Ayr United had to come from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Arbroath in the Scottish Championship on Saturday.
John Nouble and Michael McKenna had the Angus side ahead but late goals from Tomi Adeloye and Mark McKenzie ensured Ayr grabbed a point.
Arbroath had the lead through Nouble with 10 minutes played. The Livingston loanee unleashed a strike into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box to silence the majority of the 1000 home fans inside Somerset Park.
Dick Campbell’s side doubled their lead in bizarre fashion through McKenna, whose cross from the left escaped the whole Ayr defence, including goalkeeper Charlie Albinson. It seemed as if they believed the cross was going wide.
The hosts started the second half brighter, instantly showing that they can be more threatening in the final third. Arbroath had the chance to make it 3-0 though through Nicky Low from the penalty spot after Andy Murdoch handled the ball in the box. The midfielder’s effort rattled the crossbar.
Adeloye then pounced in the Arbroath box after Aaron Muirhead played the ball back across goal from a free-kick. David Hopkin’s side looked to have a new lease of life with the introduction of striker Jonathan Afolabi in attack. They were inches away from an equaliser from a Muirhead free kick.
Then Ayr got the equaliser their second half performance deserved with minutes remaining as substitute McKenzie scrambled the ball over the line to make it 2-2.
McKenzie almost had his side a winner after he met a brilliant ball from Patrick Reading but his late header went high and wide. Here are three things we learned.
Honest Men show fight
There’s character around the Ayr dressing room who were determined to prove a point to the home faithful back on the terraces. McKenzie, Muirhead and Afolabi all impressed coming off the bench which gives Hopkin some food for thought ahead of their Premier Sports Cup last 16 tie against Dundee United.
Arbroath’s midfield maestro was all over the place, from winning the ball back, to spraying passes in attack. Despite missing a penalty to put his side three up, his all-round contribution was superb.
Both sides picked up their first point of the season in this match and will have 34 more rollercoasters to go through. Managers Hopkin and Campbell will be wanting to iron out some basic defensive mistakes and have their sides fighting at the right end of the Championship table this season.
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