Goals from Stephen O’Donnell and Conrad Balatoni saw Partick Thistle just squeeze past Ayr United 2-1 to secure the last spot in this afternoon’s draw for the Second Round of the Scottish League Cup at Hampden.
Scorers: Partick Thistle - O’Donnell (12), Balatoni (82); Ayr United - (Shankland (89)
It was a far from convincing passage with the Honest Men unlucky not to force extra time with only the width of a post denying them.
The Jags gave starting roles to new recruits Gabriel Piccolo, Mark Kerr and Isaac Osbourne and their recast side got off to a great start by taking the lead after just 12 minutes.
A move down the left resulted in a shooting chance for Christie Elliott and when his effort was blocked the ball broke to O’Donnell who lashed a shot high into the net from the 18 yard line.
The Honest Men came close 4 minutes later when Michael Moffat’s shot deflected into the path of Craig Malcolm however his lobbed effort came back off the bar.
Ayr should have levelled on the hour mark when Michael Moffat combined with substitute Alan Forrest during a 60 yard run however he shot tamely wide with only Scott Fox to beat.
Thistle stepped things up and Piccolo sent a header against the woodwork before their second came 8 minutes from time when Steven Lawless crossed from the right and Balatoni headed home.
Ayr hit back and substitute Mark Shankland rose above Fox to nod in the final minute and he looked certain to grab a second as he beat Fox 30 seconds later however his effort struck the woodwork.
Partick Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Piccolo, Kerr Balatoni, Osbourne (Welsh 64), Elliott (Bannigan 58), Baird, Forbes (Mukendi 70), Lawless
Unused subs - Craigen, Gallacher (G/k)
Ayr United: Hutton, Hunter, Pope, Campbell (McArthur 21), Lithgow, McLaughlin, McGowan (Forrest 50), Marenghi, Moffat, Malcolm (Shankland 85), Donald
Unused subs: Roberts, Muir (G/k)
Referee: Iain Brines