Ladbrokes Championship



By Iain Martin

SWEET revenge was gained by Ayr following defeat at home to the Jags on Tuesday.

Thistle needed a win if they were to ensure safety in the Championship and they were first off the mark in only the second minute when a mistake by Ayr allowed Miles Storey to pick the ball up in midfield and the striker made a hard run at the visiting goal and from 10 yards out his rifled shot was blocked by Ross Doohan and the rebound pinged off Storey’s thigh and away to safety.

Declan McDaid and new strike partner McCowan were linking up well and were soon confusing the Thistle defence as McCowan in particular displayed some excellent ball control and vision and it was he who got the first Ayr chance in three minutes only to see his low driven shot saved at the left hand post by Jamie Sneddon in the Thistle goal.

Thistle nailed their colours to the mast in eight minutes when slow patient play from the back saw the ball ending up on the left and the gloriously whipped in cross slipped between Michael Rose and Daniel Harvie to be met full on the head by Shea Gordon to be guided past the stranded Ross Doohan and in to the net. If fans from both sides were expecting a hell-for-leather, no hold barred competition, then they were to be disappointed, but what they got instead was a game where both teams were using their heads and thinking their way through the moves. Plenty of neat passes, probing runs and deftly delivered crosses meant this was a game you couldn’t take your eyes off for one second and kept the fans on the edge of their seats as the momentum swung one way then the another.

Ayr levelled in 29 minutes following some delicious play from the strikers. Andy Geggan in the centre circle slid the ball wide to Michael Rose, who lofted a perfectly weighted cross for Andy Murdoch and his delightful one-two with Michael Moffat saw Murdoch free and in space behind the Thistle defence and his weighted pass across the face of goal bounced in line with the Thistle post and on to the foot of Liam Smith who fired the ball past Sneddon. Steven Anderson gave away a soft corner when he pushed the ball over the line instead of getting it back to the safety of his keeper. McDaid’s out swinger from the far side was met perfectly on the penalty spot by Aaron Muirhead who merely dinked the ball over the heads of everyone and past Sneddon on the goal line to give Ayr the lead. The last 10 minutes or so saw Thistle go all out for the equaliser but the home defence held firm.


Doohan; Smith, Muirhead, Rose, Harvie, Geggan (Kerr 87) Crawford, Murdoch, McCowan (Miller 75) Moffat, McDaid.

Subs: Forrest, Hare-Reid, Ecrepont, Miller.