Craig Malcolm fired a hat-trick to secure Ayr United's play-off place by thumping an East Fife side who at least avoided outright relegation.

Arbroath drop to League Two after their defeat by Airdrieonians, while the Fifers face the League Two play-offs.

Liam Buchanan's headed consolation goal for them came eight minutes from time.

Brian Gilmour scored the other goal for an Ayr side who have been in the top four in League One all season and remain in the hunt for promotion.

After Craig Johnstone had hit the bar for the visitors early on, Ayr took the lead three minutes before the break when Malcolm's lobbed finish gave them a half-time lead.

The striker picked up where he left off after the break, with two-close range finishes completing his hat-trick.

Ayr now host Cowdenbeath in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, East Fife travel to Cumbernauld to face Clyde, who finished fourth in League Two, in their League One play-off semi-final first leg.

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (5)

Ayr United

  • 01 Hutton
  • 02 Hunter
  • 03 Pope
  • 06 Gilmour
  • 04 Campbell (McAusland - 31' )
  • 05 Lithgow
  • 07 Forrest
  • 08 McLaughlin
  • 10 Malcolm (Shankland - 76' )
  • 09 Moffat
  • 11 Donald

Substitutes

  • 12 Kyle
  • 14 Shankland
  • 15 Crawford
  • 16 Marenghi
  • 17 McGowan
  • 18 McAusland
  • 19 Newman

East Fife

  • 01 Paterson
  • 02 Thom
  • 03 Johnstone
  • 06 O'Neill (Austin - 59' )
  • 04 Campbell
  • 05 Mbu
  • 07 Durie
  • 08 Stewart (Barr - 71' )
  • 10 Smith
  • 19 Buchanan
  • 11 McBride (Clarke - 76' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Cowan
  • 14 Barr
  • 15 McKenzie
  • 16 Austin
  • 17 Clarke
  • 18 Maskrey
  • 21 Rooney
Ref: Crawford Allan
Att: 1,952

Match Stats

Shots

9 14

On target

5 8

Corners

6 6

Fouls

9 5

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Ayr United 4, East Fife 1.

90:00 +3:26 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Ayr United 4, East Fife 1.

90:00 +2:54

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Craig Johnstone.

90:00 +1:16

Attempt missed. Brian Gilmour (Ayr United) header from the centre of the box is too high.

87:12

Foul by Brian Gilmour (Ayr United).

87:12

Scott Durie (East Fife) wins a free kick on the left wing.

85:10

Attempt saved. Nathan Austin (East Fife) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

81:21 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Ayr United 4, East Fife 1. Liam Buchanan (East Fife) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Lewis Barr following a corner.

80:33

Corner, East Fife. Conceded by Gordon Pope.

79:32

Foul by Kyle McAusland (Ayr United).

79:32

Lewis Barr (East Fife) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:58

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Steven Campbell.

77:43

Attempt missed. Michael Donald (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

76:26

Corner, East Fife. Conceded by Brian Gilmour.

75:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ayr United. Mark Shankland replaces Craig Malcolm.

75:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, East Fife. Pat Clarke replaces Scott McBride.

74:26 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Ayr United 4, East Fife 0. Brian Gilmour (Ayr United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Craig Malcolm.

71:33

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Joe Mbu.

70:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, East Fife. Lewis Barr replaces Jonathan Stewart.

68:55

Attempt saved. Michael Moffat (Ayr United) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

64:49

Attempt saved. Kevin Smith (East Fife) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

63:47

Attempt missed. Liam Buchanan (East Fife) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

62:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Ayr United 3, East Fife 0. Craig Malcolm (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Michael Donald.

60:15

Attempt missed. Liam Buchanan (East Fife) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is too high.

58:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, East Fife. Nathan Austin replaces Stephen O'Neill.

57:41

Corner, East Fife. Conceded by David Hutton.

57:21

Attempt saved. Liam Buchanan (East Fife) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

54:32

Attempt missed. Liam Buchanan (East Fife) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

54:04

Attempt saved. Liam Buchanan (East Fife) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is saved in the top left corner.

52:31 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Ayr United 2, East Fife 0. Craig Malcolm (Ayr United) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Michael Donald.

51:37

Adam Hunter (Ayr United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

51:37

Foul by Scott McBride (East Fife).

48:55

Attempt saved. Kevin Smith (East Fife) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

45:00

Second Half begins Ayr United 1, East Fife 0.

45:00 +1:06 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Ayr United 1, East Fife 0.

44:25

Gary Thom (East Fife) wins a free kick on the left wing.

44:25

Foul by Craig Malcolm (Ayr United).

43:28

Attempt missed. Liam Buchanan (East Fife) header from the centre of the box is too high.

41:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Ayr United 1, East Fife 0. Craig Malcolm (Ayr United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Hunter.

41:10

Attempt missed. Michael Moffat (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

37:23

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Joe Mbu.

33:19

Kevin Smith (East Fife) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:19

Foul by Kyle McAusland (Ayr United).

30:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ayr United. Kyle McAusland replaces Martyn Campbell because of an injury.

30:15

Foul by Gary Thom (East Fife).

30:15

Craig Malcolm (Ayr United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

26:42

Gary Thom (East Fife) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:42

Craig Johnstone (East Fife) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box.

26:42

Foul by Craig Malcolm (Ayr United).

25:06

Attempt missed. Scott Durie (East Fife) header from the right side of the box misses to the right.

23:39

Foul by Craig Malcolm (Ayr United).

23:39

Steven Campbell (East Fife) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:44

Attempt blocked. Michael Moffat (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

22:03

Attempt saved. Kevin Smith (East Fife) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

20:43

Foul by Adam Hunter (Ayr United).

20:43

Liam Buchanan (East Fife) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:52

Hand ball by Craig Malcolm (Ayr United).

16:37

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Greg Paterson.

15:29

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Scott Durie.

14:12

Foul by Michael Donald (Ayr United).

14:12

Steven Campbell (East Fife) wins a free kick on the left wing.

9:51

Foul by Craig Johnstone (East Fife).

9:51

Alan Forrest (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:29

Corner, East Fife. Conceded by Adam Hunter.

5:48

Foul by Gary Thom (East Fife).

5:48

Michael Moffat (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:38

Foul by Kevin Smith (East Fife).

3:38

Martyn Campbell (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:16

Corner, East Fife. Conceded by Adam Hunter.

1:54

Corner, East Fife. Conceded by David Hutton.

1:35

Attempt saved. Kevin Smith (East Fife) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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