Ayr United 4 v 1 Partick Thistle
United recorded back-to-back Championship wins with a runaway 4-1 victory over Partick Thistle on Saturday. The Honest Men went two up through Craig Moore and Michael Moffat in the first half and doubled their lead early in the second half with two sensational strikes from Moore and Alan Forrest. Partick did manage a consolation goal through Joe Cardle, but Ayr reigned supreme at Somerset Park.
United looked up for it from the get-go and opened the scoring in the 10th min. A one-two between Luke McCowan and Craig Moore inside the Thistle half got the ball out to the right wing and set Jordan Houston up for a low cross in from 22 yards. His shot was met by Moore in the box who turned it into the net to give the hosts the lead.
Shortly after, on 18 mins, United doubled their advantage. Daniel Harvie broke down the left wing and good interplay play between him and McCowan allowed the fullback to deliver the ball to Alan Forrest at the edge of the box. Great defending from Stuart Bannigan didn’t allow Forrest to cut in so the United man sent a short pass back to McCowan who flicked in a cross that was met by Michael Moffat for a header past Thistle keeper Scott Fox.
Partick Thistle had little to offer against an attacking and committed Ayr side that could have scored again on 37 mins. A long ball forward from Ross Docherty freed McCowan to drive through the midfield to the edge of the penalty area from where he passed on to Forrest. The winger broke into the box and flicked the ball goalwards, but Fox did well to tip it over the bar at the top left-hand corner and the score at half time remained 2-0 Ayr.
United carried the attacking spirit they showed in the first half into the second and found the back of the net again on 48 mins. McCowan sent in a cross from the right wing for Moore who, under pressure from the Thistle defence, headed it back to Stephen Kelly outside the box. Kelly flicked it on to Docherty and good play between the pair and Harvie set Moore up 25 yards out. The striker controlled it and blasted a stunning hit past Fox for his second goal of the afternoon.
Only four mins later, it was 4-0 Ayr. Moore intercepted at the halfway line for a break forward and before Steven Saunders could come at him to defend, he slid the ball into space on the left wing where Forrest came racing in. Forrest advanced into the box and took a curling shot from 10 yards that found the bottom right-hand corner.
The match remained explosive with McCowan and Sam Roscoe both coming close for United in short succession and Thistle recorded their first shot on target on 55 mins when Joe Cardle hit the left post from distance.
Ayr still dictated the play but took the foot off the gas and clear-cut chances became sparser.
The Jags capitalised on the now more settled game and pulled one back on 78 mins. Sean McGinty played a long pass to Cammy Palmer who broke forward towards the penalty area and as Ayr failed to defend, the ball was picked up by Lewis Mansell. He passed it out to Ryan Williamson on the right wing whose high cross into the box was met by Cardle for a header past Ross Doohan from close range.
Partick Thistle got more into the game towards the end of the match and created a chance in the 90th minute. Palmer played the ball down the right wing for Williamson who crossed it in from 18 yards. Mansell came sliding in at the right post but lifted it over the bar and missed the chance to claw another one back.
The remaining seconds ticked down and the Honest Men’s rampant display saw them take home the maximum three points and ensured a dismal return to Somerset Park for former Ayr manager Ian McCall.
United remain second in the league, three points behind table-toppers Dundee United and three ahead of Dundee in third.
Next up, Ayr head down to Dumfries as they face Queen of the South in the Championship at Palmerston Park on Saturday.
Doohan, Houston, Muirhead, Roscoe, Harvie, Kelly, Docherty, Forrest, Moffat, Moore, McCowan Substitutes: Hare-Reid (GK), Geggan, Doolan, McGuffie, Ecrepont, McKenzie
Fox, Williamson, Penrice, McGinty, Cardle, Bannigan, Miller, Gordon, Palmer, Zanatta, Saunders Substitutes: Sneddon (GK), O’Hare, Harkins, Slater, Mansell, de Vita, Robson
Referee: Willie Collum