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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Cove Rangers v Partick Thistle – 3rd December 2022

After back-to-back wins at home Partick Thistle hit the road in search of a third consecutive victory as they took on Cove Rangers at the Balmoral Stadium.

Ian McCall had to make two changes to the team which started the previous week’s win over Kelty Hearts with Ross Docherty’s upheld suspension seeing him drop out of the squad. Stuart Bannigan, short of 100% fitness, dropped to the bench with Lee Hodson and Cammy Smith being the two additions to the starting line-up.

Thistle didn’t start the game badly but were hit with a sucker punch after six minutes as Mitch Megginson fired the home side in front. The danger came down Cove’s right flank with Luis Longstaff teeing up Max Johnston to cross. The full-back’s delivery wasn’t cleared and fell to Megginson eight yards from goal with the talismanic striker taking a touch  before firing past Jamie Sneddon.

After falling behind Thistle continued to dominate the ball but apart from a Cammy Smith shot from distance just before the opener, they had hardly threatened the hosts’ goal. That changed in the 34th minute when a right-footed Harry Milne cross found Brian Graham in the middle of the box. The striker lifted a leg towards the ball and it seemed to deflect behind off a Cove player though the goal kick was given.

The only other real opportunity of the first half fell to Fraser Fyvie who came on for the injured Shay Logan earlier in the opening period. A cross from the right found him on the far side of the box but after controlling he flashed his shot wide.

Trailing at half-time, Ian McCall went to his subtitutes bench with Steven Lawless and Cammy Sith making way for Stuart Bannigan and Danny Mullen as the Jags switched to a three-at-the-back.

Despite the alterations, Thistle were still struggling to carve out opportunities and in fact Cove looked the more dangerous of the sides when they broke. One such instance almost led to a second goal for Jim McIntyre side as a loose pass by Jack McMillan played Gerry McDonagh in on goal. The Irish forward attempted to round Jamie Sneddon but the ‘keeper got a hand to the ball and kept his team in the game.

There was another chance for the home side to double their lead and again it took some smart work to keep Cove at bay. Leighton McIntosh was played through and like McDonagh tried to dribble past Sneddon. The number 11 had a bit more luck as the ball rebounded back to him as he dodged past the ‘stopper but luckily for Thistle, Aaron Muirhead was on hand to poke the ball away from danger.

It was just as well that he did as well because after a second half lacking in real creative flair from the Maryhill men they were able to grab an equaliser in the most dramatic fashion. Stuart Bannigan stood over a corner with 95 minutes played and Jamie Sneddon made the sprint up to attack it in the same way that many goalkeepers have done to no avail in the past, however, unbelievably the delivery landed right on his head and the number one glanced a fantastic headed into the corner of the net to rescue a point for the Jags.

A mixture of relief, disbelief and jubilation took over among the Thistle team and fans as they celebrated the club’s first ever goalkeeper goal from open play.

Now the Jags go into a break from games as the next round of the SPFL Trust Trophy is played. Their next game is a home clash with Ayr United on 17th December at 3pm.

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