Saturday 4th April, 2015 at 10:22am
Thistle travelled north to Aberdeen for what has proved this season to be a very difficult place to get points for any team. With the international break coming after the Jags had achieved back to back wins, there was a quiet air of confidence within the camp. Manager, Alan Archibald, was able to name an unchanged side for the third game in a row. Kallum Higginbotham returned to the bench after serving his two match suspension in place of Declan McDaid.
The home side were quick out of the traps and, after just 18 seconds, O’Donnell had to look sharp after Rooney had escaped the attentions of Frans. In the second minute Hayes collected a pass wide and drove forward, unchallenged, his right foot cross finding Shankland who shot just over from twelve yards. A Logan cross then found Consodine unmarked at the back post in the fifth minute but Fox gathered his header comfortably.
Despite early pressure, in the eighth minute, Thistle came close with a sweeping move. Stevenson collected the ball deep in his own half and found Doolan who returned the pass, Stevenson then skipped past a desperate challenge and found Lawless at the back post but his acrobatic volley went well wide of the post.
As the first half progressed, Consodine saw another header, this time from a Logan cross, saved easily by Fox as the home side continued to press. The chances kept coming for the Dons as Rooney headed wide and Shankland also headed over from ten yards as the Jags defence remained resolute. Lawless then won the ball in midfield and his pass found Stevenson but his shot went wide from 25 yards.
Mid way through he first 45 there was a blow for Thistle when Kris Doolan limped off injured with a tight hamstring. Dools was replaced by our recently capped international striker, Lyle Taylor, who found himself in the thick of the action almost immediately. Lawless’ pass in behind the Dons defence sent Taylor through on Langfield but the home keeper did well to stand strong and make the save. Taylor had another great chance minutes later when Craigen’s magnificent through ball left him one on one again with Langfield. This time the on loan forward dinked the ball over the keeper only to see it go agonisingly wide. It seemed that Thistle had weathered the early Aberdeen storm as half time approached and the pace of Taylor was causing havoc amongst the Dons defence but the teams ultimately went in level at half time.
It was Thistle who created the second half’s first chance when, immediately after the restart, Craigen found space in the Dons rearguard and his powerful shot from 20 yards was magnificently tipped over the bar by Langfield. Craigen then collected a pass wide on the right after excellent work from Lawless and cut inside only to see his shot go high and wide.
With the second half ticking on, a Stevenson back heel nearly let in O’Donnell but the home defence were alert to the danger and managed to clear. Thistle were enjoying a good spell of possession and although the Dons did occassionally break forward the Jags rearguard defended stoutly. Craigen and Bannigan were in control of the midfield battle and a couple of crosses from the former caused problems for the home defence, the second cannoning off Logan and going inches wide.
At the other end, McGinn sent a near post corner which was met by the head of Rooney but the effort only hit the side netting. Taylor did have the ball in the net for Thistle but the whistle had already gone for offside. There were howls of derision from the home fans, directed towards the referee, when a mistake just inside the Thistle half saw Hayes take the ball away from Frans leaving the Belgian on the floor. With Freddie in some distress the referee pulled up play just as Hayes got to the box. It was an excellent decision by the referee as Hayes had studs showing and raised his boot to win the initial ball.
With three minutes remaining Hayes fired a thunderous effort from thirty yards out which stung the hands of Fox who gathered well at the second attempt. McGinn then tried his luck from 25 yards but Fox saw his shot all the way and gathered comfortably.
There was one last half chance but Hayes slashed his shot high and wide before the referee brought proceedings to a close with Thistle having gained an excellent and thoroughly deserved point in a 0-0 draw.