By Ian Hamilton
It was a quick start to the game for Ayr as Luke McCowan skipped past the Dundee defence, squaring the ball nicely into the path of Dundee United man Smith who made no mistake in tapping it into the bottom-left corner.
Dundee shook off the shock fairly quickly as they moved the ball forward looking for a quick response but Ayr, who looked stronger at the back than in previous matches, responded well.
The Dark Blues appeared to be having a defensive nightmare as Moffat and McCowan kept slipping into small pockets of space. But it was a 16th minute goal which left Dundee stunned as Moffat collected a cross from the left and turned to finish it into the opposite corner of the net.
Dundee settled into the game after the first 20 minutes, working the ball calmly in midfield but they lacked composure going forward. After an aggressive tackle in midfield, McCowan was able to collect the ball tipping it over the Dundee defence. But a deflection allowed it to be easily collected by Dee debutant keeper Adam Legzdins.
It was an end-to-end second half as Paul McGowan made an early attempt at getting Dundee back into the game but Dundee’s best chance at goal came in the 52nd minute as a brilliant run and cross from Jordan Marshall was headed straight at Viljami Sinisalo.
Dee boss James McPake looked to make some changes early on in the second half as he brought on Alex Jakubiak for Osman Sow Looking dangerous from his arrival, Jakubiak collected the ball as Patrick Reading failed to control it but his shot was deflected wide for a corner. Minutes later, Ayr looked set to make it three as McCowan scored but Dundee were given a lifeline as the offside flag was raised.
After failing to captialise on their few chances, Dundee head home having lost their second game of the season and falling eight points behind table leaders Dunfermline Athletic. Here are three things we learned.
McPake made another change between the sticks after Jack Hamilton was left to watch from the bench. In his place, new signing and former Burnley man Legzdins made his debut.
It could have started better after finding himself picking the ball out of his own net just three minutes in. The experienced keeper will hope for better if he’s picked next weekend against Hibs.
Coming into this season, Ayr were criticised for poor defending. Against Dundee they looked far more solid at the back, making crucial clearances and keeping the Dark Blues from looking dangerous for most of the game.
Player-manager Mark Kerr will be impressed with his team as they raised their game following a tight match against Stranraer in the League cup as they didn’t allow any errors to give Dundee a way into the game.
Dangerous going forward
From the outset, Ayr looked the stronger team going forward. Dundee United loanee Smith and McCowan both making stunning dribbles down the sides of the park and testing the Dundee defence.
The Honest Men’s real star of the show was Moffat as he netted his 100th goal in what was a smart finish. Constantly causing Dundee defence problems, Moffat looked close to another goal on more than one occasion.