Feb 24 2012 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
KEVIN CUTHBERT insists Ayr's Hampden heartache against Kilmarnock will inspire them to make amends when they face Hibs.
United are only 90 minutes from a return trip to the national stadium after beating Falkirk2-1 to stay unbeaten under the new Somerset Park lights.
And goalie Cuthbert reckons Ayr are in better shape than they were at the start of the season.
Cuthbert said: "It's cup runs galore. It's another good opportunity to play against a SPL team.
"We thought after losing to Kilmarnock that we wouldn't get another chance but now we can sneak into another semi."
The shot stopper claimed a patriotic crowd played a big part as Ayr came from behind to claim another cup scalp.
He said: "Even at Montrose, they followed us and gave great backing. We seem to get a buzz from night games. I don't think we have lost at night at Somerset Park.
"We have made Somerset a difficult place for teams to come but maybe now people will expect us to win.
"Falkirk gave us a lesson at their place when they must have had 80 per cent possession but tonight we led from the front and I thought Mark Roberts was outstanding. I feel we are a right good side now and have a better squad than we had at the start of the season. It's my first season as a part-timer and I am enjoying that I am not doing as much training. Sometimes you can overtrain."
Falkirk raced ahead in six minutes when Blair Alston beat Cuthbert with an 18 yard header from a Tam Scobbie cross.
Ayr levelled in 19 minutes when Adam Dodd thundered a drive off the bar and Andy Geggan nodded over the line from point blank range.
Ayr survived penalty claims when Craig Sibbald went down under an Eddie Malone challenge. But United also had shouts when Murray Wallace lunged into Dodd.
Veteran Darren Dods gifted Ayr the lead in 56 minutes when he handled a Dodd cross and sureshot Roberts stroked home the penalty.
Ayr should have another when keeper Michael McGovern spilled a Michael McGowan cross over the line. But ref Crawford Allan waved aside the claims.
Geggan then headed another McGowan cross off the post as Ayr finished on fire.
Boss Brian Reid said: "It's another good night for Ayr United. We haven't been beaten over 90 minutes by an SPL team and Hibs will be aware of that."
AYR: Cuthbert, Tiffoney, Malone, Campbell (Wardlaw, 71), Smith, Geggan, Dodd, Tomsett, Moffat, Roberts, Trouten (McGowan, 51) Unused subs: McWilliams, McKernon, R Robertson. Booked: Tomsett, Campbell.
FALKIRK: McGovern, Duffie, Scobbie, Dodds, Wallace, Murdoch, Alston (Fulton, 78), Millar, El Allagui, Gibson (White, 69), Sibbald (Bennett, 83). Unused subs: Bowman, Kingsley. Booked: Millar, White, Wallace.
Referee: Crawford Allan. Crowd: 1,873.