Stenhousemuir 0 Ayr United 4: Concern grows at Ochilview

Stenhousemuir FC v Ayr United FC;  www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
Stenhousemuir FC v Ayr United FC; www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk

It was a painful afternoon for the Warriors as they found themselves comfortably beaten by an irresistible Ayr United side.

A goal conceded in the first minute of both halves from Michael Donald and Craig Moore; plus a brace from Jordan Preston made for a comprehensive drubbing.

Stenny are now only one point above the relegation play off position following Brechin’s 5-1 demolition of Peterhead, leaving them with two must-win fixtures to close the season against Cowdenbeath and Albion Rovers.

Manager, Brown Ferguson did not sugarcoat his words when reflecting on the performance:“[We] gifted the game. Any good work we done in the game is hard to even comment on because of the way in which we conceded the goals and when you lose goals as early as that in games, it’s hard to get a real foothold in the match.

“The mentality of the players to do the right things at the right times consistently, that needs to change, because we put ourselves under so much pressure today with bad decisions. That’s going to be the focus, changing that over the next week.

“Hopefully we’ll have a few more players back next week as well which can add a bit of competition into the squad. We need to regroup, go again, and get ready for a battle and two cup finals in the next two weeks.”

Ayr United breached the hosts back line in under 60 seconds as Donald was slipped in behind by Jordan Preston to finish into the bottom right of Colin McCabe’s goal. The pressure from the visitors was unrelenting, with Stenny only beginning to create opportunities for themselves after half an hour.

A good spell of pressure from the home side saw Colin McMenamin shoot high with their first real effort of the game. Stephen Stirling came even closer as his shot from 30 yards was tipped over the bar by Greg Fleming.

Stenny finished the first half strongly strongly with Lewis Small only finding the side netting following a phenomenal run and pass from Alan Cook.

The Honest Men then left the Warriors in their dust one minute after the restart. Moore’s shot inside the box was deflected by Jamie McCormack into the top right of the net. Ross McCrorrie drew a foul from Ciaran Summers in the box, leading to a penalty which was duly converted by Preston in the 79th minute as he sent McCabe the wrong way from 12 yards.

The rout was completed on 88 minutes when Preston pounced on a slack defensive pass from Euan Murray and tucked the ball into the bottom left corner.