Damaging first half condemns Lichties to defeat

New signing Paul McManus in his days with East Fife.
New signing Paul McManus in his days with East Fife.

Arbroath 2, Ayr United 3

Despite a second half fightback Arbroath are now joint bottom of League One and prospects of avoiding relegation or a relegation play-off look bleaker by the week.

All the damage was done in the first half when Ayr United raced into a three-goal lead.

And the Lichties’ prospects were not helped by awful conditions, poor defending, bad luck and shocking refereeing.

The visitors went ahead in two minutes when a poor clearance was pounced on by Michael Moffat who fired home from the edge of the box.

However, the Lichties came back and Bobby Linn sent Leighton McIntosh clear. He was pulled down as he was about to pull the trigger, but referee Matt Northcroft said no - the first of many poor decisions.

It was 2-0 in 17 minutes when a Keddie header was picked up by Michael Donald who netted.

Twelve minutes later, Scott Morrison fluffed a clearance and Moffat rounded him and shot home to make it 3-0.

Arbroath thought they had a goal back in 58 minutes when when a cross from Linn was fumbled into the net by Hutton, but the refere somehow thought Paul McManus had fouled the ‘keeper. He was the only one.

However they were back in it soon after when Linn repeated his effort and the ‘keeper was beaten to make it 3-1.

With 70 minutes played, Linn sent a corner kick in which appeared to cross the line, but again Mr Northcroft ruled it out.

With 11 minutes remaining, debutant McIntosh was picked out by a cross from Linn and he headed home to make it 3-2.

The Maroons then had claims for a penalty when a hand was clearly used to divert away an overhead effort by McManus, but referee again ruled no.

Try as they might Arbroath just could not get the leveller and Ayr took the points.