sinclair’s free kick from the foul threatened but was cleared for a corner. Michael Donald’s corner was poor and the ball broke to Gavin Swankie who ran at the Ayr defence then switched the ball across the park to Denholm and he cut inside and curled his effort over the bar.
Two minutes later John Robertson headed over from yet another Sinclair free kick. Robbie Crawford was then subbed for Adam Hunter.
In the last 15 minutes there wasn’t much to report about apart from Ayr making two subs, with Anthony Marenghi and Ross Robertson coming on for John Robertson and Michael Moffat, Forfar also made a sub, Ross Campbell replacing Danny Denholm.
In the last minute of injury time Ayr sub Marenghi almost scored a late leveller after the ball broke to him, and his shot from outside the box was deflected and Jack Hamilton did well to catch it before it looped over him.