Match Report - By John Hoey
A Mark Roberts goal after only two minutes was enough to send City tumbling out of the 4th round of the Active Nation Scottish Cup at Somerset Park.
City tried hard over the course of the 90 minutes but they were unable to claw back the vital goal which would have taken the tie to a replay.
Manager Jim Duffy ‘s starting line-up had David Scott in goal with a back four of Richard Walker, Neil McLean, Jon Seeley and Willie Dyer with Kevin Byers, Gary Fusco, Neil Janczyk and Mark Docherty in midfield and Rory McAllister and Charlie King up front.
City were just getting to grips with the game when they found themselves a goal down after just a couple of minutes. In a good attacking move from Ayr, Junior Mendes picked up a pass at the edge of the penalty box and cut the ball back to Roberts who slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net, giving keeper Scott no chance.
City though hit back right away and a couple of minutes later, Rory McAllister was desperately unlucky to see his lob from the edge of the box strike the crossbar.
City were seeing lots of the ball without really threatening the Ayr goal and it was the hosts who came closest to scoring again in the 16th minute when Mendes collected a Roberts pass just wide of the box and fired in a shot which Scott dealt with competently.
Ayr came close again a minute later when Ryan Stevenson had a go from 25 yards, but Scott brought off a great save to deny him.
Ayr won a free-kick in the 25th minute after Gary Fusco had fouled Mendes but Scott again came to City’s rescue, bringing off a terrific save from Stevenson’s kick.
Mendes was proving to be a real thorn in City’s side and he came close again ten minutes before the break when he found himself in space in the Brechin box, but his angular drive flew across the face of the goal.
City had a narrow escape a minute later when Scott did well to push away a dangerous Dean Keenan cross with Alastair Woodburn scooping the rebound over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Brechin grabbed the initiative after the break and Mark Docherty did well in the 51st minute when he weaved his way into the Ayr box but he was crowded out by the Honest Men defence and although he managed to get in a shot, it lacked power and hit the side-net.
Scott came to City’s rescue again six minutes later when he miraculously saved a Stevenson header which looked net-bound.
At the other end, McAllister was desperately unlucky when he rounded Ayr keeper Craig Samson but his shot was cleared by the hosts’ defence.
Fusco tried a 35 yard shot for City in the 69th minute but Samson saved easily.
Time was running out for City and Scott again proved what a good keeper he was when he superbly tipped a Roberts net-bound shot over the bar in the 78th minute and minutes later he was in action again when he brilliantly parried a Stevenson pile-driver round the post.