JUBILANT Ayr United boss Ian McCall paid tribute to his team as they staged a battling performance to defeat former club Partick Thistle 3-2.

And he believes the Honest Men have surpassed his expectations after moving into second spot with what was a fourth successive victory at Firhill.

He said: “It was a hell of a game although I didn’t think they should have had a penalty, their guy went down far too easily and Alan Forrest had a goal chopped off but looked in line, although their two red cards were right.

“We are a lot better than I thought we were going to be. We lost serious players but there has been the emergence of two or three - we have a really special loan (in Steven Kelly) from Rangers. It looks like Jamie Adams and Steven Bell are going to do well if hey stay fit. Sam Roscoe and Aaron Muirhead are doing well in training. we are short of a couple of players. We tried to get Dario Zanatta during the week from Thistle but we couldn’t do the deal.

“For our club to come to Firhill and win four times in a row is unbelievable, we’ve been in the top three for more than a year which is amazing and it sets ourselves up for the top-of-the-table game against Dundee United a week on Saturday.”

United on Saturday make the long trip to Wales to face National League team Wrexham although they will have a much-depleted squad.

McCall added: “Andy Murdoch needs a scan on his knee, we can only hope it’s not too serious. We are without the Scotland Under-21 guys and Craig McGuffie will be rested as he has a thigh strain. It will be a shadow squad.

“But we look forward to going down to Wales. We will have a good support from the fans.

“There is no pressure but we will go down there trying to win.”