Livingston’s unbeaten run in the league ended with a whimper at Ayr United’s Somerset Park. A 3-1 defeat to the Honest Men, with a goal from Eddie Malone cancelling out Liam Fox’s first half goal and a Mark Roberts double ensuring that the points stayed with the home side.
The game began an even affair with Ayr proving dangerous, particularly in the 4th minute as they moved quickly on the counter attack: Craig Barr showing his speed to defend from Ayr’s Andy Rodgers.
10mins in and Livingston came very close with an excellent David Sinclair effort from just outside the penalty box, ricocheting off the cross bar.
Moments later, the Livi defence were called into action to clear a well placed cross from Danny McKay.
The home side’s best chance of the first half came on the quarter hour: a long ball from the Ayr defence was just over the leaping Paul Watson, controlled brilliantly by McKay, who’s shot was well saved by the Livi keeper Tony Bullock.
David Crawford, the Ayr keeper, was on top form, keeping out several efforts from De Vita.
Sinclair took a corner in the 33min, passing out to Bobby Barr who moved the ball onto Liam Fox just outside the semi-circle. Foxy took a brilliant long range shot flying into the top right hand corner.
The second half began with a quick Livi attack, a counter attack culminating in De Vita shooting wide.
Minutes later and Ayr had two excellent chances, with a shot being scrambled out, followed up by a well placed corner which Martyn Campbell headed goalwards, but was unlucky to see go wide.
A Jonathon Tiffoney effort in the 58th was well held by Tony Bullock.
Ayr weren’t to be denied for long though. A looping ball from Alan Trouten was headed goalwards, and paried by Tony Bullock, but Eddie Malone was quick to put it into the back of the net with a leaping header.
Livingston were denied a potential penalty just 4 minutes later, with Bobby Barr felled in the box, but referee Brian Winter waved play on.
From that, the Ayr defence cleared up to McKay with the sole Livi defender falling over, and McKay deceived Bullock, slotting across the box to Mark Roberts for his first of the day.
Roberts made his tally 2 just 2 minutes later with a corner expertly headed in.
So the game ended 3-1 to the Honest Men. The travelling fans and team may feel aggrieved about the penalty claim, but Ayr deserved their win. Livingston will have to use the international break to consider how to recover from the tough defeat.
Ayr United: Crawford, Malone, Campbell, Trouten, Keenan, McLaughlin, McKay, Tiffoney, McCann (Taggart 37), Roberts, Rodgers (Robertson 69)
Subs Not Used: Reynolds, McWilliams, Connolly
Livingston: Bullock, C.Barr, Malone, Kn.Jacobs (Ky.Jacobs 79), O'Byrne, Watson, Fox, Sinclair, Russell (Winters 79), B.Barr, De Vita
Subs Not Used: McDowall, MacDonald, Conway
Report by Chris Naismith