18s v Partick Thistle | Match Report
by Karen Malcolm
On Friday evening (25.02.22), Ayr United U18s lost 3 – 0 to Partick Thistle in the CAS U18 League at Lochinch, Pollock Estate. United faced an uphill struggle, having to play for 57 mins with 10 men after John West received his second yellow, and losing 2 goals late on when they were chasing an equaliser.
Ayr lined up with the same starting 11 as they had in their friendly against Kilwinning earlier in the week. The only change to the squad was the addition of Max Guthrie on the bench.
United repeatedly created chances in the first 20 mins, but the Thistle keeper was in top form, denying Scott Thomlinson, Dario Viviani, Jonathan McPhee, and Dylan O’Kane.
Thistle’s most notable attempt came on the rebound following a good save by United keeper Tyler Fraser, but their number 11’s header went over the crossbar.
In the 21st min, John West was shown a yellow card. West and Thistle number 11 both went up in the air to win the ball, with the Thistle player falling to the ground. It seemed harsh, but the referee decided that this was a yellow card infringement by the United man.
4 mins later, Aaron Weir appeared to be caught in the face by an elbow when defending a Thistle throw-in. Weir hit the deck, and there was some feeling of injustice when no card was shown. Weir was forced to leave the pitch to receive treatment before returning a few minutes later.
On 33 mins, John West received his second yellow, reducing United to 10 men. Partick’s number 11 chipped wide from the edge of the box, but the referee deemed that West had held him back, and the defender was ordered from the field of play. Lewis Allan moved to centre-back to replace West.
The home side took the lead on 38 mins through a penalty. Keeper Fraser was beaten to the ball by the Thistle number 11, knocking the forward off his feet. Thistle’s number 20 stepped up to take the penalty and hit the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
The home side went into halftime with a one goal lead and an extra man.
Ayr made halftime substitutions which saw right-back Aaron Weir replaced by Reece Wilson.
Ayr so nearly got an equaliser just 1 min into the second half, Scott Tomlinson’s 20-yard shot hitting off the post with Josh Robinson unable to get his rebound effort on target.
Ayr were very much in the game, creating chances and defending with intent and belief.
Ayr made 3 more substitutions. Max Guthrie, Harry Simpson, and Brook Dreghorn relacing Jonathan McPhee, Dylan O’Kane, and Josh Robinson.
The Honest Men continued to push for what would have been a well-deserved equaliser, but 7 mins before full time, Partick Thistle doubled their lead. United failed to deal with a ball into the box, and it was knocked home from a couple of yards.
Ayr continued to push forward, hoping to get something for their efforts but were hit by a late sucker punch for the second game in a row. As the clock reached 90 mins, Thistle’s number 8 took a shot from the edge of the box, and a cruel deflection saw the ball rise over the keeper and into the net.
And so, the game ended Partick Thistle 3 Ayr United 0. A disappointing result for an Ayr side that didn’t give up following being reduced to 10 men, and then to lose 2 goals in the last 10 minutes while pushing forward.
Fraser, Weir, Johnston, Allan, McNeish, West, McPhee, Tomlinson, Robinson, Viviani, O’Kane Substitutes: Stirling (GK), Dreghorn, Kennedy, Simpson, Strachan, Wilson, Guthrie
Partick Thistle 1 Ayr United 0
Partick Thistle 3 Ayr United 0