Ayr United 2 - 2 Hamilton: Ayr choke after taking two-goal lead against Accies

AYR failed to give themselves a tonic ahead of next Saturday’s Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final, when they squandered a two-goal lead and, in the end, were fortunate to share the points.

Accies had a great chance to open the scoring in 24 minutes when Ali Crawford flicked the ball through to Greig Spence, bursting in from the right, but Kevin Cuthbert got down sharply to block.

Ayr edged in front in 32 minutes in spectacular fashion when teenager Adam Dodd, on loan from Blackpool and making his home debut, curled a superb 25-yard free-kick high into the net.

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The game appeared to turn in the space of 60 seconds right on the stroke of half-time.

Referee Charlie Richmond controversially waved away Accies’ strong penalty claims when Chris Smith bundled over Jon McShane and Ayr swept to the other end and won a corner, which Michael McGowan swung from the left. The ball span off Lee Kilday’s shin and Eddie Malone forced it over the line.

Accies wiped out the two-goal deficit in the space of eight minutes after the restart. They pulled one back within 30 seconds of the start of the second period when a horrific blunder by Jonathon Tiffoney let Jon McShane through on goal. He rounded Cuthbert and cut the ball across for Spence to tap into the empty net.

Billy Reid’s side levelled in 53 minutes when Danny Redmond, who had only signed on loan 24 hours earlier from Premiership Wigan, showed terrific pace and skill to dart in from the left and drill the ball low into the net. Two minutes later Accies might have got the winner when Spence cracked a shot off the post from 12 yards.

And, eight minutes from time, Accies again came close when Redmond was just off target with a swerving wind-assisted left foot shot.