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Partick Thistle FC

Blast From The Past – Ayr United

Scottish Premier League

22nd October 1977

Ayr United 1 Partick Thistle 2

Season 1977-78 was Thistle’s second in the fairly recently created Premier Division and we finished in a very creditable seventh position. 1976-77 was even better when we finished 5th! Oddly enough, Ayr United were our first opponents in the Premier Division and they beat us 2-0 at Firhill, so the time was right for us to have a bit of success against the men from Somerset Park, don’t you think?

We undertook the task with the following team:- Alan Rough, George Mackie, Brian Whittaker, John Marr, Andy Anderson, Ian Gibson, Bobby Houston, Dougie Somner, Alex O’Hara, Jim Melrose, John Craig.

All the goals came late in this contest. First up was Ian Gibson around the hour mark. We were shooting from left to right from the main stand. Sadly, Thistle had the lead for only 10 minutes, conceding an equaliser to Gordon Cramond. With 9 minutes to go we replaced attacker Jim Melrose with the ultra-defensive stalwart Jackie Campbell. Was this a subtle move to try and hold on to a precious point? Being in favour of a safety-first, cautious approach, I could go along with that. This is not to say that I wasn’t delighted when Alex O’Hara snatched the winner on 85 minutes.

Both points (yes, two for a win in those days, not three) would accompany us back up the road to Glasgow. It’s a great feeling on the journey home.

I am going to quote (without comment!) from an article within the programme:- Although Partick Thistle have been on the receiving end of more jokes than any other club in Scottish football, they have found a soft spot in the hearts of many. Well, what do you think?

It’s sad to reflect that two of Thistle’s players in the featured match are no longer with us – Brian Whittaker and John Craig, taken in the prime of their lives. It doesn’t seem right, does it?


Robert R.

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