http://www.saintmirren.net/pages/?p=57718By James Hunter at Somerset Park
Tom Walsh’s 89th minute header rescued a point for St Mirren at Somerset Park. The midfielder nodded the ball beyond Greg Fleming after Lawrence Shankland launched one of his trademark throw-ins deep into the Ayr United box. A ruck of players, from both St Mirren and Ayr, attempted to get a head on it before it fell invitingly into Walsh’s path for the loanee to level the score.
The Buddies started the game off sluggishly and with less than a minute on the clock, Ayr’s Nicky Devlin missed an opportunity to really test Scott Gallacher in the Saints goal with a cross-cum-shot that lacked power.
It was the hosts who took the lead early in the first half when former Kilmarnock player Jamie Adams headed home. Brian Gilmour whipped in a free kick that Adams managed to get on the end of to head into the back of the net. It was a frustrating start for Saints who are looking to get their first league win of the season on the board.
The closest Saints came in the first half came on 24 minutes when David Clarkson ran on to a cross from John Sutton but the striker was unlucky to see the attempt go wide of the keeper’s near post.
It was a drab first half with not many chances for either side but the Buddies were dealt a huge let off with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. Gilmour did well to find ex-Saint Gary Harkins with time and space in the box but the midfielder failed to get the shot away and St Mirren mopped up the danger.
Half-Time: Ayr United 1-0 St Mirren
Saints played with more purpose after the break but the warning signs were evident immediately when, just a matter of seconds into the second half, Ayr had the ball in the net a second time but thankfully the linesman’s flag had already been raised.
The Buddies were growing into the match a little more and Ryan Hardie went close when he got on the end of a cross from Jason Naismith. The striker got his head to the ball but saw the effort pushed away well by Fleming. Fleming again foiled Hardie a minute later after the loan man was found brilliantly in the box by Clarkson. He burst in on goal but his shot was blocked with Sutton unlucky not to get something on the rebound.
Tom Walsh entered the match on the hour mark and within just six minutes of being on the field, sent in a good cross for Clarkson whose header went agonisingly wide of the post.
Walsh’s desire to have an impact on the game would not be denied when he grabbed the equaliser for St Mirren with the clock fast approaching the 90 minute mark. The Ayr United defence didn’t deal with Shankland’s throw and Walsh ghosted in to nod the ball beyond the helpless Fleming.
The drama wasn’t to end there though as Sutton was put clean through on goal a minute later when Hardie found him in acres of space inside the box but Fleming was equal to it. Ayr broke up the field and almost got themselves a late winner on the counter but Harkins’ effort went wide of the far post.
Full-Time: Ayr United 1-1 St Mirren
Ayr United: Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, Meggatt, Cairney (Crawford 81), Docherty, Gilmour, Adams, Harkins, Nisbet (Forrest 64).
Subs Not Used: Rose, Thomas, O’Connell, McGuffie, Hart (GK).
St Mirren: Gallacher, Naismith, Baird, Webster, Irvine, Stewart (Walsh 60), Mallan, Hutton (Shankland 70), Hardie, Sutton, Clarkson.
Subs Not Used: McLear, Whyte, Gordon, McDonald, Langfield (GK).
Referee: Crawford Allan.
Assistant Referee: David Roome.
Assistant Referee: Derek Crothers.
Attendance: 2,165 (800 St Mirren fans).
Match report pictures by Allan Picken – © Allan Picken Photography.
Match Gallery Pictures © John Millar.
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