An early strike from makeshift striker Tope Obadeyi was enough for Dundee United to keep pace at the top of the Championship as they edged Ayr 1-0 at Somerset Park.
Six minutes in, United’s Obadeyi raced clear on the counter after Ayr almost scored themselves. The Englishman got a bit of luck getting past the last defender but made no mistake in rounding the keeper and slotting home the opener.
The home side made most of the running in the opening period and almost levelled through Jamie Adams but his shot from Nicky Devlin’s cutback was deflected over by Lewis Toshney inside the six-yard box.
Early in the second period, Tony Andreu fired an effort wide from the edge of the box and after 73 minutes Blair Spittal had a weak effort saved easily by Greg Fleming in the Ayr goal.
The Honest Men battled for an equaliser but the Tangerines defence held firm to see out the game and take the three points.
Dundee Utd: Bell, Durnan, Toshney, Spittal , Fraser (Van der Velden 69), Telfer, Edjenguele, Flood, Andreu, Obadeyi (Smith 62), Robson.
Ayr: Fleming, Devlin, Meggatt, Crawford, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Adams, Docherty, Balatoni, McKenna.
Goal(s): Obadeyi 6