Scottish Challenge Cup: Ayr pip Falkirk in extra time to reach quarters

Ayr celebrate their late winner as Falkirk players look distraught
Ayr celebrate their late winner as Falkirk players look distraught

Ayr United stuttered their way into the Scottish Challenge Cup quarter-finals after Gary Harkins' extra-time goal settled an uninspiring encounter.

Luke Leahy missed a penalty for Falkirk in the second half, rattling the left post after Lee Miller was up-ended.

It took 115 minutes to provide a breakthrough with a scrambled effort from the outstanding Harkins.

Ayr keeper Greg Fleming then produced a wonderful save to allow the hosts to hang on and avoid a penalty shootout.

Reduced prices tempted just 1,247 souls to Somerset Park, and they witnessed a first half short on thrills.

Scott Shepherd's low shot for Falkirk was straight at keeper Fleming, while United came closest with a fiery effort from Harkins.

It was little better after the break, despite a turn and shot from Allan Forrest which produced a fine save from Falkirk goalkeeper Deniz Dogan Mehmet.

After Leahy's penalty miss, a shootout appeared inevitable before Harkins struck five minutes from the end of extra time.

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