Dundee United missed the chance to leapfrog Falkirk into second place as their poor away form continued. Ray McKinnon’s men wasted good chances and were hanging on the ropes as Ayr threw everything into attack but were foiled by Cammy Bell.
Bottom dogs Ayr started well and Gary Harkins burst into the box but his low shot produced a good save from Bell.
There was drama after 17 minutes when referee Crawford Allan collided with Ayr’s Paul Cairney and had to be helped off the field with a knee injury, replaced by fourth official Grant Irvine.
Ayr stayed on the offensive and it took a timely tackle from Stewart Murdoch to prevent Craig McGuffie converting a Nicky Devlin cross.
The visitors at last got going and Thomas Mikkelsen headed home but was flagged offside before Tony Andreu curled a shot wide.
Greg Fleming touched a 25-yarder from Murdoch past the post and then saved at Simon Murray’s feet.
Mikkelsen had a header scrambled away while at the other end, Ross Docherty saw a shot parried before Harkins headed wide.
In injury time, Harkins hit the bar with a free-kick but the stalemate was not to be broken.