Match Summary | Ayr United reserves (H)
A youthful Kilmarnock Reserve side secured a penalty shootout bonus point following a 0-0 draw against Ayr United in a SPFL Reserve Cup match at The BBSP Stadium, Rugby Park this afternoon.
Killie flew out of the traps and created an opportunity within the first 10 seconds when Warnock crossed to Leslie who struggled to make a strong enough connection to turn the ball goalward at the back post.
Despite a bright start from the home side, it was the visitors who found the target first. A free-kick from around 25 yards out was arrowed towards the bottom corner, forcing Woods to palm the strike round the post.
At the opposite end, Wales’ attempt at an overhead kick was the closest Killie came to troubling the Ayr ‘keeper in the opening 15 minutes. Wales came close again moments later when his low strike was stopped by the foot of McAdams, before Warnock’s rebound was blocked on the line by a covering defender.
The quick feet of Leslie and Brown on either wing began to cause Ayr problems, while Wales made strides down the middle; supported by Warnock who positioned himself just behind the Killie No.9. Warnock came closest to breaking the deadlock before half-time as he skipped into the penalty area before being denied a clear shot on goal by a last-ditch tackle inside the six-yard box.
It was far from one way traffic and a lofted effort from an Ayr attacker forced Woods to make the best save of the half, which kept the score level at the break.
A composed start to the second half was made by both back lines, with neither ‘keeper called into action in the opening 15 minutes. David Watson’s powerful header rose over the bar as Killie began to reset their sights on target with just under half an hour to play.
The Killie ‘keeper’s concentration was tested when a header was fired towards goal from close range, but Woods once again matched the effort by pulling off a quick reaction save.
The game swung in the Rugby Park team’s favour with 25 minutes to play when Warnock drew a foul as he burst into the box. The referee waved away strong appeals for a penalty: choosing instead to award a free-kick on the edge of the area, before showing the chasing Ayr defender a red card.
Now facing 10 men, Killie took control of possession for the remainder of the game, but clear-cut opportunities were few and far between. However, breaths were held in the Ayr dugout as Warnock stepped up to hit a free-kick 25 yards from goal, which scuffed the post in front of the Moffat Stand with 89 minutes on the clock.
A decisive substitution was to be made with seconds remaining. Having likely expected a quiet afternoon on the bench, young Kilmarnock substitute ‘keeper Glavin was given the call to replace Woods who departed after picking up an injury.
Glavin had been on the pitch for a matter of seconds before the final whistle blew; signalling a starring role in the ‘bonus point’ penalty shootout. Alongside successful strikes from Sanders, Chahal and Watson, Glavin made three superb saves as Killie emerged 3-1 winners.
Kilmarnock starting XI: Woods, McKnight, Craig, Ellis, Sanders, Lyons, Leslie, Watson, Wales, Warnock, Brown
Used subs: Glavin, Spencer, Chahal, Kennedy