Scottish Championship
AyrAyr United0HibernianHibernian4

Ayr United 0-4 Hibernian

By Connie McLaughlinBBC Scotland at Somerset Park
James Keatings came off the bench to score his third goal in two games
James Keatings came off the bench to score his third goal in two games

Ayr United need to beat Raith Rovers by five goals next weekend to avoid relegation after a heavy home defeat by champions Hibernian.

Beautifully crafted first-half goals from Jason Cummings and Martin Boyle put Hibs ahead.

James Keatings and another for Cummings were added in quick succession in the second half.

It leaves Ayr at the bottom, three points behind next week's hosts, who lost 5-0 to St Mirren.

Ayr looked nervous, but Neil Lennon's visitors started the game with intent and came close after only three minutes.

Cummings sensed an opportunity after a mistake from the Ayr defence, but his right-footed effort came back out off the post.

The striker was hungry for a goal and, following some skilful footwork by John McGinn, the midfielder whipped in a cross for Cumming to nod it home.

It was two shortly after as Grant Holt's low cross was met at the back post by the oncoming Boyle to slide the ball under goalkeeper Greg Fleming.

The second half was more of the same. McGinn and Boyle both came close with long distance efforts and Holt came inches away from connecting with a cut-back six yards out.

Hibs' third came when McGinn found Cummings in space on the right and a simple ball set up well-positioned substitute Keatings to slip the ball through the legs of Fleming.

Cummings wasn't done for the day and added his second and Hibs' fourth after Keatings turned supplier with a delightful through ball.

Ian McCall's hosts rarely threatened, with visiting goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw equal to efforts from Michael Rose and Daryll Meggat when they did get a glimpse of goal.

Match reaction

Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "I think if we win 5-0 we might stay up or go into a play-off, but that's not really the point.

"I thought in the first half we were awful and we looked nervous and weren't at it and we kept giving the ball to Hibs players and they hurt us.

"To be perfectly honest, we were very fortunate to only be 2-0 down at half time, but in the second half I thought we more than matched them.

"We threw caution to the wind and were due one or two goals in the second half and I was very pleased with that.

"It is not about me picking the players up, it is about them picking me up as there's going to be loads of good things happening this club as we've got a lot of good young players and exciting young players.

"If the worst comes to the worst then our target is to win League One."

Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon: "We were different class and it was a very polished performance - a clean sheet away from home again and we were dynamite.

"They are playing with freedom now and shackles are off.

"There are no pressure on the games and they are really enjoying themselves at the minute.

"We've rotated the squad a bit and those who came in have done themselves no harm.

"We've got Premiership quality players and they looked really exciting today."

Line-ups

Ayr

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Fleming
  • 2DevlinBooked at 31mins
  • 22Balatoni
  • 18Meggatt
  • 3Boyle
  • 10ForrestSubstituted forGilmourat 77'minutes
  • 23Docherty
  • 5RoseSubstituted forMcGuffieat 45'minutes
  • 14CairneySubstituted forEl Alaguiat 69'minutes
  • 12Harkins
  • 9MooreBooked at 84mins

Substitutes

  • 4Gilmour
  • 6Murphy
  • 11McDaid
  • 15El Alagui
  • 19Hart
  • 21McGuffie

Hibernian

Formation 4-5-1

  • 31Laidlaw
  • 2GrayBooked at 43mins
  • 24McGregorBooked at 67mins
  • 23ForsterBooked at 85mins
  • 16Stevenson
  • 17BoyleSubstituted forShinnieat 76'minutes
  • 8Fyvie
  • 9Holt
  • 27HumphreySubstituted forKeatingsat 61'minutes
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forMurrayat 76'minutes
  • 35Cummings

Substitutes

  • 19Keatings
  • 22Shinnie
  • 25Ambrose
  • 29Graham
  • 41Martin
  • 48Martin
  • 57Murray
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
2,152

Match Stats

Home TeamAyrAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home11
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away7
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ayr United 0, Hibernian 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ayr United 0, Hibernian 4.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Craig McGuffie (Ayr United) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Gary Harkins (Ayr United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  5. Booking

    Jordan Forster (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Booking

    Craig Moore (Ayr United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Jordan Forster (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Craig Moore (Ayr United).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Farid El Alagui (Ayr United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Lewis Stevenson.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Darren McGregor (Hibernian).

  12. Post update

    Craig Moore (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Fraser Murray (Hibernian) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Ayr United. Brian Gilmour replaces Alan Forrest.

  15. Post update

    Fraser Murray (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Farid El Alagui (Ayr United).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Andrew Shinnie replaces Martin Boyle.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Fraser Murray replaces John McGinn.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Craig Moore.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. James Keatings (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.