Saturday 17th October, 2020 at 11:59pm
Partick Thistle’s new League One campaign began with a trip to Cumbernauld to take on Clyde off the back of their three Betfred Cup group stage games.
Thistle were without their number nine, Brian Graham, who had been sent off four days prior against Queen of the South and Zak Rudden who sustained a knock through midweek meaning Salim Kouider-Aissa started his first game for the club in what was the only change to the side which started at Palmerston Park earlier in the week.
The contest started off slowly with chances few and far between in the opening stages with Ally Love going closest with a shot from 25 yards which flew comfortably wide of the target.
It was the 36th minute before the game saw its first clear-cut chance with the away side going close. Barry Cuddihy was caught napping at the edge of the box by Joe Cardle and the number seven dribbled across to the left wing before cutting inside and bending a cross into the danger area. Salim Kouider-Aissa was the man attacking it and the ex-Queen’s Park forward got there ahead of his marker, however, his headed attempt was past the near post.
Five minutes later the hosts had their first proper sight of goal as their star man squandered a good chance. Kris Syvertsen chipped the ball towards the edge of the box where Ross Cunningham was able to knock it into the path of David Goodwillie in the box. Making his 100th league appearance for Clyde, he was aiming to make it league goal number 67 but Jamie Sneddon stood tall to block his right-footed strike and turn it away for a corner.
Goodwillie was looking to break the deadlock again three minutes after the half-time restart as Syvertsen fed the ball through to the ex-Aberdeen striker but Jamie Sneddon was out quickly to tackle him as the attack reached the box.
Two substitutes then combined for the Jags as they sought the opener. Richard Foster won a header in the defensive half which made its way to Blair Spittal who was able to just knock it on, over the Bully Wee backline. Blair Lyons gave chase and managed to muscle Tom Lang off the ball before getting his shot away. He looked to lift it past Clyde ‘keeper, David Mitchell, but he was able to block and gather.
Ian McCall’s side came even closer to going ahead in the 65th minute as they hit the woodwork. Blair Spittal delivered an in-swinging free-kick into Clyde’s 18-yard box and Ross Docherty flicked it goalwards. The number 23 saw his header rebound off the upright and then in the goalmouth, Salim Kouider-Aissa’s stooping attempt cleared the crossbar.
There were Thistle claims for a penalty as Kouider-Aissa took a boot to the face while trying to score but the referee awarded a corner kick though the striker would end up having to go off as a result of the incident.
That missed opportunity proved costly for the Maryhill men as the home side hit the front five minutes after. The build-up was similar to that which created a chance for Goodwillie late in the first half and it carved out an opening for the frontman again. Syvertsen lifted a pass into a central area ten yards outside the box and Cunningham was able to head down towards Goodwillie. This time, last season’s League One top goalscorer decided to cut inside and try the left-footed shot. Thankfully for the visitors Jamie Sneddon was equal to it, however, it ricocheted into the air towards Ally Love who was able to volley it back across goal and into the bottom corner.
Thistle now found themselves needing a goal without a recognised striker to go to. They pushed for that equalising goal but struggled to carve out any meaningful chances. The best sight of goal they had came through Blair Spittal as, after seeing his first shot blocked, he was able to fire towards goal from 20 yards on his left side but Mitchell easily saved that shot.
As the Jags’ search for a leveller got more desperate, Darren Brownlie was sent forward to join the attack and the team were left exposed at the back. Clyde counter-attacked on a few occasions with Jamie Sneddon producing three great saves to keep the score at 1-0 with the most impressive of the lot coming as Goodwillie squared the ball to Chris Johnston and the ‘stopper was able to get an outstretched right arm to his shot from closer range.
Despite Sneddon’s heroics, Thistle fell to a 1-0 in game number one of the new league campaign with that 70th minute strike from Ally Love proving the difference.