SPFL Development League
Tue 13 September, 2016. Kick Off: - 18:00
And it finishes 2-3. A result that really doesnt do the Thistle performance any justice. Some excellent football played by Thistle but a lack of cutting edge in the final third really cost the home side. Plenty of positives to take for MacKenzie's men and they can count themselves unlucky not to have taken at least a point.
A man of the match performance from David Wilson in midfield as he stroked the ball around confidently througout the 90 minutes.
So close to an equaliser as Elliott hits a shot following a powerful run from midfield but it goes just wide of the post. That would have been the least the home side deserved from this tie.
An excellent penrice cross is nodded in at the back post by Stokes - late drama here at Firhill perhaps?
James Penrice steps up to hit a free kick from 18 yards out. His low drive is collected comfortably by the Saints keeper, McKenzie.
As Thistle push for an equaliser they are hit on the break as Gormley is played in behind the back four. The offside call was tight but the flag stayed down and the St Johnstone front man finished emphatically into the roof of the Thistle net.
More excellent play by Thistle as McMullin plays McGLaughlin through but the Thistle midfielder picks the wrong option going for the pass when the shot was probably the better choice.
A tantalising cross into the box for Thistle but nobody can get on the end of it as the Jags continue to ratchet up the pressure.
Late challenge from McInally sees him receive a caution - the third for Thistle tonight.
An excellent goal and the least the side deserve as McDaid is played through, takes the ball round the keeper and slots into an open net.
McMullin booked for dissent.
Docherty punished for a dive in the St Johnstone box. Fair to say that the jury is still out on that one with the Jags fans in the crowd.
Huge shouts for a penalty as the St Johnstone player appears to barge Docherty off the ball in the box but the referee waves away protests and books the THistle midfielder for simulation.
Chance for St Johnstone as Hunter hits a shot from the edge of the area but it's an easy one for Cullen.
Another Wilson shot goes over the bar. Difficult to believe the Jags are still 2-0 down.
Great save from Cullen! As St Johnstone broke down the right and the ball fell perfectly for the visiting striker but his curled shot is palmed away strongly by the Thistle custodian.
It has to be a goal for Thistle! But no. A fantastic ball through to Lamont puts him one on one with the keeper but he can't get the ball under control and the goalkeepr collects at a stretch.
Decent strike from distance by Wilson but the ball sails over the bar. The build up play has been excellent by Thistle so far this half and St Johnstone have rearely been out of their own half but still there is no breakthrough.
Early chance for Thistle as McCarthy receives the goal in the Saints box but can't keep his shot down.
Dom Docherty replaces Barton at half time.
That's it for the first half and the Perth side go in 2-0 up. Thistle have played excellently at times but chances have been at a premium. PLenty of time for the JAgs to get back into this but they need a goal.
A yellow card for Gilchrist for a very late challenge on McDaid just inside the Saints half. A poor delivery from the free kick leads to nothing though.
Great possession football for Thistle as the men in red and yellow probe and push the Saints defence. Excellent work by Penrice and McCarthy brings a decent cross which Barton connects with but can't get the power needed to really test the keepr.
Free kick to Thistle after a very alte challenge on Elliott. McDaid puts a fantastic cross into the bacl post and McLaughlin really should do better with his header. Best chance of the game so far for Thistle.
Thistle might be two down but you woldn't know it by the way they are passing the ball in the Saints half. Some excellent football on display.
That's an absolute gilt edged chance for Saints to make it three as Simpson breaks through the Jags defence and, one on one with Cullen, puts the ball inches wide of the post.
And just like that it's St Johnstone 2 - 0 Thistle. Against the run of play St Johnstone break and a lovely cross to the back post sees Gormley nod home from close range.
Some really nice passing stuff here from Thistle. A series of sharp passes sees the ball fall to Wilson but he can't keep his shot down and it ends up at the back of the North Stand.
Another nervy one for Thistle as a deflected St Johnstone cross falls on to the roof of the net but, in truth, Cullen ahd it covered.
A free kick is awarded to St Johnstone from the corner of the box. The ball is whipped in and Gormley connects well with his head but can only put it over the bar.
One to forget for Conor Cullen as a deep cross comes in on top of the young THistle keper but he can't get his hands right and the ball falls to Saints striker, George Hunter to poke home from less than a yard out. 1-0 to the visitors.
A nice move from Thistle as BArton wins the ball inside the St Johnstone half before the ball is played wide and back into the middle for McDaid to get a shot away. Unfortunately for the Young Jags it ricochets off a teammate and goes out for a goal kick.
An early break for St Johnstone nearly pas dividends as they attack down the left wing before whipping a dangerous looking cross in only to see the Saints striker put it wide of goal.
Thistle get us underway here at Firhill for tonight's Development League clash against St Johnstone. A Jags side featuring new signing, Adam Barton, and first teamer Christie Elliott kick towards the North Stand.
Following an impressive 3-1 win against Kilmarnock last week, Partick Thistle sat third in the Development League standings. An undefeated Jags side came up against St. Johnstone, who had failed to register a victory in their first three games.
Scott MacKenzie made four changes from last week’s victory over Kilmarnock. Thistle new boy Adam Barton started in the midfield as he looked to get some minutes under his belt, Ian Stokes dropped out of the squad due to injury with Christie Elliott replacing him at full-back. James Penrice came in for Ross Fleming and Andrew McCarthy was restored to the starting line-up as Dominic Docherty fell to the bench.
Declan McDaid got the match underway at Firhill with the Jags attacking the North stand for the first 45 minutes. It only took a minute and a half for the first chance to present itself. Paul Simpson managed to get into a crossing position and he tried to pick out Joseph Gormley in the middle but the ball ricocheted off the attacker and went out for a goal kick.
Just three minutes after that first chance, the visiting men from Perth would take the lead. A deep cross from St. Johnstone’s right flank left Jags ‘keeper Connor Cullen back pedalling. As the goalie attempted to catch the ball he dropped it and before he could recollect it Saints forward George Hunter pounced on the loose ball to make it 1-0.
St. Johnstone were controlling the early stages of the game and 16 minutes in they were able to double the deficit. Paul Simpson, who had been causing Thistle lots of problems, crossed to the back post and Joseph Gormley found himself in space as he was able to head low past Cullen.
Just 60 seconds later it could have been 3-0. Paul Simpson was played clean through and the wide midfielder was able to run into the box. He had a one-on-one opportunity but he let the Jags off the hook when he completely missed the target.
Things were looking bleak for Thistle with no more than 20 minutes gone as Joseph Gormley went close once again but he couldn’t redirect a low cross onto the target.
As the game approached the half hour mark the men in red and yellow were showing signs of improvement. The home side were passing the ball more fluidly and the Jags were turning defence into attack with ease suddenly. Scott MacKenzie’s men almost got themselves back in the game when a Declan McDaid free kick from the right flank was met by Neil McLaughlin in the penalty area but he wasn’t able to make sufficient contact with the cross and he glanced it wide of the back post.
That’s how it stood at the interval with Thistle beginning to show what they can do when they’re at their best. Most of the chances had fallen to St. Johnstone and the two they had taken were the difference at the break. Adam Barton was replaced by Dominic Docherty at half-time.
After the second period kicked-off, it took just two minutes for the first opening to present itself. Andrew McCarthy found space in the box and cut onto his right foot around 15 yards from goal. He attempted to curl a right-footed shot into the top corner but his shot was wide of the far post.
56 minutes into the game Mark Lamont had a chance to grab the Jags’ first goal. He broke through on goal but as he looked to slot the ball home, he took his eye off the ball and mishit his shot.
The Saints were denied a third goal just three minutes later when a curled effort on Connor Cullen’s goal was tipped round the post excellently by the Thistle shot stopper.
The save kept the young Jags in the game and it proved to be an important save as ten minutes after that stop, Declan McDaid scored for Thistle. He was played in behind the opposition defenders and he stayed calm to take the ball around the keeper and slot the ball into an empty net.
James Stokes replaced Mark Lamont as the game entered the last 15 minutes with the home team chasing an equaliser. Andrew McCarthy was also withdrawn as Callum Wilson was introduced to the game.
Unfortunately, Thistle’s hopes of salvaging something from the game were massively set back as Joseph Gormley was played through in behind and he smashed the ball past Connor Cullen to restore St. Johnstone’s two goal lead.
Thistle were left chasing the game with eight minutes to go and manged to get themselves back in contention when James Penrice went past three defenders before crossing towards James Stokes who headed beyond Saints ‘keeper Ben McKenzie off the post.
The Jags came extremely close to grabbing a late point through Christie Elliott. The man who had been playing full-back this evening ran towards the box and took a shot but it dragged just wide of the far post.
The game would end 2-3 with the Jags left feeling as if they deserved something more out of the game. St. Johnstone were barely able to get out of their own half as Thistle showed complete dominance over the game in the second-half.
Scott MacKenzie and the development squad will now turn their attention to their clash with Dunfermline at East End Park next Monday night. Kick off is 6pm.