Banks o’ Dee’s cup run ended by Ayr

Tommy Forbes.

Banks o’ Dee’s fine Scottish Cup run was ended in the third round by Ayr United.

The full-time League One outfit were 2-1 behind at one stage but proved to be too strong in the end and won 2-6.

Despite the defeat it is still Dee’s best ever run in the competition.

It was a disastrous start for Dee who fell behind after only 40 seconds.

The visitors came forward with Rab Crawford playing a one-two with Craig  Moore and getting up to the edge of the box, however his poked ball into the area appeared easy for the Junior side to clear but Alan White and Matthew Robertson both went for it with White booting the ball off his team mate.

It broke for former Don Lawrence Shankland who poked it past Andy Shearer before the keeper could get down to smother.

However plucky Dee responded and got a penalty on four minutes when former Don Michael Rose headed a ball into the area clear, but keeper Jordan Hart came for it and clattered home striker Jamie Watt.

After a four and a half minute delay while both players received treatment Watt stepped up and dispatched the spot-kick into the top left corner with his right foot. The Aberdeen outfit were now in their stride after their shaky opening and defended well for the rest of the first quarter.

Although they were given a scare on 23 minutes when Shankland linked with David Ferguson before crossing from the right.

Michael Moffat hit it first time on the half-volley and his 14 yard effort drifted just wide.

But two minutes later referee Craig Napier awarded Dee a second penalty. Ayr captain Ross Docherty bundled Michael Philipson over off the ball.

It was a stonewall spot-kick and Watt stepped up again and this time drove it into the bottom left corner – Dee were in dreamland.

Sadly though the Honest Men levelled eight minutes from the interval.

Moore outstripped Neale Allan down the left and put the ball right across goal and Shankland had a tap-in at the back post.

Unfortunately just two minutes before the break Ayr went ahead again. White couldn’t clear on the right of the Dee area and sub Declan McDaid hit it first time on the half-volley from 15 yards and the powerful left-footed strike flashed past Shearer and into the roof of the net.

And a minute into stoppage time it became 4-2 when Crawford cut to the byline on the left and cut the ball back for McDaid who stabbed home from eight yards despite Dee’s best attempts to block.

This was cruel on Dee who had battled so hard and in the fourth minute of injury time Shankland almost had his hat-trick when his effort from 18 yards hit the side-netting.

On 56 minutes midfielder Kane Winton was shown a second yellow card and sent off for an elbow on David Ferguson.

Shortly after the hour any hopes Dee had of mounting a comeback were killed off when Moore took a pass on the left side of the area and thumped it home from 16 yards with his left foot, it was a finish of real quality and on 66 minutes Moore scored his second and Ayr’s fifth from long range when he picked up a Shearer clearance slotted home from 30 yards with the keeper out of position.

With seven minutes remaining McDaid almost had his hat-trick when his fine shot from 20 yards clipped the top of the crossbar and went over.

Dee battled on valiantly but their fine cup run is over.

Banks o’ Dee: Andrew Shearer, Neale Allan, Liam McCall, Matthew Robertson, Alan White (Michael Taylor 45+4); Kane Winton, David Smith; Jack Henderson, Michael Philipson, Ryan Hall (David Smith 67), Jamie Watt.

Subs not used: Calum Murray, Mark Hamilton, Lachie Macleod, Alasdair Shrive, Craig Duguid, Vitali Sahhalevtis.

Subs not used: Jordan Hart, Paddy Boyle (Declan McDaid 36), Mike Rose, Andy Geggan (Craig McGuffie 65), Mike Moffat, Rab Crawford, Craig Moore, David Ferguson, Lawrence Shankland, Ross Docherty (Luke McCowan 75), Craig Reid.

Subs not used: Lyle Avici, Alan Forrest, Stuart Faulds, David Waite.