By Robbie Hanratty
Ayr United started their first home game of the year in clinical style, defeating Alloa Athletic 4-1 to jump up to fifth in the Championship and continue their strong home form.
They took the lead through Tom Walsh with just six minutes on the clock. Alloa hit back soon after with a goal from experienced striker Alan Trouten. He hit a free kick from the halfway line which dipped over Viljami Sinisalo in the Ayr goal.
The game was very end-to-end with Alloa pushing hard for an equaliser but the Honest Men looked dangerous through the creativity of Cammy Smith and Luke McCowan on the counter-attack. Alloa’s defenders resorted to fouling Ayr’s dynamic attackers at every opportunity to disrupt the flow of play.
Mark Kerr’s side took the lead again through that man McCowan and it was an impressive strike from the winger. The ball came in from Walsh on the left, was missed by Ayr’s new frontman Andre Wright and fell to McCowan. It looked like he was going to unleash a shot first time but took a touch and his strike curved right into the corner of the Alloa net.
The home side kept their one goal advantage at the interval, but it was the second half where they really turned on the style. A penalty was smashed home by Aaron Muirhead was followed up by a second of the game for McCowan thanks to a great delivery from Walsh down the left-hand side, sealing the three points.
Alloa tried to get more players pushing forward to reduce the margin in the final quarter of the game but any effort on goal was tame and things seemed too rushed for the Wasps. Ayr United deserved the victory, turning in a clinical performance that left Alloa ruing silly mistakes. Here are three things we learned.
The Wright man
Ayr’s new January recruit Andre Wright promised to bring the goals when he signed the dotted line on Burns Night. His debut was probably a goal away from being perfect with his constant closing down of the Alloa defenders and neat touches on the ball.
The ex-West Brom youngster didn’t fail to win a header the whole time he was on the pitch. It was evident from his 68 minutes on the pitch that he had a bit of class.
Play-offs in sight
This was a complete team performance for the Honest Men who from defence to attack looked like a side that was well organised and believed they could win the game from the first whistle.
This win will give them encouragement going to next Friday’s tie with league leaders Hearts. If they can get more consistency and keep up this impressive home record and get more positive results on the road, then there is nothing stopping them clinching a play-off spot.
Trouten ‘wonder’ goal
At aged 35, Alloa’s SPFL lower league journeyman Alan Trouten scored a remarkable equaliser to make the game 1-1 from the halfway line to level the game.
His goals and know how to find the net could be crucial for the wasps to avoid being caught up in a relegation battle this season. His goal today was one you should watch back on the highlights reel and admire. Some might say it was a fluke with the keeper caught out, others a stroke of genius.
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