Sandy McLean hailed his Largs Thistle players after they raised Ayrshire representation in the Super Premier Division to seven clubs with a dramatic penalty shoot-out play-off victory over Ashfield last night.

Theesel had to recover from a horrific start which saw them go 3-0 down inside the opening half hour at Barrfields.

Goals from Sean Fraser, Paul Maxwell and Ally Martin looked to have the men from Possil on easy street. But Largs grabbed a lifeline when stopper Eddie Walton pulled a goal back. And that proved to be the prelude to an astonishing second-half display sparked by a wonder strike from Alan Muir to make the score 3-2 .

Nikky Little levelled matters and a remarkable fightback looked to have been completed when Barri Stanton fired Largs ahead with 15 minutes left.

But in keeping with this astonishing see-saw affair , Ashfield skipper Mark Thomson netted a 90th-minute spot kick awarded for handball to make the aggregate score 7-7 and take this encounter to a penalty shoot-out. where Thistle's nerve held out better to triumph 4-2.

Sandy said: "We never gave up , we kept fighting our corner and ultimately we deserved to win."