Ayr visited Partick Thistle with the aim of extending an impressive unbeaten record. Conditions were perfect as were the facilities at Petershill Juniors. It was clear that Thistle had a game plan from the very start as they attempted to hit Ayr on the break by packing the midfield and only leaving one up. It was a tactic that worked well however when Ayr were caught on the break down the right hand side where they couldn’t prevent a cross coming in to the six yard box where it was well finished by the Thistle striker. Ayr were their own worst enemy at times with poor passing which played into the hands of a well disciplined Thistle side. Ayr then lost a second goal which was a carbon copy of the first as Thistle finished off a cross from the right once again. The early loss of Will Graham and Euan McCance through injury didn’t help Ayr maintain any rhythm and involved several players adjusting their position. The hot weather conditions also meant it left Ayr with no substitutes going into the final two periods. Substitutes Ewan McLevy and Max Potter contributed hugely to Ayr’s comeback and didn’t look out of place considering they are playing an age above themselves. McLevy gave good width and pace down the left and Potter slotted in well to form a good partnership with Lyle Cameron.
Ayr clawed themselves back into the match with a shot out of the blue by Robbie Graham who hit a sweet left foot shot from all of 30 yards. Not to be outdone fifteen minutes later the excellent Kieran Balfour rifled an unstoppable right foot shot past the Thistle keeper. Ryan Spiers then had several good chances to put Ayr in front only to be thwarted by the crossbar and several good stops from the keeper. The momentum was with Ayr at this point however the stoppage break for the third period came and broke their stride. Thistle came out in the third and looked fresher thanks to several substitutions and dominated much of the last period. They clinched a deserved victory when a cross from the left was converted home by their substitute who managed to squeeze the ball past keeper Greig Connor. The Thistle victory was deserved considering Ayr had rode their luck at times with Thistle also missing several chances. Looking back however ironically Ayr had the better chances and should have won the game albeit it may not have been a fair result.
Coach John Kelly was disappointed with the performance although he acknowledged the fact that Thistle were well organised throughout. On a hot day Ayr missed the depth of squad with long term injured players Leon Murphy and Dylan Robb as well as the injuries picked up by Graham and McCance on the day. Coach Kelly was philosophical in defeat however considering the boys excellent record prior to the game and the hard work they have put in throughout the season.