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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Airdrie United v Partick Thistle – 29th December 2012

Thistle ended 2012 on a disappointing note with Wednesday’s defeat at Morton being followed by only a share of points away to Airdrie United; the two points dropped sufficient for Thistle to relinquish their position at the top of the First Division.
The suspended Ross Forbes missed this game with his place in the side going to Sean Welsh as Thistle remained otherwise unchanged.
Thistle simply didn’t get started in this game with possession conceding with alarming ease. The home side, without a win in the league since October, in contrast looked determined to halt their disappointing run of results and they were the first to threaten a goal; Graeme Smith being forced into making a save low to his left to deny Liam Watt.
Thistle were enjoying the bulk of the possession but they were doing little with it. Sean Welsh had, at best, a half chance at the back post and Chris Erskine saw a shot blocked by Airdrie’s Gregor Buchanan; the force of the shot knocking Buchanan to the ground.
The Thistle fans were getting frustrated at their side’s failure to make much of an impression on the Airdrie United defence although Aaron Muirhead saw his cross from the right strike the Airdrie United crossbar.
Grant Adam in the Airdrie United goal though remained largely untroubled during the opening 45 minutes. He did make a fairly routine save from a Steven Craig header in the 37th minute after Sean Welsh had picked out the Thistle striker with a cross from the right. Craig too sent a header from a Muirhead cross wide as Thistle attempted to make a breakthrough before half-time.
Instead it was the home side that went in at half-time a goal to the good. John Boyle had a little too much space inside the Thistle box and he shot across Smith and into the far corner of the net.
It could even have been 2-0 minutes later with Smith touching an effort from Ryan Donnelly wide of goal.
A big improvement was expected from Thistle in the second half and there was much more urgency from them but the overall pattern of the game remained largely unchanged. Thistle continued to have the greater possession but frequently made the wrong decision with their final ball.
The Airdrie United keeper though was a little busier in the second half than he had in the opening half and in the 50th minute he saved a Lawless shot low to his right.
A second goal though may well have killed Thistle and John Boyle was close to scoring that second goal just before the hour mark when he curled a shot just wide of Graeme Smith’s right hand post.
There were half hearted appeals for a Thistle penalty in the 65th minute when Chris Erskine went to ground inside the Airdrie United box and the same player lashed a shot high over the bar after Steven Craig had headed an Aaron Muirhead cross back into his path.
Grant Adam produced a decent save in the 73rd minute to turn a Lawless effort round the post for a corner but Thistle did have an equaliser six minutes later just when it was beginning to look as if it would never come. Chris Erskine found space in front of the Airdrie United goal and he sent a shot into the roof of the net.
Could Thistle now find a winner? There was no lack of effort as just about everything was thrown at the home defence in the closing minutes but in keeping with the overall pattern of the game they never managed to fashion a clear cut opening despite managing to find themselves in a number of promising positions.
It wasn’t all one way traffic either as the home side too tried to find a late winner. Liam Watt shot just wide and Liam Buchanan couldn’t find a finish after the expected flag for offside failed to materialise.
The final chance of the game came Thistle’s way with the game in injury time. Alan Archibald was able to connect with a Lawless corner from the right but he couldn’t direct his header on target.

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