Monday 16th July, 2012 at 8:41pm
Thistle eased themselves to victory over Ayr United, who defeated SPL Motherwell 4-0 at the same venue at the weekend, at Somerset Park tonight. The goals that ultimately separated the sides may have come late in the game but this victory was every bit as comfortable as the score line suggests it was.
As they did against Alloa last midweek, Thistle dominated almost the entire first 45 minute but unlike the Alloa match they were unable to take a lead into the dressing room at the interval.
They did, however, open the scoring in the 8th minute. It was a simple, well taken goal and one that provided a hint of further scoring to come. Steven Lawless was able to set up Sean Welsh. The midfielder took a touch to steady himself before slotting the ball past Brown in the Ayr goal.
Thistle continued to create chances and the outcome of the match could well have been settled by the midway point in the first half. Mark McGuigan opened his scoring account for Thistle at this venue last season and he really should have netted another Somerset Park goal this evening. He found himself in behind the Ayr defence with only the keeper to beat but could do no better than lob a weak effort into the arms of the grateful goalkeeper.
The keeper was a little more pressed to keep out and effort from Christie Elliott and he again was forced to produce a fine save to tip an effort from Steven Lawless over the crossbar.
Scott Fox at this point had scarcely a save to make but he was beaten in the 34th minute. It was a poor goal for Thistle to lose. The pitch appeared a little sticky but whether that was any factor in David Rowson, playing in the centre of defence, gifting possession to Ayr trialist Kasubandi is debatable. Kasubandi was left with a clear run at the Thistle goal and his well struck shot left Fox with no chance of preventing Ayr from drawing level with their only noteworthy effort on goal of the first 45 minutes.
Five minutes after the restart Christie Elliott was desperately unlucky not to re-establish Thistle’s lead, his first time shot from an Aaron Muirhead cross striking the base of the Ayr post.
This was becoming a typical low key pre-season friendly but the better football continued to come from Thistle. Stuart Bannigan tested Ally Brown with a low drive before Aaron Sinclair, one of the many substitutes who came on during the course of the second half, did likewise.
In the 76th minute Thistle were back in front. Aaron Sinclair’s quickly taken throw in was collected from Chris Erskine and his low cross was gathered by Steven Lawless who tucked the ball home.
Five minutes later the score started to give a truer reflection of the passage of play with Christie Elliott finding the net with a low shot from the edge of the box.
A fourth goal followed just three minutes later. Steven Lawless has been in fine goal scoring form during pre-season so far and he netted his second goal of the night from 20 yards out.
There was even hint of a fifth goal for Thistle. Aaron Sinclair was able to steal in behind the Ayr defence to meet a cross from the right. Although having time and space, Sinclair wasn’t able make proper contact with his header and the ball went wide of goal.
The only moment of slight anxiety for Thistle on an otherwise positive evening was an ankle knock picked up by Aaron Sinclair in the closing stages who, as a precaution, took no further part in proceedings.