Kilmarnock move top of Championship with 16-minute blitz of rivals Ayr

Kilmarnock chalked up a crucial win in their fight for the cinch Championship title by overcoming rivals Ayr United 3-1 at Somerset Park.

Kilmarnock's Jack Sanders (14) makes it 3-0 during a cinch Championship match between Ayr United and Kilmarnock at Somerset Park.
Kilmarnock's Jack Sanders (14) makes it 3-0 during a cinch Championship match between Ayr United and Kilmarnock at Somerset Park.

Derek McInnes’ men move temporarily top of the league by two points thanks to the victory away from home, which was sealed by three goals within the first 16 minutes.

Rory McKenzie opened the scoring on three minutes, picking up a pass from Fraser Murray and then slotting past Ayr goalkeeper Aidan McAdams, before striker Oli Shaw netted on 12 minutes after a corner kick was diverted into his path at the back post. Jack Sanders was then on target from another corner to make life extremely difficult for Lee Bullen’s Honest Men.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their task looked even harder when defender Marcus Fjortoft – brought on as a substitute – was sent off on the half-hour mark for hauling down Shaw when through on goal and while Celtic loanee Kerr McInroy did score for Ayr on 38 minutes with a fine strike from outside the penalty box, Kilmarnock managed the second half well and moved above Arbroath to sit top of the table.

Kilmarnock midfielder Murray said: "The main point was to try and get to the top.

"We've had a few chances this season to go top and we've not taken it. To do it against Ayr has been brilliant.

"We wanted to get a quick start, so we wanted to go out there all guns blazing and put on a show for the fans.”

The Championship action continues, however, on Saturday with the Red Lichties looking to reclaim their place at the summit of the league when they travel north to take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who are in danger of falling out of the play-off positions following a wretched run of form under manager Billy Dodds.

Conversely, Partick Thistle are timing their run perfectly, with Ian McCall’s men sitting third. They take on Morton at Cappielow, who have improved since Dougie Imrie was handed the reins in Greenock.

At the other end of the table, bottom club Dunfermline are away at Hamilton Accies, who have been sucked into a relegation battle, while Queen of the South – currently occupying ninth place – are at home to Raith Rovers.

A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.