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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Cove Rangers v Partick Thistle – 31st October 2020

Partick Thistle travelled north to take on Cove Rangers in their third match of the League One season off the back of their 2-1 victory over Airdrieonians a week earlier. Cove had also won on matchday two, beating Peterhead 2-0 at Balmoor.

Ian McCall made just one change to the side which beat the Diamonds at Firhill with Mouhamed Niang coming in to replace Connor Murray who took a place on the bench alongside Mason McCready, Ryan Williamson, Charlie Reilly, Joe Cardle, Blair Lyons and Salim Kouider-Aissa.

The conditions were troublesome in the early exchanges with neither team able to play much desirable football. As such, it was 17 minutes before we saw a shot on goal. A Kieran Wright goal kick landed midway inside the Cove half and it eventually fell to Blair Spittal. The midfielder managed to bring the ball down and shoot but, on his weaker left side, he fired it straight at the goalkeeper.

The first sight of goal for the home side came just before the half hour mark as Leighton McIntosh was fed the ball down the left channel. The ex-Blyth Spartans wideman saw no options in the centre and opted to shoot from a tight angle but Wright was well-positioned and able to catch simply.

Going into the second half the wind was still making it difficult for either side to play much passing football but Cove did find a slight opening 10 minutes after the restart. Adam Livingstone picked up possession under little pressure 20 yards from the Thistle goal and was able to chop past Richard Foster before shooting. Much like Blair Spittal in the first half, his left-footed shot was tame and saved easily.

In the 57th minute, Stuart McKenzie was called into action again as James Penrice charged forward from left back, receiving the ball from Ross Docherty as he did. The number three looked to beat the ‘stopper at his near post but McKenzie was able to bat it away.

Thistle produced the best chance of the match so far when Blair Spittal went for goal from a free-kick after an hour. Docherty had been fouled a couple of yards outside the box, as centrally as possible. Spittal stepped up and bent a shot towards the top corner but once again McKenzie was on hand to deny the visitors as he tipped the attempt over the bar.

The game then settled back down and seemed to be petering out to a draw until some late action. Firstly, Brian Graham received the ball in the Cove box and held it up for a moment before shifting onto his right foot. The striker then looked to curl a shot into the corner of the net but despite beating the ‘keeper, he saw his effort headed off the line by Harry Milne.

Then at the other end, the key moment came. A heavy touch by Ross Docherty in the Jags’ box allowed the hosts to steal possession and then it fell to substitute, Rory McAllister, with the veteran marksman able to lift the ball over Kieran Wright and into the back of the net.

It meant a late dagger from Paul Hartley’s men with no time to respond for the travelling Firhill outfit and Cove claimed all three points with Falkirk at home the next fixture for Thistle.

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