Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Ayr United – 6th August 2013

Thistle as expected duly took their place in the second round of the League Cup with victory over League One Ayr United but their passage into the next round didn’t come without the odd scare along the way.
Manager Alan Archibald made a number of changes to his side with Gabriel Piccolo, Mark Kerr and Isaac Osbourne all coming into the team to make their Thistle debuts. There were also starting places for John Baird, Christie Elliott and Ross Forbes; all of whom came off the bench during the opening league fixture against Dundee United.
Ayr began their season with a win and they were the first side to have a chance in this game; Scott Fox smothering a Craig Malcom effort in the 9th minute.
Thistle though opened the scoring just three minutes later. Christie Elliott was able to work the ball into the path of Stephen O’Donnell to his right. O’Donnell doesn’t tend to score too many goals but when he does they tend to be good ones and that was certainly the case with this one as he fairly fired the ball into the top corner.
That goal should have settled Thistle down and to be fair they did control the majority of the rest of the first half, but while they enjoyed long spells of possession, switching the ball well from flank to flank, they didn’t create too many clear cut openings.
Ayr in contrast, despite seeing much less of the ball, probably had the better chances in the opening 45 minutes. Craig Malcom struck the frame of the Thistle goal, Michael Donald shot wide of goal from 25 yards out and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair needed to make a timely intervention from close to his own goal line.
The goal aside, Thistle best first half chances were a John Baird shot, after Steven Lawless had left defender Lithgow for dead, that was saved by Hutton and a first time shot from Christie Elliott that went wide of goal.
The second half followed a very similar pattern to that of the first. Thistle continued to see the majority of the possession but without troubling the Ayr defence too much while the visitors looked dangerous when they did threaten.
Indeed Ayr had a great chance to equaliser almost on the 60 minute mark. Michael Moffat was able to burst through the heart of the Thistle defence but his final finish badly let him down.
At the other end Gabriel Piccolo nearly marked his Thistle debut with a goal when his header struck the bar with Hutton forced to tip the loose ball over the bar before the Mexican was able to provide a finish that would have provided Thistle with a two goal lead.
Thistle though were pressing all the time and the second goal when it did arrive with 8 minutes remaining wasn’t unexpected. A John Baird corner was only partially cleared and when Steven Lawless was able to return the ball into the danger area captain for the night Conrad Balatoni was on hand to head the ball home.
If Thistle though that that was their place in the Second Round safely secured they were in for a shock. The game was in the 90th minute when substitute Mark Shankland was able to head past Scott Fox.
Just a minute later the same player was just a whisker away from taking the tie into extra-time. He managed to beat Scott Fox but became the second Ayr player to be denied a goal by the frame of the Thistle goal when his shot bounced off the base of Fox’s right hand post.

< Back