Scottish Championship
AyrAyr United3Partick ThistlePartick Thistle1

Ayr United 3-1 Partick Thistle: Ayr stay in Championship as Thistle secure play-off spot

Ayr United's Aaron Muirhead (left) celebrates his goal
Aaron Muirhead (left) scored two penalties for Ayr

Ayr United secured Scottish Championship football next season as Partick Thistle sealed a promotion play-off quarter-final despite defeat.

Former Thistle striker Aaron Muirhead scored two penalties either side of a Tomi Adeloye header through goalkeeper Jamie Sneddon's legs.

Alex Jakubiak's reply came too late to spark a Thistle comeback.

Ayr finish eighth, four points ahead of Dunfermline, to avoid a relegation play-off, while Thistle stay in fourth.

Dunfermline needed to better Ayr's result to overtake them but lost at home to Queen of the South despite taking an early lead shortly before Muirhead's opener at Somerset Park sent Ayr on their way to ending a run of seven home games without a victory.

There needed to be an eight-goal swing for Raith Rovers to overtake Thistle with victory and the Kirkcaldy side also fell short after their 1-1 draw with champions Kilmarnock.

Thistle, who were without manager Ian McCall through illness and who rested five players, host Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Tuesday's first leg for the right to face Arbroath in the Premiership promotion play-off semi-final.

Ayr United manager Lee Bullen: "I'm just disappointed we lost that goal as I would have loved the lads to get that clean sheet, but let's not cry over spilt milk - it was a brilliant performance and such a big win for the club.

"They deserve a lot of credit because there's a lot of mental strength needed, and mental tiredness in that sort of thing, to control emotions."

Partick Thistle assistant manager Alan Archibald: "It wasn't good enough. We started really poorly and it was stop-start with the couple of early injuries that didn't help.

"The team will be different on Tuesday, no doubt about it, and we'll reset and be ready to go. Ayr had everything to play for, we had a couple of guys playing with illnesses on top of the injuries and it obviously played its part."

Line-ups

Ayr

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1McAdams
  • 4Muirhead
  • 15Baird
  • 5McGinty
  • 3Reading
  • 10O'ConnorSubstituted forMcKenzieat 85'minutes
  • 31Smith
  • 8McInroy
  • 14MaxwellSubstituted forHewittat 85'minutes
  • 9AdeloyeSubstituted forBrydenat 81'minutes
  • 19AshfordSubstituted forMoffatat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Moffat
  • 11Kenyon
  • 16Gondoh
  • 20Hewitt
  • 21Albinson
  • 22McKenzie
  • 23Fjørtoft
  • 25Ecrepont
  • 30Bryden

Partick Thistle

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Sneddon
  • 16McKenna
  • 4MayoSubstituted forHendrieat 45'minutes
  • 18Akinola
  • 2FosterBooked at 29minsSubstituted forBellat 66'minutes
  • 22Crawford
  • 23DochertyBooked at 26mins
  • 6TurnerSubstituted forBanniganat 14'minutes
  • 37McAllisterSubstituted forHoltat 41'minutes
  • 10Jakubiak
  • 11SmithSubstituted forAlegríaat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Holt
  • 8Bannigan
  • 13Firth
  • 15Bell
  • 17Murray
  • 25Alegría
  • 30Stanway
  • 33Hendrie
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
3,426

Match Stats

Home TeamAyrAway TeamPartick Thistle
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home7
Away5
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home7
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ayr United 3, Partick Thistle 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ayr United 3, Partick Thistle 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Ayr United. Mark McKenzie replaces Daire O'Connor.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Ayr United. Michael Hewitt replaces James Maxwell.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Ayr United. Michael Moffat replaces Sam Ashford.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Ayr United. Fraser Bryden replaces Tomi Adeloye.

  7. Goal!

    Goal! Ayr United 3, Partick Thistle 1. Alex Jakubiak (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stuart Bannigan.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ciaran McKenna (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Aaron Muirhead.

  10. Post update

    Kevin Holt (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Sam Ashford (Ayr United).

  12. Post update

    Alex Jakubiak (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Patrick Reading (Ayr United).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Juan Alegría replaces Cammy Smith.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Steven Bell replaces Richard Foster.

  16. Post update

    Goal! Ayr United 3, Partick Thistle 0. Aaron Muirhead (Ayr United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

  17. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Kevin Holt (Partick Thistle) after a foul in the penalty area.

  18. Post update

    Penalty Ayr United. Tomi Adeloye draws a foul in the penalty area.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Tunji Akinola (Partick Thistle).

  20. Post update

    Sam Ashford (Ayr United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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