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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Ayr United v Partick Thistle – 25th October 2022

The cinch Championship season continued for Partick Thistle this evening as they travelled to Somerset Park to play their rearranged game against Ayr United.

Thistle went into the game off the back of two heavy defeats at the hands of Aberdeen and more recently Queen’s Park who beat the Jags 4-0 at Firhill three days before the trip to Ayrshire.

As such, Ian McCall made four changes to his team as David Mitchell, Darren Brownlie, Tunji Akinola and Anton Dowds all came in for Jamie Sneddon, Cole McKinnon, Steven Lawless and Scott Tiffoney with the latter two dropping out of the squad altogether. Kevin Holt and Ross Docherty were unavailable through injury again.

There was almost a dream start for Thistle as they looked to bounce back from the weekend’s disappointment. The ball fell to Harry Milne in the box and the number three struck the ball on the swivel. Charlie Albinson got down well to turn the shot away and then Anton Dowds poked the loose ball wide.

The Jags had further half-chances in the opening 15 minutes with Stuart Bannigan sidefooting a shot narrowly wide from distance before Brian Graham fired wide of the near post after some good link-up with strike partner Dowds.

Then, at the other end, Ayr had their first sight of goal. A low cross from Jordan Houston skipped across to Logan Chalmers who tried a shot on goal. The effort took a deflection and would have found the bottom corner had it not been for the sharp reactions of David Mitchell who turned it wide.

Just a moment later Thistle had their fourth significant opportunity of the game. Kyle Turner picked out Tunji Akinola from a corner with the defender finding wide open space in the Ayr box. He got clean enough contact on the header but glanced it a yard or so wide of the goal.

After such a lively start, it was then a considerable sucker punch when the Honest Men took the lead on 16 minutes. The ball was worked out the Ayr right and Josh Mullin bent a powerful ball low across the box. Tunji Akinola was there first but his clearance ricoheted off of Logan Chalmers and into the Thistle net.

There was an instantaneous reaction from the away side and they were back level within two minute. A diagonal ball towards Jack McMillan was misjudged by Patrick Reading and that allowed the wing-back to drive forward. He slipped a pass through to Lee Hodson who drove a shot towards goal and despite the best efforts of the players on the line, the ball trickled into the net.

The game then went into a bit of a lull after an all-action first 20 minutes, There were few chances to talk about and ultimately when the next goal of the game arrived, it wasn’t really a chance at all. A cross from the left by Logan Chalmers was met by Darren Brownlie and the defender’s diving header flew into the top corner of David Mitchell’s goal.

An instant response almost materialised again for the Maryhill men as a corner fell to Brian Graham from a sliced clearance but the striker’s powerful shot was cleared instinctively by an Ayr defender in the six-yard box.

Coming out for the second half Thistle wouldn’t have to wait too long to get their second leveller and it was a markedly scrappy goal which restored parity. A Harry Milne cross found Jack McMillan at the back post and the defender headed back into the goalmouth area. As it dropped, Anton Dowds and two Ayr defenders threw themselves at it with the end result being a goal for the away side and Dowds wheeling away in celebration.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the score didn’t stay level for long as Lee Bullen’s side hit the front for a third time. A cross from the right wasn’t cleared properly and fell to Andy Murdoch who had his back to goal. The Ayr skipper laid the ball off to Josh Mullin who drilled a low shot into the far bottom corner to make it 3-2.

Thistle made changes and pushed for a third equaliser but were regularly foiled by the home side’s resolute defending. A Tony Weston cross fell the way of Anton Dowds but the number 10’s shot was saved well by Albinson shortly before a Cole McKinnon shot was cleared off the line by ex-Jag Sean McGinty.

In the end, the game did have a sixth goal but it came for Ayr. The ball was delivered from the right and controlled well by Sam Ashford to tee up Mark McKenzie. The 22-year old took it on first time and picked out the bottom corner and sealed the points for the hosts.

With that, Ayr climb to the top of the Championship table one point above third placed Thistle. Next up for the Jags is a trip to face Raith Rovers this coming Saturday, 29th October. That one is a 3pm kick-off at Stark’s Park.

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