Injury had an impact on Ian McCall’s team selection for this match on my birthday with John Robertson, Martin Hardie and Kris Doolan all missing out. Their absences allowed Paul Cairney, Bryan Hodge and Martin Grehan to start this game.
It what would prove to be a pretty poor first half Thistle actually started brightly and twice inside the opening ten minutes they came close to opening scoring. On both occasions Martin Grehan was heavily involved. Firstly, after turning inside the box, he saw his shot tipped over the bar before he set up Liam Buchanan who was unlucky to see his net bound shot blocked by a Morton defender.
Thistle were close again in the 17th minute. Last week Bryan Hodge scored his first goal of the season and he was presented with a chance to score for a second successive week when the ball sat up nicely for him after an Iain Flannigan cross had been headed clear. Hodge’s effort though was a poor one and he sent his shot high over the bar.
Thistle probably merited a lead at this point and were close in the 22nd minute to finally nudging themselves in front. Paddy Boyle swung over an excellent cross from the left but Liam Buchanan couldn’t quite reach the ball to apply a finish.
That was it in terms of Thistle chances for the first half as Morton got more into the game as the half progressed. Their first chance in the 33rd minute nearly produced a goal. Darren Young’s shot took a deflection and only just cleared the bar with Fox struggling.
The Thistle keeper, however, wasn’t struggling in the 42nd minute when he produced an excellent save to keep out a Michael Tidser free kick that looked like heading for the top corner.
It was Morton that started the second half the better of the two teams and in the 49th minute there were loud appeals from Morton players and fans alike for handball when the ball struck Paddy Boyle but referee Winter was unmoved and awarded a corner.
In the 66th minute Thistle really should have broken the deadlock. Bryan Hodge’s last involvement in the game before being replaced by Chris Erskine was to put Martin Grehan clear with an excellent through ball. Although coming at an angle Grehan should still have done better than shoot wide when left with just Stewart to beat.
That, aside from a couple of tame efforts from the edge of the box from Chris Erskine and Iain Flannigan, that was it in terms of chances at either end and a disappointing game petered out to a goalless draw.