Shaw shank redemption
Nathan Shaw earned Inverness an unlikely point as he scored his second of the game with three minutes left. That levelled the score after Dipo Akinyemi had put leaders Ayr United ahead with his 14th goal of the season less than ten minutes from the end. Shaw had given the hosts an early lead which they held until the 66th minute when Mark McKenzie bundled into the net from close range. This was a better point for Inverness who still had nine players missing although Danny Devine came into the back four before going off after being injured with fifteen minutes remaining.
Ayr came out of the blocks quickly and had a couple of early half chances through Daire O'Connor and Dipo Akinyemi, Cammy Mackay saving the first well and Dipo heading over from the resulting corner.
However, it was Inverness that got off to the perfect start when Nathan Shaw put them ahead in the sixth minute firing home from the heart of the box into the bottom corner after stepping round the keeper. It started with a long ball forward from Danny Devine which possibly got a flick on before Shaw controlled and beat the keeper brilliantly.
David Carson shot over and Sam Ashford brought Cammy Mackay into action once more saving his effort from distance. After half an hour Akinyemi saw Mackay save his header as Ayr looked to get back on level terms. Before the break Nick McAllister also had a header saved by Mackay who was looking assured in the hosts goal.
Just before the interval a game changer for Ayr as Logan Chalmers was met with the obligatory boos as he replaced the injured O'Connor.
HALF TIME: 1-0
The introduction of Chalmers was the boost Ayr had been looking for as he relished the chance to have a go at his former team mates. He continued from where he left us with his shoot on site policy and his intentions were there for all to see as Mackay stopped his first shot five minutes after the interval. Akinyemi dragged a shot wide but at the other end Aaron Doran went closer when his shot from around twenty-five yards hit the top of the crossbar with the keeper beaten and went behind.
Chalmers again went close when he tried to find the top corner and just when Inverness looked to be getting up to speed in the second half Ayr United equalised when Mark McKenzie knocked in from close range after good work by Chalmers.
Danny Devine seemed to take a knock and was replaced by Lewis Hyde with fifteen minutes remaining which disrupted our defence again. Steven Boyd and Akinyemi exchanged misses, but Akinyemi would get another chance immediately which he buried into the back of the net. Good strike from the powerful front man to give United the lead with around ten minutes left.
George Oakley came on for one final push as we looked to salvage a point and was instrumental in the assist for Nathan Shaw to shoot early across the keeper into the corner with three minutes plus remaining.
Still time for Chalmers to be denied once more by Cammy Mackay and that was the last effort in a decent game where we deserved our point.
FULL TIME: 2-2
Well done to Nathan Shaw who had said ahead of the game he was looking forward to it. He has been one of the more positive players in recent weeks. Cammy Mackay did well and denied Ayr a winner at the end and Danny Devine was a welcome returnee after weeks out until he was replaced towards the end after taking cramp. Given our circumstances many would have bitten your hand off for a point before the game started. Ayr's goals were possibly avoidable, but in Akinyemi they have the top scorer in the league and he doesn't need a second invitation.
There's him, complete with croakey voice...
From BBC Sport
Inverness Caledonian Thistle head coach Billy Dodds: "It was a collective but there were some good individual performances. "I was delighted with the spirit and the quality. We had to ride our luck at times in the second-half. I thought we deserved more out of the game but we'll take a point."
Ayr United manager Lee Bullen: "I think there were spells where both teams felt they weren't going to get anything out of it. "When you go 2-1 up with six, seven, eight minutes to go you hope to see it out. But it didn't happen that way. To be honest with you, it would have been harsh on Inverness."
Hear the post-match thoughts of @loganchalmers7 and Lee Bullen following the 2-2 draw with Inverness in the Highlands.— Ayr United (@AyrUnitedFC) November 20, 2022
Watch now on Ayr United TV https://t.co/708KQkFjaq#WeAreUnited pic.twitter.com/CtcZuoWm35