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27.01.2001 @ 15:00 Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 2258
Inverness CT 4 - 3 Ayr United
Referee: E Martindale Scottish Cup / Round 3-match

Goalscorers
None. None
Starting Lineup
Substitutes
Substitutions
None. None
Yellow cards
None. None
Red cards
None. None
Match report
A stunning second half comeback ensured a place for Caley Thistle in the fourth round draw. With a half-time score of 0-3 it looked all over but an 18 minute spell brought four home goals and victory. Despite a bright start by the home side it was Ayr who took the lead in 7 minutes when the Caley Thistle defence failed to clear a Paul Lovering corner from the right. Amidst claims that Les Fridge had been impeded Eddie Annand collected the loose ball and scored from an acute angle. Over the next ten minutes Davide Xausa, Dennis Wyness and David Bagan tried their luck with shots before Ayr broke away and scored a second a Lovering corner from the left followed by a Mark Campbell back post header. Only a brilliant tackle from Stuart McCaffrey a minute later stopped Annand going clean through on Fridge. Ayr now looked confident but still the home side were creating chances and by no means looked out of it. A third Ayr goal in 33 minutes made the task much harder. Marvin Wilson pounced on a defensive block and hit home a low shot from 18 yards. Ayr could have sealed it just 3 minutes after the interval when Gary Teale mishit over the bar despite being free in the box. The comeback started in 54 minutes when Paul Sheerin played a one-two with Davide Xausa and scored with a low ball from 20 yards. The second Caley Thistle goal came from exactly the same spot with Bobby Mann converting direct from a free kick through the defensive wall. In 68 minutes Xausa made it 3-3 when he hit it low past Rovde from 22 yards. Excitement was at fever-pitch and the home side amazingly scored the winner just 4 minutes later. A Richard Hastings long range effort was dropped by Rovde and Wyness was there to take advantage almost a carbon copy of the goal he scored at Ayr two weeks earlier. Ayr pushed to retrieve the tie but their best effort was a Glynn Hurst shot over the bar two minutes into injury time. Definitely a match to remember.