We scored against Ayr
We beat Ayr
We won on tv
We won when I was there
United have pretty much now secured second place with a rallying victory against third place Ayr United, and in doing so delayed County's title victory by at least (mathematically) two games after their draw against Partick Thistle.
It was an interesting game (imo anyway) in so much that the United team included alleged money smuggler and the constantly injured Osman Sow, and I was keen to see what he offered, particularly since he was in the team ahead of both Clark and, perhaps more controversially, Safranko. Many United fans were oddly outraged by this. I was happy enough with the selection. Neither benched players had scored against Ayr this season while we need minutes into Sow to see if he'll be any use in the play-offs.
Ultimately the manager was vindicated, although many of the outraged felt he was lucky as the subs changed the game. Sow had an odd game. Some poor touches showed how rusty he is, but I don't think he played *that* badly. He certainly should have been awarded a penalty and he generally put himself about quite well, but he was also starved of service primarily because the midfield was horrendous during the first 45 minutes. I can't stress how bad Harkes and Butcher were in that first period and Harkes in particular was lucky we only had Fyvie on the bench or I doubt he would have come out after the break.
However the manager did make subs in the second half and as noted, they changed the game. Safranko and Clark came on for Sow and Booth and they were excellent. An argument can be made (and McCall made it) that they were coming on against a tired defence, but they ran them ragged along with the tireless McMullan.
Safranko scored a cracker to level the tie after we conceded our customary goal from a set play. Harkes cross was flicked on and he controlled it on his chest and fired it into the top corner. There was only one winner after that and it came from a poor bit of play by the Ayr keeper, who panicked and cleared to McMullan who drove into the box and fired a fine finish across the keeper.
It gives hope for the play-offs and it was good to have options off the bench. We still have a long way to go and there are still concerns - we could easily have let them back into it on Friday if Shankland hadn't slipped when through on goal - but we do have a chance. Time will tell.
On a separate note, how competitive a league is the Championship this season? Half the teams can still get relegated.
Alloa deserve all the credit going for pulling themselves clear and I'm sure a few clubs are having a look at Jim Goodwin who has done a tremendous job there. Partick are looking in big trouble and Falkirk still have a job to do despite a fine win at Dunfermline. And QotS could get relegated despite all of Dobbie's goals (and he's now injured for the rest of the season!).
Mon the Terrors
DUFC 2 AUFC 1
We scored against Ayr