Dunfermline had lost just once in their previous 18 Championship fixtures, but yesterday’s home defeat has potentially dragged them back into relegation trouble.
With St Mirren’s Lazarus-like revival continuing, the Pars are now just five points ahead of the Paisley club, while second-bottom Ayr boosted their own survival chances after Ross Docherty’s second-half winner gave them only their second league victory since October.
“We weren’t clinical enough,” conceded Pars manager Allan Johnston. “We had a lot of good chances, but we never worked the keeper enough.”
Striker Michael Moffat hit the post with an early glancing header, but Dunfermline were otherwise timid.
Moffat tested Greg Fleming at the start of the second period, but Brian Gilmour’s set-pieces were causing Dunfermline problems, and in the 48th minute his corner was scrambled over the line by Docherty.
That heralded a spell of furious home pressure, the Pars making changes and substitute David Hopkirk forced a fine late save from Fleming, while at the other end Ayr substitute Craig McGuffie wasted a golden opportunity to make it 2-0.