Forfar came from behind to book a place in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup in a thrilling clash between the two Second Division rivals.
Delighted Forfar boss Dick Campbell said: “I had a young goalkeeper in Jack Hamilton making his debut and Charlie King coming off the bench to get his first goal of the season. It is a massive win for the club.”
After two heavy league defeats, Forfar were hoping the cup would offer them some respite. And they should have gone in front after just 70 seconds when Martyn Fotheringham blasted over after a perfect cut-back by Ross Campbell.
Forfar carved out another glorious opportunity after 12 minutes when Gavin Swankie held off John Robertson before getting a shot on target. Ayr defender Marc Twaddle somehow managed to scoop the ball off the line to safety.
Ayr were bidding to overcome a woeful away record this season with just one win on the road in seven attempts before yesterday. They took the lead after 15 minutes when a long ball on the right by Kyle McAusland fell for David Winter racing through. He controlled the ball well, and cleverly cut the ball back for David Sinclair to tap into the empty net from six yards.
Sinclair and Winter both passed up chances early in the second half to wrap up the tie for Ayr before Forfar levelled in 59 minutes in spectacular style when Willie Robertson curled a 25-yard shot high into the net.
King struck in 74 minutes after coming on for Campbell. The Ayr defence were all at sea, failed to clear properly and the veteran King rammed the ball home from 15 yards.
Ayr player boss Mark Roberts said: “At the start of the second half we should have had the tie wrapped up. It could have been seven each out there. It’s a financial blow to the club, we rely on cup wins.”