Ladbrokes League One



By Stewart McConnell

Pictures: David Sargent

SCENES of sheer euphoria gripped sunny Somerset Park on Saturday as Ayr United hosted an unforgettable title party on their own turf for the first time in 90 years.

There was a mass outpouring of jubilation as a huge proportion of the 2,400 plus fans of all ages spilled on to the pitch to greet their heroes after and they had clinched the league title.

This unquestionably eclipsed the Playoff Championship against Stranraer two years ago and was ever-to-be-forgotten moment they will be telling their grandchildren about

And it confirmed what most people, including neutrals believed, that Ayr were the best team in the league.

It was helicopter Saturday with the home fans dreaming that the chopper blades would be whirring towards Somerset Park by 4.45pm. They were hoping the fates would go their way but they needed an Ayr win combined with a Raith Rovers slip as the Stark's Park topped the league by a point going into this final game.

The hosts made one change for this vital match, with Alan Forrest coming in for the injured Andy Geggan. Perhaps significantly top Rovers scorer and former Ayr man Alan Trouten was missing through injury

A shot from 16 yards by Craig Moore was saved well by Kieran Wright in just two minutes as United were on the front foot right from kickoff.

Ayr came so agonisingly close in five minutes when Michael Moffat found Moore whose header from eight yards was well saved by Kieran Wright.

Moore sent an effort from 12 yards wildly over the bar in 11 minutes. United had the ball in the net in 15 minutes when Moffat shot home from eight yards but the "goal" was chalked off for offside.

Rovers had their first half chance in 19 minutes but Michael McMullin shot well wide from 20 yards.

McMullin was booked for a late challenge on Robbie Crawford near the centre-circle in 24 minutes. Then Crawford shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box a minute later.

United had a lucky escape in 26 minutes when they lost possession to Sean Higgins and he found McMullin to shoot just over the bar.

The hosts once again went close in 25 yards. However United seized the lead in 34 minutes when a corner-kick was smashed home from eight yards by Craig Moore.

Rovers forged a slight chance in 52 minutes when skipper Alan Reid shot over the bar from 12 yards. Moore had the ball in the net when he shot home from 12 yards in 54 minutes but the "goal" was chalked off for offside.

Crawford shot just over the bar from 12 yards two minutes later.

A Moore shot from 12 yards was deflected over the bar by an Albion defender in 63 minutes.

Home player Mark Kerr was booked for a foul in 77 minutes.

Rovers came close two minutes later when former Ayr man Scott McLaughlin sent a 25-yard drive whistling just wide.

The hosts came so close in 80 minutes when Craig McGuffie sent a 12-yard drive soaring just over the bar.

A Bell header from six yards was brilliantly saved two minutes later.

Then a cross into the box from Declan McDaid was cleared by the visiting defence. However in 86 minutes when a Moffat cross was bundled home from eight yards by McDaid.

Three minutes later there were scenes of delirium as the final whistle blew and the confirmation came that Raith Rovers had failed to beat Alloa. The helicopter was on a fixed course to Ayr.

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