Forfar Athletic 0 Ayr United 1

Last updated : 03 September 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Forfar were left seething at three penalty claims which were turned down as they crashed to another home defeat.

But in truth the Loons rarely troubled Ayr and had keeper Sean Murdoch to thank for his strength of excellent saves which kept them in the match.

In the first minute Jerome Vareille embarrassed defender Gary Lynn and got a shot in which Murdoch half blocked and turned onto the post.

At the other end the woodwork also saved Ayr when Darren Gribben curled in a shot and Michele Lombardi bulleted a header in, only for the ball to crash back off the upright.

Ayr took command thereafter and Murdoch made fine saves from David Dunn and Vareille.

The deadlock was broken in the 38th minute after some poor defending was clinically punished. Vareille held the ball up on the edge of the Forfar box and no-one picked up the lurking Gary Miller who struck a sweet 20-yard shot into the bottom corner after the Frenchman set him up perfectly.

Vareille almost made it 2-0 soon after when the Forfar keeper was caught in no-man's land but his volley was screwed wide of the target.

On the stroke of half-time Forfar had the first of their penalty claims turned down when Paul Lunan was clearly pulled back in the box but the referee incensed Forfar players and fans by waving play on.

After the break Forfar saw a second stonewall penalty shout ignored when Ayr's Dunn clearly handled in the box.

Murdoch continued to give Forfar some hope of salvaging something with a string of fine saves, including a brilliant fingertip save from Chris Robertson.

As the game opened up in the closing stages Vareille should have wrapped things up with only two minutes left when he burst clean through on goal, but he dragged his shot well wide of the target.