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Saturday, 13 January, 2001, 18:14 GMT
Ayr United 1-1 Inverness CT
Pat McGinlay opens the scoring for Ayr United
Pat McGinlay opens the scoring for Ayr United
Ayr and Inverness were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw as leaders Livingston slipped at Falkirk.

United midfielder Pat McGinlay gave the home side a flying start when he struck after just three minutes.

But Caley striker Dennis Wyness equalised 18 minutes later to ensure a share of the points at Somerset Park in a dress rehearsal for the Scottish Cup third round.

Ayr were left to rue missed chances as they failed to take the opportunity to close the gap on Livingston.

The Honest Men were out to avenge their 7-3 hammering at the hands of Caley six weeks ago and looked to the pace of Glynn Hurst and James Grady for a goal threat.

And they took only three minutes to find the target when Hurst crossed from the right for McGinlay to head home his eighth of the season.

Ayr were clearly fired up and went close again five minutes later when Hurst sent a powerful downward header towards goal but veteran goalkeeper Les Fridge made a smart save.

The visitors stunned the home crowd midway through the first half when they got a goal from nothing.

Canadian Davide Xausa's cross was spilled by Marius Rovde at the feet of Wyness who scored the tap-in from three yards.

Ayr's play then became scrappy as they failed to find a way through the solid Caley defence.

The visitors started the second half brightly and a lively Xausa drove a dangerous cross through the goalmouth but nobody was on hand to touch the ball home.

As the home support became restless, Ayr found Inverness defence in superb form and could find no route through.

The Caley goal was under constant siege as the home side threw everything forward into attack in the second period.

The visitors wasted a glorious chance when substitute Barry Robson turned in the box and created space to fire in the shot but his effort was weak and trickled wide of the post.

Ayr twice had penalty claims turned down when Eddie Annand appeared to be pushed in the box but both were waved away.

Ayr United: Rovde, Renwick, Hughes, Duffy, Lovering, Teale, Wilson, McGinlay, Sharp, Hurst, Grady.

Subs: Campbell, Reynolds, Nelson, Scally, Annand.

Inverness CT: Fridge, Teasdale, Mann, McCaffrey, Hastings, Bagan, Christie, McBain, Sheerin, Wyness, Xausa.

Subs: Tokely, Bavidge, Robson, Ridgers, Graham.

Referee: D McDonald

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