Ladbrokes Championship



By Stewart McConnell

Pictures: David Sargent

SUPER Ayr erased the bitter disappointment of their April defeat at Recreation Park as they stung the Wasps to soar a point clear at the top of the table.

A double from inspirational striker Lawrence Shankland helped secure another glorious win.

And his second strike was a landmark 6000th for the Honest Men in all competitions.

This was stunning all-round performance in which the double hero excelled but also stand-in skipper Steven Bell marshalled the defence superbly.

In the opening minute Shankland whipped a cross into the box for which there were no takers.

Robbie Crawford set up Shankland whose effort from 12 yards was easily saved by Neil Parry in six minutes as Ayr began strongly.

The Wasps then forged their first opening in nine minutes when a cross from former Ayr United man Alan Trouten was headed just over the bar from 12 yards by Iain Flannigan.

At the other end a Michael Moffat chip into the box was easily handled by Parry in 13 minutes.

The hosts came very close in 19 minutes when Jake Hastie shot across the face of goal from 12 yards with just Ross Doohan to beat.d

Michael Rose made a goal-line clearance to foil Trouten a minute later.

United had their best opening in 23 minutes when Shankland steadied himself before firing in a rasping shot from 16 yards. However a minute later the irrepressible striker blasted the visitors ahead when the ball broke to him 16 yards out and he slammed an unstoppable shot under Parry and into the net.

The visitors came so cross again in 33 minutes when Moffat broke at pace and teed up Alan Forrest, whose 10-yard drive produced a fine one-handed save from Parry.

The Wasps missed a good chance in 36 minutes when Dario Zanatta made a good run but instead of passing elected to shoot and his angled drive was confidently saved by Ross Doohan, who was the quietest of the two goalies by far.

Shankland then turned before shooting just wide from 16 yards in 39 minutes.

A Flannigan cross into the box was booted away by an Ayr defender four minutes later.

Shankland surged to the edge of the box and shot high and just wide in 45 minutes.

The visitors began well after the break when a cross into the box by Kevin Cawley was cleared by an Ayr defender a minute in.

A Moffat drive from 12 yards was well handled by Parry in 50 minutes.

The Wasps were unlucky in 52 minutes when a stinging drive from 16 yards by Connor Shields was well saved by Doohan.

Alloa wasted a good chance on the hour when Hastie surged to just inside the box but shot wildly over the bar.

United carved out another opportunity in 62 minutes when a Forrest effort from 12 yards was deflected clear by a Wasps defender.

The visitors doubled their tally in 67 minutes when Shankland blasted the ball home from the edge of the box - it was a great finish.

United could have scored again in 84 minutes when Liam Smith sent a chip just over the bar from 12 yards.

United won a free-kick at the edge of the box in 87 minutes when Shankland was tripped and the set-piece from the striker was well saved by Parry.

In 89 minutes Shields shot wildly wide from six yards as Ayr held on to win comfortably.