Tuesday 9th July, 2013 at 1:52pm
Thistle made light work of Third Division Annan Athletic in their second pre-season outing. After a disappointing display in the heat against Gateshead at the weekend this was a much improved display even though the game was again played in hot conditions.
There was a pre-match boost with both Sean Welsh and Steven Lawless recovered sufficiently from injuries to return to action.
Against the Third Division outfit, who included former Jag Kenny Arthur in goals, Thistle made a fast and decisive start and were 2-0 up inside the game’s first five minutes.
The first goal owed much to Jordan McMillan’s powerful run down the right hand side. Christie Elliott was the player that profited from McMillan’s run and cut back and he was able to steer the ball into the corner of the net from about 15 yards out.
In next to no time Elliott was able to return the favour for McMillan. After collecting a throw from Aaron Sinclair, Elliott was able to use his strength to brush off a challenge from an Annan defender before crossing for McMillan at the back post who from a yard out was able to stab the ball home.
Thistle remained in almost total control and Sean Welsh had twice sent shots over the bar before Thistle did claim a third goal in the 25th minute. Although he didn’t score himself, Sean Welsh was heavily involved in what was arguably the pick of the five Thistle goals. Welsh’s excellent ball into the box was collected by Kris Doolan who after taking a touch to control the ball sent a shot high into the back of the net.
Thistle were close to a fourth goal on the half hour mark when the trailst centre back sent a header from an Elliott cross just wide of goal.
The game’s next goal though came at the other end with half time fast approaching. Flynn was able to enjoy the break of the ball off Sean Welsh and he found the net with a well struck shot from 20 yards.
A whole host of changes were made at the break but that did little to alter the pattern of the game. Stephen O’Donnell’s first serious involvement in the game took him deep into the Annan box. He found Kris Doolan with his cut back with Doolan in turn touching the ball to Steven Lawless whose shot was saved by the legs of sub keeper Mitchell.
A fourth goal did arrive, however, just past the hour mark. The trialist number 7 swerving shot deceived the Annan keeper who could do no more than help the ball into the back of the net.
The trialist was again on target just five minutes later. As he had been with the first two goals Jordan McMillan was heavily involved with this one as well. Jordan had switched from the right to the left at the break and his cross from the left was forced over the line by the trialist from close range.
At the other end Paul Gallacher had been largely untroubled but with 12 minutes remaining he had to produce an excellent save from point blank range to prevent Annan from pulling a goal back.
Thistle themselves had one last chance to extend their lead with five minutes remaining. Dale Keenan did well to work himself into a good position inside the Annan box but his finish let him down.
This though was a good all round display from Thistle with good performances throughout the team and a big improvement on the performance against Gateshead at the weekend.