Ayr United spoiled Dundee United’s perfect start to the season with a super 2-0 win at Somerset Park which takes them joint-top of the Championship.
A first-half Daniel Harvie strike and late Alan Forrest penalty did the damage as the Honest Men pulled level with the Terrors at the top of the league.
United boss Robbie Neilson handed a debut to centre-half Troy Brown, while Lawrence Shankland and Liam Smith lined up against their former club on the Ayrshire coast.
The Tangerines went into the match top of the table but it was second-placed Ayr who threatened first. Terrors goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist had to stoop to make a smart stop from Alan Forrest inside the box on five minutes.
Ayr soon made good on their early promise and took the lead through Scotland U/21 left-back Daniel Harvie on nine minutes. Despite Smith’s best efforts to stop the 21-year-old after he picked up on a chipped through ball, Harvie rolled the ball under Siegrist and into the net.
On 18 minutes, it was nearly 2-0 as United skipper Mark Reynolds played Michael Moffat in on goal with an wayward header. Swiss stopper Siegrist, however, was able to shepherd the ball out for a corner.
Moments later Forrest brought another good save out of Siegrist with a low stinging drive at his near post. And it was backs against the ball as The Honest Men continued to press, with Luke McCowan’s shot having to be charged down inside the area.
Peter Pawlett came close on 31 minutes as he forced Doohan into a great save with a curling free-kick from 25 yards out. Calum Butcher was next to test the on-loan Celtic goalie from distance, firing powerfully at the home goal but Doohan was a match for it.
On 38 minutes Stephen Kelly missed from four yards out when it looked easier to score, before McCowan fired over as Ayr threatened to pull away.
On the stroke of half-time United saw claims for a penalty turned down with ref Bobby Madden giving a free-kick on the edge of the box after Louis Appere was felled.
Moments later, an almost identical situation occurred as the visitors went into the break feeling aggrieved but deservedly behind.
In the second half, United set about Ayr with McMullan firing wide on 50 minutes after being played in by Sam Stanton.
On 56 minutes the Tangerines came close to levelling as kid striker Appere was denied by Doohan after McMullan’s delivery from the right.
Two minutes later, though, it was Ayr’s turn to test United’s man between the sticks as Mark Kerr’s through ball found Alan Forrest but his early take was snuffed out by Siegrist.
Boss Neilson called on Ian Harkes and Nicky Clark from the bench as they tried to force the issue. And Clark nearly had an instant impact, hitting the post on 73 minutes.
Up the other end soon after, however, it was a former Ayr man who helped The Honest Men put the game beyond doubt. Terrors right-back Smith felled Forrest in the box with a clumsy trip and the attacker sent Siegrist the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-0.
Substitute Cammy Smith rattled the bar on 83 minutes as United tried to save the game but Ayr saw out the remaining moments to pick up a terrific three points and inflict the Tangerines’ first league defeat of the season.
Ayr United: Doohan; Geggan, Harvie, Muirhead, Roscoe; Docherty (C), Kerr, Kelly, Forrest, McCowan (Houston 85); Moffat.
Subs not used: Hare-Reid (GK), Doolan, Ecrepont and McKenzie.
Dundee United: Siegrist, L Smith, Robson, Reynolds (C), Brown (Harkes 66); Butcher, Stanton (C Smith 81), Pawlett (Clark 72), McMullan; Appere, Shankland.
Subs not used: Deniz (GK), Sporle, King and Watson.
Referee: Bobby Madden.
Attendance: 3,167 (1,134 United supporters).