Mar 16 2012 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
Ayr United’s William Hill Scottish Cup dream is ended by Hibs
SOMERSET Road rocked but the Scottish Cup dream lies in ashes.
And raging Brian Reid roasted referee Steven McLean for the killer penalty award which sent Hibs into the semis.
"We're going to Hampden," sang the ecstatic Hibees who are dreaming of winning the cup for the first time since 1902.
"We've been to Hampden," retorted the Ayr faithful in a throwback to their League Cup semi-final heartache against Kilmarnock.
The tie's defining moment, when Andy Geggan was ruled to have held back Isaiah Osbourne, left boss Reid spitting fire.
TV pictures confirmed there had been contact but the ease in which the biggest player on the park hit the turf left a sour taste.
Reid fumed: "I asked the referee if he would have given the samedecision in the other box and he said he would.
"He is the only person in the ground who sees it as a penalty and it changed the whole game.
"We are majorly disappointed as a lot of the decisions again went against us and that's not beingbitter. The Premier League team had everything going for them, the rub of the green and the important decisions.
"There was a hand ball in the box which we weren't given – would it have been given in the other box?
"It's a game I felt we could have won. To say I feel hard done by is a major disappointment."
Ayr were spared by the linesman's flag in only three minutes when Roy O'Donovan netted with a rebound shot after Ivan Sproule's effort had been saved by Kevin Cuthbert.
But O'Donovan wasn't to be denied three minutes later when he glanced a header home via the post from George Francomb's free-kick.
There was fury in 19 minutes when McLean pointed to the spot after Geggan was adjudged to have wrestled Osbourne at a Hibs corner.
Should there had been a flag kick in the first place as it seemed Jonathan Tiffoney was fouled in the build-up?
It was the softest of awards but Leigh Griffiths rifled the kick high into Cuthbert's top left-hand corner, removing the rigging from the stanchion in the process.
Geggan had a point blank header saved by Graham Stack as Ayr made a fist of it early in the second-half.
Tiffoney cleared a Paul Hanlon header off the line before Hibs survived penalty claims after the ball struck the arm of Matt Doherty.
But the damage had been done early on and Hibs ran down the clock as weary Ayr ran out of ideas.
AYR: Cuthbert; Tiffoney, Malone, Smith, Dodd; McGowan, Tomsett, Geggan (McKernon 79), Moffat (R. Robertson 81); Parker, Roberts (Wardlaw 81). Unused subs: McWilliams, Armstrong. Booked: Cuthbert, Tiffoney, Malone, Geggan.
HIBS: Stack; Hanlon, Francomb, McPake, Kujabi (Doherty 63), Osbourne, Stevenson, Sproule (Wotherspoon 69), Claros, Griffiths (O'Connor 75), O'Donovan. Unused subs: Brown, Doyle. Booked: Stevenson, Wotherspoon.
Referee: Steven McLean. Crowd: 5991.