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Page last updated at 20:37 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 21:37 UK

Ayr United 2-2 Airdrie United

Scott Walker and Stephen McKenna
Ayr's Scott Walker (left) and Stephen McKenna battle for possession

Ayr United fought back to claim a draw in the first leg of their Scottish Football League Division play-off final against Airdrie United.

Poor defending at corners allowed Paul Di Giacomo and John Baird to put the visitors 2-0 up at half-time.

But Mark Roberts pulled one back early in the second half and then fired an equaliser on 67 minutes.

Chris Aitken missed a penalty for the home side before Ayr's Paul McGowan was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The two sides meet again at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium on Sunday.

Ayr United manager Brian Reid:
"I'm delighted to be back in the tie. It's not the first time this season that we've come back from goals down. We showed great character to come back.

"I felt we should've won at the end. Chris Aitken never usually misses penalties and unfortunately he picked a night to miss one that he normally tucks away.

"Chris has been very good from the penalty spot and, to be fair to the goalkeeper, it was a great save.

"I'm disappointed with the goals we lost. That's not acceptable at this level and we were punished for it.

"I thought the supporters were magnificent. They got behind us.

"We've played well away from home this and we'll certainly go to Airdrie and have a go."

Airdrie United manager Kenny Black:
"It's incredible watching it because I thought we had to work really hard for our two goals. I was happy at half-time and I said to the players that we could actually go and put the tie to bed if we had continued to do what we were doing.

"I thought we were actually lucky to even draw the game and that's relying on a goalkeeper saving a penalty.

"The second half performance was inept at times and it just looked as if some of them thought the game was already finished but that wasn't the case.

"They're a good side Ayr. They were shooting down in front of their own fans in the second half and they had nothing to lose and had a really good.

"We were naïve at times, especially with the second Ayr goal.

"I thought the referee had a decent game but there were two or three decisions for free-kicks were strange."

Ayr: Grindlay, Dempsie, Walker, Martin Campbell, McGowan, Kenneth Connolly, Keenan, Aitken, Easton, Prunty (Gormley 65), Roberts.
Subs Not Used: Mitchell, Henderson, Woodburn, Borris.

Sent Off: McGowan (86). Booked: McGowan, Walker.

Goals: Roberts 48, 67.

Airdrie Utd: Robertson, McLachlan, Bobby Donnelly, Smyth, Lovering, Darren Smith, McDonald (McDougall 87), McKenna, McLaughlin, Di Giacomo (Lynch 83), Baird.
Subs Not Used: Hollis, Nixon, Brown.

Booked: Lovering, Bobby Donnelly.

Goals: Di Giacomo 30, Baird 43.

Att: 3,378

Ref: E Smith

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see also
Airdrie Utd 2-1 Peterhead (4-1)
17 May 09 |  Scottish League
Ayr United 3-2 Brechin City (5-2)
16 May 09 |  Scottish League

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