Smith’s Ayr raid takes out Buddies

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Chris SMITH believes Ayr United’s win over St Mirren was the best yet this season after booking their place in the semi-final of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

The Irn-Bru First Division side stunned their hosts with a 1-0 victory in Paisley last night thanks to a late goal from Smith.

Ayr – who sit bottom of their division – had already dumped Clydesdale Bank Premier League opposition in the shape of Inverness and Hearts earlier in the competition.

Smith said: “Hearts are probably the biggest team but our away results have been pretty poor in the league to be honest so this one was the best for us and it got us to Hampden as well.”

Chances for both sides had been few and far between before Smith nodded home what proved to be the winner with 81 minutes on the clock He added: “It was great and it’s even better when you get the winning goal yourself and take your team to Hampden. There’s no better feeling than that.

“In the first half we were under pressure a bit and St Mirren had most of the possession.

“But I felt we came out in the second half and were more in control of the game. We had a lot of set-plays and we just had to take one of them.”

Saints boss Danny Lennon urged his side to bounce back quickly from the defeat.

He said: “It’s disappointing. It was a wonderful opportunity for us but I must give Ayr United credit for sticking to their game plan – certainly not the performance but the game plan.

Lennon admits Saints need to be more clinical in front of goal after failing to cause Ayr’s defence too many problems.

He added: “We certainly know that we need that cutting edge.”