Ayr United 0 - 2 St Mirren: Saints get boost at bottom

John Sutton was on target against Ayr. Picture Michael Gillen
John Sutton was on target against Ayr. Picture Michael Gillen
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John Sutton and Lewis Morgan got the goals that gave St Mirren a huge boost in their battle against relegation from the Championship to cut the deficit on second-bottom Ayr United to five points with a game in hand.

This was billed as a must-win game for Saints and they delivered only their third league victory when they needed it most.

With his side rooted to the bottom of the Championship table, manager Jack Ross knew how significant the game was.

“We spoke beforehand about the enormity of the game for us,” Ross said. “We knew if we didn’t win it would leave us in a very difficult position. We are still in a difficult position but we now have momentum of three wins in a row and confidence and belief that is growing.”

Saints were roared on by more than 1,200 travelling fans and they dominated for much of the match, with the speedy Cammy Smith, the industrious Stephen McGinn and the quicksilver Stephen Mallan at the heart of their best moves.

The Buddies had to wait until early in the second half to go in front, Sutton running on to Mallan’s pass to score from an acute angle.

Smith smacked a shot off the post and Kyle Magennis had an effort tipped away by Greg Fleming as Saints chased a killer second.

It came as Ayr were attempting to rally, Saints breaking lethally for Morgan to produce a precise shot into the bottom corner.

Ayr boss Ian McCall admitted: “We were awful and St Mirren deserved to win. We now have a huge game against Raith on Tuesday.”