Play-off drama: Partick edge seven-goal thriller, Falkirk trounced by Airdrie, Adam King incident at Alloa

Callum Fordyce was on target as Airdrieonians won 6-2 against Falkirk.Callum Fordyce was on target as Airdrieonians won 6-2 against Falkirk.
Callum Fordyce was on target as Airdrieonians won 6-2 against Falkirk.
Queen’s Park were involved in another televised thriller – and it was again heartache for the Spiders as they went down 4-3 to Partick Thistle in the first leg of their Premiership play-off quarter-final tie at Firhill.

Five days on from losing 5-3 to Dundee and missing out on the Championship title in the process, Owen Coyle’s Spiders had to dust themselves down and travel across Glasgow for a derby against the Jags. Trailing 3-1 with less than ten minutes to go, they appeared to have rescued a draw after a deflected effort from Malachi Boateng and then a long-range goal from Dom Thomas, but a stoppage-time strike from Brian Graham ensured Kris Doolan’s men have a slender advantage going into Friday’s second leg at Ochilview.

Thistle started well and opened the scoring on 15 minutes when Kyle Turner’s shot deflected past Calum Ferrie via his defender Charlie Fox. Jack McMillan doubled the advantage, converting a cut-back from Scott Tiffoney on 28 minutes, only for Thomas to reduce the arrears five minutes later. Thistle restored their two-goal cushion when Aidan Fitzpatrick tucked home a Tiffoney cross after some poor Queen’s Park defending and while they did respond through Boateng and Thomas, Graham had the final say as he lashed home from just inside the penalty box.

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The drama was not just confined to Firhill, however, with eye-catching results in the Championship and League One play-offs. The best place to start is the Excelsior Stadium, where Airdrieonians recorded a stunning 6-2 win over Falkirk. The Diamonds led 5-0 at the break against the dishevelled Bairns thanks to goals from Justin Devenny, Rhys McCabe, Callum Smith, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Callum Fordyce. Coll Donaldson pulled one back for Falkirk just after the hour mark and then Airdrie’s goalkeeper Josh Rae was sent off for bringing down Rumarn Burrell. Kai Kennedy then scored to make it 5-2 but Falkirk’s revival ended there, with Jordan Allan receiving his marching orders and then McCabe netted a stoppage-time penalty to make Falkirk’s cause all the more harder in the return leg on Saturday.

Brian Graham celebrates his late winner for Partick Thistle against Queen's Park.Brian Graham celebrates his late winner for Partick Thistle against Queen's Park.
Brian Graham celebrates his late winner for Partick Thistle against Queen's Park.

Should Airdrieonians finish the job at the Falkirk Stadium, then they will face the winner of Alloa Athletic or Hamilton Accies for a place in the Championship. It is the Wasps who will take one-goal lead to Lanarkshire after Liam Donnelly scored the only goal of the game at the Indodrill Stadium right on the stroke of half time. There was some concern earlier in the first half for Alloa midfielder Adam King, who fell to the turf with nobody around him and required treatment before being stretchered off. He was reported to be conscious and speaking at the break and did not require hospital admission.

In the League One play-offs, Annan Athletic thrashed ten-man Dumbarton 6-0 at Galabank, with Tommy Goss scoring twice. Tommy Muir, Aidan Smith, Dominic Docherty and Benjamin Lussint also found the net against the sorry Sons, who had Kalvin Orsi sent off midway through the first half and will need a miraculous turnaround in the return match on Saturday. The other semi-final was a far closer affair, with Clyde winning 1-0 at East Fife thanks to a goal from Martin Rennie. The second leg of that tie at Broadwood takes place on Friday.