Ayrshire Post : 2019-09-18

Sport : 71 : 71


71 www. ayrshirepo­st. co. uk 18.09.2019 Shooting from the lip CASHING OUT Football, as they say, can be one of life’s great levellers. And money, for all its trappings and beautiful people, certainly doesn’t buy you happiness. Or indeed league titles. When Leicester City stormed to the English Premiershi­p, it was deemed a fairtytale. One of the most ‘ romantic’ footballin­g stories of our time. The reality is one very clever manager moulded a bunch of boys together and got them playing for him. And when he does that, anything is possible. Dundee United have thrown the financial kitchen sink at this year’s Championsh­ip. And by rights they should be waltzing to glory. Probably still will. But on Saturday, they were played off the park by a hungrier, fresher and – frankly – far better Ayr side. And right on cue, Ian McCall dished up the bonus point with a brutal verbal put down of opposite number, Robbie Neilson. On that one... Neilson has left himself wide open to the inevitible. Better facilities? Yes. But the United boss certainly can’t lay clam to superior coaching. His cheque book might be bigger, but his tactical IQ would look to be streets behind the wily McCall. On Saturday, it was a lesson from the master. Pure and simple. And that may just go down as one of the best performanc­es of McCall’s time at Somerset. All told, it leaves the threadbare Ayr bouncing towards Alloa on Saturday. And make no mistake, the win over Neilson’s Arabs counts for little if it’s not followed up here. But on paper at least, Ayr now have a real chance to start this first quarter of the season at a rate of knots. Last season, much of the good work was done pre- Christmas and that could be key again this term. Big following needed on Saturday. LINE- UPS AYR: Doohan, Geggan, Muirhead, Roscoe, Harvie; Docherty, Kerr, Kelly; McCowan ( Houston 86), Moffat, Forrest. Unused: Hare- Reid, Doolan, Ecrepont, McKenzie. Danny Harvie admits he was more likely to get a nosebleed when clean through on goal than burst the net for Ayr. DUNDEE UTD: Siegrist, Smith, Brown ( Harkes 66), Reynolds, Robson, McMullan, Butcher, Stanton ( Smith 81), Pawlett ( Clark 72), Appere, Shankland. Unused: Sporle, Mehmet, King Watson. Ref: Bobby Madden; Crowd: 3167 But the full- back’s first goal in black and white set the tone for a pulsating win over Dundee United that lays down a huge Somerset marker. Ayr never looked back after Harvie’s ninth- minute opener and were a class apart in this contest – billed as the return of Lawrence Shankland. But he was forced to play a bit- part as Harvie and Ayr turned on the style in one of the most complete performanc­es of Ian McCall’s near five- year tenure. Mark Kerr, who rolled back the years with a masterclas­s in midfield, sent Harvie clear to fire past Benjamin Siegrist and put Ayr on their way. Harvie joked: “I’m not sure what I was doing that far up the park. I saw the ball coming and all of a sudden I was in, but it was great play. “Obviously Dundee United had been Star Man Mark Kerr set the tempo and had the ball on a string. At 37, still a class act. GOLDEN FEELING It’s festival fever in Ayr this week as the Gold Cup comes to town. And our tipsters have been busy studying the form book. Nino Pajovic, who will be in the posh seats come Saturday, reckons Summerghan­d ( 12/ 1) goes close. Bookie Dave says Mr Lupton ( 25/ 1) is a “group horse in a handicap”. And the VoR thinks Justanothe­rbottle ( 20/ 1) could run a big race. going well but we were confident. We fancy ourselves in every game and know we can go toe to toe with anyone.” The belief was evident in a brilliant Ayr display which could have ended with more than just the two- goal margin of victory. Alan Forrest won and converted the killer second from the penalty spot after being felled by former team- mate Liam PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­r. com + 1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW