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Airdrie Utd 0-1 Ayr Utd (2-3)

Ryan Stevenson (right) wheels away to celebrate his goal
Stevenson (right) scored the vital goal for Ayr at Excelsior Stadium

Ayr United won promotion with a Division One Play-off final aggregate victory over Airdrie United, who will be relegated to the Second Division.

There were few chances created in the second leg clash, with Ayr's Ryan Stevenson scoring the game's only goal.

The midfielder collected ball on the edge of the box and curled home just before the half-hour mark.

Airdrie rarely threatened as Ayr held firm to return to the First Division for the first time in five years.

It completed a remarkable comeback for Ayr, who had been 2-0 down in the first leg before fighting back to draw at Somerset Park.

And it continued their fine record at Excelsior Stadium, where they have now only lost twice in 12 visits, with Stevenson having also scored in the last meeting between the sides in March 2008.

Brian Reid's Ayr side could have been reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time of the second leg after a terrible challenge by Dean Keenan on Paul Lovering, but the referee saw fit only to book him.

Airdrie's long-ball approach rarely put the visiting backline under any real pressure and, in the end, the visitors held on comfortably to go up.

It was Airdrie's third consecutive play-off final defeat, Kenny Black's side having gone up last year by default after Gretna went out of business.


Airdrie Utd: Robertson, McLachlan (Watt 79), Lovering, McDonald (McDougall 61), Bobby Donnelly, Smyth, Darren Smith, McKenna, Di Giacomo (Lynch 61), Baird, McLaughlin.
Subs Not Used: Hollis, Nixon.

Booked: McKenna, Darren Smith, Smyth.

Ayr: Grindlay, Keenan, Easton, Walker, Martin Campbell, Stevenson, Borris, Aitken, Prunty (Gormley 67), Roberts, Kenneth Connolly.
Subs Not Used: Mitchell, Henderson, Woodburn, Williams.

Booked: Keenan, Prunty, Gormley.

Goals: Stevenson 29.

Att: 3,303

Ref: I Brines



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Highlights - Inverness CT v Falkirk
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Highlights - Motherwell v Kilmarnock
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Highlights - St Mirren v Hamilton
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Ayr United 2-2 Airdrie United
20 May 09 |  Scottish League


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