Scottish League One: Ayr strengthen grip on top spot, Forfar boost hopes

Ayr United celebrate
Lawrence Shankland (far right) has now scored 28 goals this season

Lawrence Shankland scored a hat-trick as leaders Ayr United beat bottom side Queen's Park 4-0 and stayed six points clear of Raith Rovers in League One.

Raith, who have a game in hand, beat hosts Airdrieonians 2-1.

Alloa Athletic, who were 3-1 winners away to Albion Rovers, moved up to third as Arbroath dropped a place after losing 3-2 at home to Stranraer.

Forfar Athletic boosted their survival bid with a 2-0 home win against East Fife.

Shankland struck three times before the break to put Ayr in command and Craig Moore added a fourth from the penalty spot after Craig McGuffie had been fouled by Gregor Fotheringham.

Raith Rovers were two up within 20 minutes against Airdrie with Lewis Vaughan firing home and Jason Thomson heading the Kirkcaldy side's second.

Scott Stewart nodded a goal back for the Diamonds early in the second period but their day ended in disappointment with Luke Watt sent off in stoppage time after picking up a second booking.

Steven Hetherington shots either side of Jordan Kirkpatrick's effort gave Alloa victory, with Joao Pereira Victoria's strike temporarily reducing Albion Rovers' deficit before Hetherington's late second.

Arbroath appeared to be in control against Stranraer after Omar Kader and Gavin Swankie were on target with early goals.

However, Stephen Okoh and Grant Anderson replied for Stranraer and Scott Agnew scored their winner with a spot-kick after David Gray drew a foul from David Hutton.

Dylan Easton scored from close range to give Forfar an early lead against East Fife and Dale Hilson fired the hosts' second after the break.

Forfar are now four points in front of second-bottom Albion Rovers, who have a game in hand and are a point above Queen's Park.

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