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banner Friday, 22 February, 2002, 17:37 GMT
Ayr earn deserved replay
Craig Easton shoots past Ayr's Craig Nelson to put Dundee Utd 2-1 up
Craig Easton restores Dundee United's lead
Dundee United 2-2 Ayr United

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Ayr United earned a well-deserved draw against Dundee United at Tannadice after Pat McGinlay's late header took the game to a replay.

David Winters headed the home side into the lead early on but Ayr immediately levelled the match with a Scott Crabbe strike.

Craig Easton's opportunist goal midway through the first half restored Dundee United's lead before McGinlay's late equaliser.

Both teams struggled to get a hold of the ball on the heavily cut-up Tannadice surface and the game opened scrappily.

But after only six minutes of play the home side took the lead when youngster Winters took advantage of some slack marking in the Ayr box to connect with a Jamie McCunnie cross from the right and head high past Craig Nelson.

David Winters opens the scoring for Dundee United
David Winters opens the scoring for Dundee United
Within 60 seconds the First Division side drew level when James Grady turned David McCracken inside out on the edge of the six yard box.

He laid the ball back to the oncoming Scott Crabbe who rifled the ball into the net under Paul Gallacher.

After a lull where neither side created any clear cut chances Dundee United regained their lead after 22 minutes. McCracken floated a long free kick into the Ayr box which Thompson headed into the path of Easton.

The ball took a fortunate rebound off Ayr defender Neil Duffy and Easton pounced to score from close range.

The visitors pressed for an equaliser and Crabbe passed up a great chance when he mishit from a few yards out.

Former Dundee striker Grady also had a glorious chance moments later after McGinlay had crossed, but his shot was well saved by Gallacher.

Paul Sheerin congratulates Scott Crabbe on his equaliser for Ayr
Paul Sheerin congratulates Scott Crabbe
Ayr started the second half brightly but McGinlay could not connect cleanly with a left foot volley from Paul Lovering's cross and another good chance went begging.

It was Sheerin's turn next as he came close for Ayr with a rasping volley from 20 yards that flew inches over the bar.

Grady hit the back of the net minutes later but was ruled narrowly offside and a deserved equaliser continued to elude the visitors.

A rare flurry of activity in the Ayr box saw Steven Thompson's header from Miller's cross caught easily by Nelson.

But concerted pressure from Ayr finally paid off with just over 15 minutes remaining when McGinlay rose to meet Sheerin's cross from the left and head strongly past Gallacher.

A foul by substitute Derek Lilley on Lovering three minutes from time resulted in a red card for the Tannadice striker for showing studs.

Dundee Utd: Gallacher, McCunnie, Griffin, Lauchlan, Fullarton (Lilley 72), Winters, Easton, Miller, Aljofree, McCracken, Thompson (Carson 86).

Subs not used: Jarvie, Paterson, Venetis.

Sent off: Lilley (88).
Booked: Thompson, Griffin.

Ayr United: Nelson, Duffy, Hughes, Craig, Robertson, McGinlay, Wilson, Sheerin, Lovering, Crabbe (Scally 60), Grady.

Subs not used: Dodds, Annand, McEwan, Sharp.

Booked: Wilson.

Att: 5,584

Ref: K Clark

BBC Sport's Grant McPherson
"An enjoyable and open tie"
Dundee Utd manager Alex Smith
"We're still very much in the cup"
Ayr United manager Gordon Dalziel
"I thought we were different class"
Ayr Utd's Scott Crabbe
"We're happy to take them back to Ayr"
Links to more Scottish Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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