Robby McCrorie triumphed in the battle of the Rangers loanees on Saturday afternoon, as his Queen of the South defeated Jordan Houston and Stephen Kelly’s Ayr United.
All three players started the Championship fixture at Somerset Park and it wasn’t long before the visitors were on the board.
Callum Semple’s header from a corner found the back of the net after just four minutes as QoS looked to inflict fresh pain on an Ayr side who had won just one of their previous six matches heading into this weekend.
The remainder of the first half then played out relatively incident-free.
In the second period, McCrorie’s adopted side doubled their advantage in the 58th-minute courtesy of a penalty from veteran striker Stephen Dobbie.
Ayr weren’t prepared to simply roll over, though, and got themselves back into the game with a penalty of their own, converted by Aaron Muirhead in the 77th minute.
That set up a tense finish to the game, with Kevin Holt clearing a late Mark McKenzie effort off the line.
Ultimately, with the help of McCrorie’s six saves, QoS would hold on for an important three points which leaves them just three behind fourth-placed Ayr with a game in hand.
Scotland U21 international McCrorie now has 18 Championship appearances for the season and 5 clean sheets [Transfermarkt].
Meanwhile, Houston and Kelly, who played the full 90 minutes at right-back and in centre-midfield respectively, continue to be integral parts of the Honest Men’s XI. Houston now has 15 league appearances, while the impressive Kelly has played close to every minute of the campaign so far.