McCall’s Ayr on the rise as Pars knocked off top spot

Alan Forrest in action for Ayr United. Picture: SNS

Alan Forrest in action for Ayr United. Picture: SNS

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The work that Ian McCall has done at Ayr United since being appointed as their manager in January looks to be bearing fruit with a 2-0 success at East End Park over a Dunfermline side that started Saturday in top spot.

McCall’s first job in the Somerset Park hotseat was to avoid relegation and he did that by clinching eighth place. 
However, at the weekend his side 
announced themselves as promotion candidates.

Alan Forrest swept the visitors in front midway through the opening half when he picked up a clever backheel by Craig Moore and belied his tender 18 years by keeping calm and slotting past Sean Murdoch.

Former Dunfermline goalkeeper Greg Fleming denied Joe Cardle before the break with Faissal El Bakhtaoui 
firing the rebound wide and Ayr made the most of that let-off in the second half.

Just before the hour mark Murdoch failed to cut out a Brian Gilmour cross and after Lewis Martin cleared a Moore effort Jordan Preston drilled a low shot home.

Dunfermline, who lost Callum Fordyce just before the break after a challenge by Moore, gave new signing Mickael Antoine-Curier a debut as a substitute, but they failed to get back into the game as Fleming put up the shutters.

McCall said: “I was with Dunfermline twice as a player and I know that East End Park is a great place to play 
football when Dunfermline are winning.

“However, I also knew that this group of players would enjoy that type of 
atmosphere.

“I would only criticise one thing and that is the players can actually play more football than they displayed. However, it is still a great result.”

Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston said: “We created a lot of chances and never took them which is not like us. We are only a point off top spot and there is a long way to go.”

Dick Campbell’s Forfar have returned to the top of the table thanks to their 2-0 Glebe Park success over a 
Brechin side that remain pointless and in bottom spot.

Derek Young headed the Loons into a half-time lead with Omar Kader 
turning in an Andrew Black effort from close range just after the interval to 
secure the three points.

Airdrie won for the fourth game running as they came out on top in the Lanarkshire derby by defeating Albion Rovers 3-1 at Cliftonhill.

Taylor Morgan opened the scoring when he converted a quickly taken George Hunter free-kick with the unfortunate Michael Dunlop heading a Liam Watt free-kick into his own net to make it 2-0 at the break.

Rovers player/manager Darren Young pulled a goal back from close range just after the interval. However, David Cox ended a Diamonds breakaway with a precise finish to complete a good afternoon’s work for Gary Bollan’s side .

Alan Smith’s second-half goal earned Stenhousemuir a 1-0 win over Stranraer at Ochilview while Cowdenbeath battled from behind twice and from having Mo Yaqub dismissed to earn a 2-2 draw with Peterhead.

Rory McAllister’s early penalty was cancelled out by Gordon Smith’s tap-in with Shane Sutherland putting the visitors in front again on 62 minutes after Yaqub had picked up his second yellow card.

Greg Spence controlled a cross before striking seven minutes from time to earn a point for his side.

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