Ross County solidified their Championship title credentials with a 3-1 win over in-form Dunfermline Athletic…
Ayr have had a fairytale start to the season and were able to record yet another great result as they took full advantage of a Dunfermline side who quite simply did not turn up.
It took just five minutes for the Honest Men to take the lead through Alan Forrest – younger brother of Celtic’s James. Ayr’s constant pressure forced Pars boss Allan Johnston into substituting Danny Devine on the half-hour mark, ditching the 3-5-2 formation in favour of a 4-4-2 in the process in a bid to shore up what was a very shaky and confused looking Pars backline.
The change made little to no difference though as Ayr would double and treble their lead within just nine minutes of the Devine change taking place, giving the hosts a comfortable 3-0 lead at half-time. The East End Park side pulled one back early in the second half through Jackson Longridge, but Ayr would add a final nail to the Dunfermline coffin on the day with ten minutes to go as Michael Moffat tapped into an empty net.
From the word go the attacking trio of Forrest, Moffat and goal machine Lawrence Shankland, caused the visitors all sorts of problems.
Forrest ran the Pars ragged and his performance warranted the two goals that he scored. Moffat created plenty of chances, got himself two assists and was rewarded with a goal at the end. Shankland meanwhile maintained his outstanding goalscoring record he’s chalked up since joining the club and scored his 12th of the season across all competitions.
“The three centre-backs could not handle Lawrence Shankland. He was gutted because he only got one goal,” Ian McCall remarked after the resounding win that sees his side top the table, much to the surprise of many.
The result casts some doubt over whether Dunfermline can challenge for the Championship crown this term. Despite a stellar showing in the league opener with Dundee United, the Pars have ultimately failed to replicate such a performance in the two succeeding games in the league.
“We were absolutely rubbish and it is only something that we can fix ourselves. We need to get our finger out, that was a big warning for us. We need to stick together as a team because if we are out there and not helping each other things like this will happen,” club captain Lee Ashcroft said post-match.
The Pars have Inverness up next and can perhaps take some relief in the fact they have already beaten them this season. Moreover, they did so with a team that largely makes up their reserve side at East End Park. The team are well aware of what they are capable of but if they are serious about wanting to possibly challenge for the title they must find consistency and do so quickly.
– Stephen Dobbie is showing no signs of slowing down whatsoever. The 35-year-old scored a hat-trick in Queen of the South’s 3-0 away win over Falkirk taking his season total to an impressive 13 across all competitions at this early stage.
– Alloa picked up their first points of the season in a 2-2 draw with Inverness thanks to a late equaliser from Iain Flannigan from the penalty spot. This was despite Jim Goodwin’s side playing most of the second half with just 10 men. With the Wasps getting points on the board it now leaves Falkirk as the only Championship side yet to get any this season after three games played.
– Morton continue to do well under Ray MacKinnon by beating pre-season title favourites Ross County and find themselves joint top with Ayr on seven points. The defeat for the Staggies at Cappielow on Saturday afternoon puts an end to their mightily impressive 36-game unbeaten run in the Championship.