Red Oh Daire
Three points would have been a welcome diversion from off-field issues for the Caley Jags. Inverness missed Cammy Harper from last week and Austin Samuels dropped to the bench as Billy Mckay returned from suspension. Frankie Musonda was on the Ayr bench and 15 goal striker Dipo Akinyemi led their attack with Josh Mullin and Ben Dempsey backing him up. At the end of the day it was Inverness that picked up a valuable win.
Billy Mckay was keen to get going again after his suspension and he hit one from distance in the opening moments but it went over the bar and he followed that with another that went wide after seven minutes. Ten minutes in and Sam Ashford replaced the injured Josh Mullin and two minutes later Dipo Akinyemi scored his sixteenth of the season to put United ahead. The lead lasted just seven minutes when Sean Welsh scored after a Jay Henderson cross fell to him in the box to level the game. Charlie Albiston was quick off his line to deny the eager Mckay as he honed in on goal and five minutes later he was close to getting on the end of a Shaw cut back after Albiston made a mess of a clearance. Before the half hour Daire O'Connor was sent off for a challenge on Wallace Duffy. Duffy then shot over before Mckay had an effort deflected over the bar and Duffy headed the resultant corner over as well. Just on the break the keeper saved well from a Duffy shot into the top corner, just after Paddy Reading had gone close at the other end.
Half Time: 1-1
Ayr began the second half on the front foot with McKenzie and Akinyemi shooting wide before Billy Mckay was blocked in the box at the other end and Scott Allardice fired one over. Ashford shot over on the hour after some good possession from the hosts and Duffy shot wide after finding himself in an advanced position again. More profligacy from the visitors as Henderson missed the top corner after a burst into the box. Welsh was blocked then had another effort deflected behind for a corner with twenty minutes left. The chances eventually paid off when Henderson connected with a Nathan Shaw cross at the back post to fire home. Mckay then shot wide after being played through ten minutes from the end. Inverness saw out the game to put themselves on the outer fringes of a play-off spot.
Full Time 1-2
Inverness got a vital three points on the road against 10 man Ayr United to move up a place in the table as Partick beat Raith Rovers 3-0.
Wallace Duffy was the pick of the bunch today finding time to get forward and help out in attack, ably assisted by David Carson and Jay Henderson.
RIG on CTO: At times we played some nice football. Most of the threat seemed to come down the right especially after Henderson and Shaw rotated and, with the extra man, Duffy and Delaney started pushing further up the pitch to offer support. Ayr tended not to double up on the wide men so it meant that Henderson or Shaw had to beat just one man and they had a chance to get a cross in. Henderson in particular was tormenting the Ayr defence and he had the best chance for us before we scored when he wriggled through a ruck of players at the edge of the box and lashed an effort over the bar. Some solid performances from us to win that one today with Duffy, Carson and Henderson probably the pick of the bunch. Duffy was helped out by Mullin going off injured and also the fact that Ayr played a lot of the game a man down. Carson took a bit of time to adapt to the 10 position but he carried the ball forward well and could have had a goal himself had he been more selfish and taking a shot instead of passing to a team mate.