Dunfermline Athletic 3 Ayr United 2

Pars came from behind to win a five-goal thriller against the league leaders and claim their first home win in the league this season.

Dunfermline had taken the lead through Greg Kiltie but fell behind after an own goal from Lee Ashcroft and a beauty from flying Ayr winger Alan Forrest.

But Ashcroft made amends with a stunning volley and sub Andy Ryan slammed home the winner with six minutes left.

Stevie Crawford’s men were unbeaten in their last three outings but hadn’t won at home in the Championship and were languishing in second bottom spot before kick-off.

They could have got off to the perfect start if the ref had seen it their way with a penalty shout ignored by Alan Muir in the fourth minute.

Dunfermline forced a corner which was swung in by Josh Edwards but just as it looked as though Kevin Nisbet was about to head home he tumbled to the ground, claiming a shove from Daniel Harvie.

There was another promising move in the 10th minute which ended with Aaron Muirhead’s crude challenge leaving Nisbet writhing on the ground and the defender facing a yellow card.

Greg Kiltie stepped up to take the free kick but it was a disappointing effort, thumped straight into the red wall of Ayr.

Athletic should know all about Andy Geggan’s prowess in the air but he almost netted for the visitors in the 17th minute when he met a corner and powered a header low towards the bottom corner.

Cammy Gill sprung to his left and managed to palm the ball round the post.

Dunfermline made the breakthrough in the 29th minute and it was a thing of beauty.

Kiltie fed Nisbet and the striker backheeled it through his legs to take out the whole defence and open it up for Kiltie to dummy the goalie, waltz round him and thump the ball into the net.

Kiltie tried to return the favour in the 31st minute with a perfect slide rule pass in behind the Ayr defence for Nisbet to run onto. His fierce strike was awkwardly deflected over the top by goalie Ross Doohan.

The hitman had an even better chance from the corner, he met Edwards’ delivery unchallenged but sent a free header over the top.

That looked like a pivotal moment, especially as Athletic conceded on the stroke of half-time.

Ross Docherty got in behind the Pars rearguard and pulled the ball back for Forrest to have a shot at goal.

He looked certain to score but Aaron Comrie made a heroic block. However the ball popped up in the air, Forrest’s header was palmed away by Gill but the ball hit the unfortunate Ashcroft and rolled across the line.

Ayr started the second half the better side and immediately put Athletic under pressure.

And it told in the 57th minute when Forrest stepped in off the left wing and curled the ball across Gill and into the far corner for a stunning finish.

Athletic tried to hit back immediately but in a race for the ball, Doohan just got there before Nisbet with the resulting collision leaving the striker on the ground as play raged on and the fans screamed for a penalty.

Geggan almost caught out Gill with a quickly taken free kick from 40 yards which had the keeper scampering anxiously across his line.

Ayr looked in command but no-one expected what happened in the 64th minute.

Paul Paton’s free kick was pumped into the box and United had a couple of attempts at clearing.

The last fell to Ashcroft on the edge of the box and he met the ball full on with a ferocious volley which saw the ball rip into the net beyond the despairing Doohan.

There were chances at both ends with Geggan testing Gill with a skidding drive the keeper could only parry and sub Andy Ryan latching onto a quick free kick at the other end, taking it wide of Doohan but unable to beat the last defender from a tight angle.

A neat piece of skill allowed Docherty to get to the line and his cross looked perfect for Forrest to head home but again Comrie put in a fine block to make sure he couldn’t get a clean connection on it.

Sub Andy Ryan lost his balance at the vital moment, after a barnstorming run from halfway in the 78th minute, with his shot smacked into the side netting, before Gill made a top one handed save to keep out Kelly’s low drive.

In the 84th minute Ryan hit the winner with a fine finish. Kiltie fed him on the right side of the box and he took and touch and arrowed a low drive across the goalkeeper and into the net.

There was an anxious finale as Steven Kelly smashed in a drive that Gill pushed wide but Pars held on, just, for the three points.