By Lewis Laird

Ayr United and Greenock Morton rounded off the year with a share of the spoils at Somerset Park, drawing 1-1 in Championship action.

Both goals came in the first half, as Morton took the lead from the penalty spot from Aidan Nesbitt. United didn’t have to wait too long before they were back on level terms with Luke McCowan scoring from close range.

Heart of Midlothian v Ayr United - Scottish Championship

McCowan netted. (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The game started as a cagey affair with both sides looking to try and keep possession in the early stages of the game. Ayr looked the better of the two, trying to switch from side to side but the away team were doing well to keep them quiet in the opening quarter.

Morton got the chance to take the lead after 25 minutes. Some nice trickery by Nesbitt on the left-side of the box gave him the space to put a floated ball towards the back post. The Morton attackers failed to attack the ball and the chance looked to be falling away as Cameron Salkeld struggled to get the ball under control to lay it off at the edge of the box for a shot.

When the winger finally got a hold of the ball in the Ayr box, his fast feet meant that United player/manager, Mark Kerr, brought him down, giving referee Gavin Duncan no choice other than to point to the shot.

Heart of Midlothian v Ayr United - Scottish Championship

McCowan brought him down.. (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The penalty was dispatched brilliantly to the right of Viljami Sinisalo in the net by Nesbitt, giving the Ton the lead. United got back on level terms after 37 minutes as McCowan tapped the ball home from around six yards out.

A well-delivered free-kick from Joe Chalmers on the left side found the rising Aaron Muirhead at the back post who sent a bullet header towards goal. His effort was saved by a combination of the Morton defence and Aiden McAdams in goal.

Despite their best efforts, the ball landed to McCowan right in front of goal, who slotted the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-1. The second half didn’t produce too many chances for either side to take home all three points and finish 2020 with a win.

Queen of the South v Greenock Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Got the goal. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group via Getty Images)

The majority of the chances came from long range, as both scorers looked to add to their tally for the night and their side. However, neither side could produce a late spring for that winner in the game and ultimately took a point each out of the game. Here are three things we learned.

Morton kick on

Many could have been concerned as to where Morton would go when David Hopkin departed a few weeks ago. However, since then they have yet to be defeated, and find themselves in 4th place in the league.

There is great competition in the Championship, so this will be hard to sustain. They will certainly be looking to do all they can to keep it going though.

Greenock Morton v Heart of Midlothian - Scottish Championship

Will now look to motor (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Nesbitt takes his chance

In recent weeks, Aiden Nesbitt has found game time hard to come by, having to try and make his impact off the bench.

He looked to take his chance in the side tonight though and managed to score from the penalty spot to give Morton the lead. His manager said after the match he was happy with the number 10’s performance and took his chance when it was given to him.

Solid at the back

Last time the two sides faced each other earlier in the season, both were leaking goals, with a late collapse by Ayr at Cappielow allowing Morton to take the three points.

Here though, both sides looked more solid at the back and reduced each other to very few chances from mostly long range. If you want to do well in this league, the defence is a crucial part of that.

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