Apr 20 2012 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
CAN we play you every week?
Ayr's fourth win over Livingston since the turn of the year breathed fresh life into their battle for safety.
Bizarrely, if only they could play Yogi Hughes' men on a more regular basis, it would be feet up time for the close season.
Skipper Mark Roberts hit his tenth goal to snap a losing run of four games and lift Ayr level with Raith, albeit with an inferior goal difference.
But it was victory at a price as Roberts took a hefty knock to his ankle when scoring and lasted only 12 more minutes before being replaced by Alan Trouten.
Delighted boss Brian Reid hailed it as a big win on a difficult surface and claimed: "We were resolute, big and strong.
“We got the result and that’s the most important thing. It was great to bounce back.
“To be fair, we missed a couple of good chances to get that second goal and kill the game off. But we were much more like ourselves.”
Livi raced out of the traps and inside the first minute Bobby Barr raced through to force a great save from Kevin Cuthbert.
Roberts thought he had won a penalty soon after when he went down in the box but referee Brian Winter was unimpressed.
Cuthbert made a super tip over save from Keaghan Jacobs as the sweet passing Livi began to move the ball about well.
But it was Ayr who took the lead in 24 minutes. Good play by Michael Moffat saw Roberts bring the ball down with a magnificent first touch and slam a shot past Andy McNeil.
Roberts was left limping heavily after taking a bang on the ankle from Kevin McCann before eventually having to call it a day.
Ayr could have lost their lead when Marc McNulty dashed through on his own but Cuthbert was quick off his line to make a great save.
Livi turned up the heat before the break but Ayr almost caught them again when Liam Tomsett chipped just over from Moffat's cross.
There was another close call nine minutes after the restart when John Robertson raked in a shot which McNeil tipped over.
Cuthbert made two more superb saves to foil Keaghan Jacobs and Kyle Jacobs with Ayr continuing to defend stoutly.
Ross Robertson replaced John Robertson as Ayr were forced to rejig once again. And the newcomer had shouts for a penalty when he seemed to be chopped down by Paul Watson after his first shot was blocked.
But there was a scare only 10 seconds later when Livi dashed upfield for Rory Boulding to smack the ball off the post.
However, Ayr ran down the clock for a priceless win which leaves them three points clear of bottom team Queen of the South.
LIVINGSTON: McNeil, McCann, Fordyce, Watson, C. Barr, Kyle Jacobs, B. Barr, Boulding, McNulty, Cummings (Gray 67), Keaghan Jacobs. Unused subs: Jamieson, McDonald, Russell, Downie.
AYR: Cuthbert; Tiffoney, J. Robertson (R. Robertson 69), Smith, Malone; McGowan, Tomsett, Geggan, Moffat (Wardlaw 88); Parker, Roberts (Trouten 36). Unused subs: McWilliams, Armstrong. Booked: Geggan, Tomsett, Parker.
Referee: Brian Winter. Crowd: 1375.