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Partick Thistle manager Kris Doolan hailed Luke McBeth’s “disgrace” of a first professional goal after the centre-back got his side’s play-off campaign up and running.

Thistle were trailing to Nikolay Todorov’s early header and toiling at Airdrie when McBeth won the ball, drove forward and fired a 30-yard strike into the top corner.

Scott Robinson netted from close range to put Thistle in front just before the interval and Gabby McGill levelled five minutes into the second half.

The 2-2 draw keeps the cinch Premiership play-off quarter-final in the balance before Friday’s second leg at Firhill and the Jags had McBeth to thank for settling the early nerves.

“We showed a great reaction to get back in the game and score a couple of goals,” Doolan said.

“We were more on the front foot and Luke McBeth’s goal was a disgrace, really. I think it highlights how good a player he is and an asset for us.”

The 24-year-old joined Thistle from Glenafton in January having spent time playing college football in the United States earlier in his career and he was impressive on the ball at the Excelsior Stadium.

“He’s brilliant, Luke,” Doolan said. “He can play centre-back, sitting midfielder, attacking midfield. He’s got great feet for a guy who is 6ft 3in or whatever size he is, and he’s dominant in the air. He’s got a real desire to get somewhere.

“To come from junior football and come into the Championship and play the way he has, we are delighted for him.

“Any type of goal would have been great but the fact it’s such a good goal is absolutely brilliant.

“It’s no less than he deserves because since he has arrived he has settled in really well and been a big player for us.”

Thistle had a big chance to win the game in the latter stages but Robbie Hemfrey made a brilliant point-blank stop from Brian Graham’s header.

Doolan had sacrificed an attacking threat to make the game tighter after the end-to-end first half and he said: “We knew when we changed the shape we would still get one, maybe two chances.

“We did get that big chance. Brian is raging with himself but he’s done it 20-odd times this season. It’s fine to miss chances.

“Hopefully Friday night we get more chances and he will put one or two away.”

Airdrie manager Rhys McCabe praised Hemfrey for his late stop after some hesitant goalkeeping allowed Robinson to net.

“I thought we were a wee bit too open in the first half,” he said. “But we tweaked a few things and I thought we dominated the second half.

“We limited them to one big chance and big Robbie made an excellent save.

“Robbie maybe reacted too late for the second goal but I didn’t have to gee him up. And he made a big save that kept us in it.”