Scottish Championship
Ayr0Hibernian4

Ayr United 0-4 Hibernian

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

  • 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

  • 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

Match ends, Ayr United 0, Hibernian 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ayr United 0, Hibernian 4.

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

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

Booking

Jordan Forster (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

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

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

Foul by Craig Moore (Ayr United).

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

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Lewis Stevenson.

Foul by Darren McGregor (Hibernian).

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

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

Substitution

Substitution, Ayr United. Brian Gilmour replaces Alan Forrest.

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

Foul by Farid El Alagui (Ayr United).

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Andrew Shinnie replaces Martin Boyle.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Fraser Murray replaces John McGinn.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Craig Moore.

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

Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Moore (Ayr United).

Goal!

Goal! Ayr United 0, Hibernian 4. Jason Cummings (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Keatings.

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Darren McGregor.

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Ross Laidlaw.

Attempt saved. Daryll Meggatt (Ayr United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top right corner.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Ross Docherty (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ayr United. Farid El Alagui replaces Paul Cairney.

Booking

Darren McGregor (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Darren McGregor (Hibernian).

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

Goal!

Goal! Ayr United 0, Hibernian 3. James Keatings (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jason Cummings.

John McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ross Docherty (Ayr United).

Attempt missed. James Keatings (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. James Keatings replaces Chris Humphrey.

Attempt saved. Darren McGregor (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Greg Fleming.

Attempt saved. Chris Humphrey (Hibernian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hibernian351913358243470
2Falkirk351512857401757
3Dundee Utd35151194941856
4Morton351312104340351
5Dunfermline351112124543245
6Queen of Sth351110144651-543
7Dumbarton35912144655-939
8St Mirren35911155155-438
9Raith Rovers3599173351-1836
10Ayr35712163260-2833
View full Scottish Championship table

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