MORTON Under-20s lost their first game in four — suffering a late 2-1 defeat to Ayr United at Townhead Park.

Darren Barr’s Ton teens looked to have rescued a point with 10 minutes of action remaining when Reece Lyon netted with a wonderful looping header beyond the Ayr goalkeeper.

But it was the same player who was adjudged to have fouled his man inside the box on 85 minutes to concede a spot-kick and ultimately hand the hosts the victory in Cumnock.

The young Morton outfit have had the benefit of calling on first-team stars in the past few weeks but went back to basics last night with only skipper Ruaridh Langan, Ben Armour and Darren Hynes having played for Jim Duffy’s side.

Goalkeeper Jamie McGowan missed out after dislocating his shoulder in the win at Lesser Hampden, so 15-year-old stopper Charlie Carracher deputised in his stead.

The game was only 15 minutes old when United took the lead and it was from the penalty spot. 

Nathan Durham was penalised for a foul on James Hilton and the midfielder dusted himself down to roll the ball down the middle for 1-0.

Carracher did brilliantly to keep his side in it when he tipped a Hilton strike onto the crossbar before he kept out Kieran Balfour with an equally impressive stop.

His counterpart at the other end, Ellis Reid, then proved his worth with a big save to deny David Anderson from close range but it was the visiting keeper who was earning the plaudits with yet another save from Luke McCowan.

The game wasn’t without controversy and Durham was shown a straight red card on 73 minutes. 

The defender looked to have played the ball but the referee claimed it was a last-man offence and he was given his marching orders.

Despite going a man down, Lyon had the ball in the net to level things up with a terrific header before turning sinner by giving away the penalty that won the game for Ayr.

Ton defender Mitchell Duffy was also red carded after the final whistle and Carracher was booked for dissent.