St Mirren 5-1 Ayr United

Scottish Communities League Cup

Paul McGowan inspired St Mirren to an emphatic win against Ayr in the Scottish Communities League Cup.

The forward set up Lewis Guy's opener and Steven Thompson's header as the hosts took control.

McGowan added his own name to the scoresheet with a stylish chip and Kenny McLean converted a penalty after Adam Hunter's foul on Graham Carey.

Michael Moffat pulled one back for Ayr before half-time but Gary Teale netted St Mirren's fifth on 58 minutes.

St Mirren were anxious to avoid a repeat of Ayr's win in Paisley in last season's League Cup.

And the Buddies were determined to make the breakthrough with Thompson denied by Alistair Brown early on.

Ayr were then forced into a change when Martyn Campbell limped off to be replaced by Marc Twaddle.

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Interview - St Mirren manager Danny Lennon

The hosts broke from an Ayr corner to open the scoring on 16 minutes, Guy racing on to McGowan's slide-rule pass and firing past Brown.

Guy headed a McGowan corner over but another delivery from the former Celtic player set up Thompson to nod St Mirren's second.

McGowan was tormenting the visitors and he drove at the visitors' defence before looping a superb chip over the head of the helpless Brown from the edge of the area.

Hunter fouled Carey to give the Buddies the chance for a fourth goal and McLean calmly slotted beyond Brown.

Moffat's shot beat Craig Samson to reduce Ayr's arrears six minutes before the turnaround.

But St Mirren re-asserted themselves in the second half with McLean flashing an effort wide before Jim Goodwin tested Brown.

David Sinclair came close for Ayr with a shot shortly before Teale combined with Thompson and fired low into the net.

Darren Brownlie's goal-line clearance denied Thompson his second of the evening and the striker and Carey were both off target as St Mirren continued to dominate.

Thompson and Teale were involved in a move that created another chance for McGowan, but the forward could not convert in the closing stages.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon: "First and foremost I'm delighted to get through, the application was great and the statistics would be very positive in terms of possession, corners and the most important one, the five at the beginning of the scoreline.

"Tonight's result doesn't make up for losing to Ayr in the cup last season, I regarded that as a massive missed opportunity, however I am very pleased with how we did this time round.

"We gave Ayr the utmost respect and I think that showed."

Ayr United manager Mark Roberts: "When that fourth goal went in I wanted the ground to eat me up.

"Moffat's goal was our first chance in the game and it was through a mistake from Craig Samson that we managed to score.

"We got a response from the guys in the second half after changing things though and I was pleased with that."

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