Match Report

Kick-off for this pre-season friendly was delayed by a full 15 minutes to accommodate the large crowd of just over 5,000 and they were treated to an entertaining game played, in the main, in the Firhill sunshine.

The first chance of the game came Thistle’s way in the fifth minute. Chris Erskine’s perfectly weighted through ball picked out Kris Doolan and his shot crept past the post.

Two minutes later it was Celtic’s turn to come close to an opening goal. Filip Twardzk was given space on the right hand side of the Thistle box and he twice saw shots blocked by the Thistle defence.

It was Thistle though that were playing the better football in the opening exchanges, knocking the ball about with purpose and accuracy. They were rewarded for that with the game’s opening goal in the 14th minute. Celtic were struggling to cope with Chris Erskine and his run took him to the bye-line where he crossed for Paul Cairney to knock the ball home from inside the six yard box.

It was a lead that Thistle were able to hold for just six minutes with the Celtic equaliser coming almost out of the blue. Greg Spence being able to bundle the ball over the line from close range.

After a fairly, untypically for a pre-season friendly, frantic opening twenty minutes the pace of the game dropped noticeably in the second half of the first 45 minutes although both teams continued to play some nice football.

Scott Fox was the busier of the two goalkeepers as half-time approached, firstly doing well to tip a net bound header over the bar and then produced an excellent save at the feet of Filip Twardzk as he broke clear with the Thistle defence looking for a lag for offside that didn’t come.

Thistle were the first side to threaten a goal in the second half. A nice move in the 53rd minute ended with the ball breaking to the ever dangerous Chris Erskine at the very edge of the Celtic box but he wasn’t able to keep his shot down.

Thistle though had just a further three minutes to wait before they did take the lead. Chris Erskine was in one of those moods where he was almost unplayable and after he had side stepped a celtic defender as if he wasn’t there he set up sub Tommy Stewart whose shot from close on 25 yards left Feeley in the Celtic goal with no chance.

Celtic were close to finding a rapid response equaliser for the second time in the afternoon. After winning a free kick about a yard outside the Thistle box, Filip Twardzk’s free kick was just about a foot over Scott Fox’s crossbar.

Ten minutes later Twardzk was again able to threaten the Thistle goal but after cutting across from the left hand side his shot was always drifting wide of target.

At the other end the Celtic defence were able to clear a dangerous cross from sub Johnny Lindsay but Thistle were quickly able to regain possession and Iain Flannigan tested Feeley with a low drive.

With four minutes remaining Thistle were close to sealing a victory. Shaun Fraser’s persistence allowed him to get the better of Josh Thompson and it took a fine save from Feeley to prevent Fraser’s effort from a tight angle finding the back of the net.

It nearly proved to be a crucial intervention from the Celtic keeper as inside a minute Celtic had missed a great chance when Ajajic but he saw his shot blocked after a Celtic forward had managed to take the ball round Scott Fox.

That proved to be the last chance of the game with Thistle fully meriting their 2-1 win.

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