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Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Saturday, 1 May 2010 17:35 UK

Morton 2-1 Ayr United

By David McDaid
BBC Scotland at Cappielow

SFL

Ayr United were relegated from Division One after Morton fought back from behind to record a victory that means the Greenock side avoid the drop.

Ayr went ahead on 20 minutes when Daniel McKay fired in a fine strike from 25 yards out.

Morton got back level 13 minutes from the end when Stewart Greacen slid in to prod home a loose ball in the box.

On 86 minutes Carlo Monti condemned the Honest Men to the Second Division with a side-footed finish from 10 yards.

The result means Morton also secure their First Division status for a further season.

The first half was a fairly even affair until Ayr took the lead.

Referee Charlie Richmond played good advantage when one of the visitors was fouled, and the ball broke to McKay who left Morton goalkeeper Colin Stewart no chance with a raking drive inside the post.

A mix-up in the home defence presented Junior Mendes with a chance to double Ayr's lead, but this time Stewart was on hand to palm wide the fierce shot.

Morton had not troubled the Ayr goal in the first half but picked their game up after the interval.

Despite that, Kevin Finlayson had to make a last-ditch block on the goal line to prevent a goal for Ayr's Ryan McGowan.

Morton drew level when Dominic Shimmin's high cross caused confusion in the Ayr penalty box, and Greacen poked the loose ball in off the post from 12 yards.

Ayr substitute Aaron Connolly missed glorious chance to claim the points from a few yards out.

And then at the other end Monti converted Finlayson's low cross past Craig Samson to consign Ayr to Second Division football next term.


Morton manager James Grady:

"I'm relieved more than anything. The first half we didn't play at all.

"Ayr looked hungrier and we were fortunate to go in just one down.

"I think the occasion got to a lot of our players - which happens.

"Second half we were a bit better but the full objective was to stay in the First Division.

"It wasn't pretty but testament to the boys - they got the job done."

Ayr United manager Brian Reid:

"I'm devastated. Anybody at the game today saw we were the better team and didn't get what we deserved.

"I said to the players that that game summed our season up.

"My aim is to bounce right back up.

"I'll have to speak to the chairman and see the budget for next season.

"The chairman is fine with me and you can see it's a fine margin between success and failure.

"It was always going to be tough with majority part-time team in this league."


Morton: Stewart, McGuffie, Greacen, Shimmin, McKinlay, Finlayson, Paartalu (Jenkins 46), Tidser, Monti, Witteveen, Simmons (Graham 71).
Subs Not Used: Cuthbert, MacGregor, Reid.

Booked: Greacen, Monti.

Goals: Greacen 77, Monti 86.

Ayr: Samson, McGowan, Billy Gibson, Campbell, Lafferty, Woodburn (Aaron Connolly 78), Keenan, Bowey, Roberts, McKay, Mendes.
Subs Not Used: Grindlay, Tiffoney, Robertson, Paterson.

Booked: Billy Gibson, Aaron Connolly, Lafferty, Roberts.

Goals: McKay 20.

Att: 3,771

Ref: C Richmond



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