PARTICK THISTLE notched their first win of 2012 in style as they blitzed Ayr United with a four-goal second half salvo at Firhill.
The Jags desperately needed a win after taking just two points and hitting just one goal in their previous four matches.
And it had looked ominous as they trailed Ayr 1-0 at half time on a breezy night in Maryhill.
But Kris Doolan and Paul Cairney both hit doubles after the break to ensure Jackie McNamara's side halted the slide.
And McNamara was a happy chap afterwards, saying: "We needed this win but even after they scored early on I always felt we'd come through and not be pulled into the relegation zone.
"I'm delighted with the result especially since we took the sort of chances we've been missing lately."
Brian Reid's United caught the Jags defence cold when Keigan Parker - who had been on trial at Firhill just a month ago - got on the end of Adam Dodd's perfectly-weighted low cross to break the deadlock after just four minutes.
It could have got worse as on-loan Blackpool striker Liam Tomsett almost made it 2-0 but his shot was cleared off the line by Stephen O'Donnell.
Thistle started to work their way into the game and hit back in 55 minutes when Kris Doolan lashed home a low shot from 20 yards.
The Thistle striker took his season tally to eight in 64 minutes when he headed past Cuthbert from Chris Erskine's cross.
And the Jags eased into a two-goal lead when Paul Cairney slotted home from the penalty spot in 80 minutes after Ross Robertson had fouled Paul Paton.
Michael McGowan gave Ayr some hope when he beat Scott Fox from distance but Cairney had the last word with a drive from 30 yards.
The result leaves Thistle fifth in the table on 31 points - 11 behind leaders Ross County who have played two games less.