Ladbrokes Championship
By Stewart McConnell
FORM team United extended their unbeaten run to four games as they held hosts Thistle to take their points tally against the Jags to seven from nine.
The point keeps their playoff hopes very much alive and Mark Kerr’s side have a new-found confidence about them. The gaffer named an unchanged starting lineup from the win against Inverness Caley Thistle but new loanees Scott Tiffoney and Grant Gillespie Beith came off the bench and looked sharp.
The first chance came in four minutes when Dario Zanatta shot across the face of goal from eight yards.
Ayr were pressing with Jordan Houston effective down the left.
on the right won Ayr a corner in 13 minutes but it came to nothing.
Three minutes later a Zanatta effort from just outside the box was cleared by the Ayr defence,
Ayr then went close when Alan Forrest sent an 18-yard effort narrowly wide in 19 minutes. Two minutes later at the other end Reece Cole shot just wide from a similar distance.
Visiting goalie Ross Doohan made a great stop from a Cole free-kick on the edge of the box in 22 minutes. United were unlucky in 31 minutes when a Stephen Kerr was headed just over the bar by Aaron Muirhead, however in 33 minutes Thistle seized the lead when a free-kick from Cole was nodded on by Joe Cardle to Brian Graham who slammed the hall home from 12 yards.
Ayr were awarded a penalty in 53 minutes when Alan Forrest was tripped inside the box by James Penrice and the same player dusted himself down to net from the spot. Then a long range shot from visiting player-boss Mark Kerr was hook away by s home defender in 59 minutes.
A cross-cum shot from 16 yards by Cardle was well saved by Doohan in 67 minutes.
Ayr had another chance in 69 minutes when a Forrest shot from 12 yards was deflected into the arms of Scott Fox by a defender.
Yet another Ayr opening came in 76 minutes when a Forrest snapshot from 12 yards was well fielded by Fox.
A Cole corner was well saved by Doohan in stoppage time as the game ended deadlocked.
AYR UNITED: 1 Doohan: Muirhead, Harvie, Kerr (McCowan 65) Moffat ( Tiffoney 59) Forrest, Houston Bell, Drinan, Docherty (Gillespie 88) Kelly. Subs not used: Hare-Reid, Roscoe 11 McCowan, McKenzie, Murphy.

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