Saturday 19th July, 2014 at 9:40am
Thistle’s first public pre-season outing in Scotland ended in a 1-1 draw against a very capable Dumbarton side, Dumbarton’s return to competitive action coming next weekend; a full 18 days before our own return to the serious stuff.
With four trialists in the Thistle starting eleven and a further two on the bench there was an unfamiliar look to the Jags side for this game, a game that came firmly under the heading of typical pre-season fare. This, in truth, was a less then gripping affair for the crowd of 600 or so.
Kallum Higginbotham looked in the mood for Thistle early on and some skilful play from him gave Thistle their first hint of an opportunity in the 6th minute of the game. His pass, after he had created some space for himself at the left corner of the box, though was just a little too far in front of one of the trialists who linked up well down the left hand side with Higginbotham.
A minute later Thistle again threatened down the left hand side with Kris Doolan acrobatically sending an effort wide of the Dumbarton goal.
Thistle perhaps enjoyed the bulk of possession during the opening half but it was almost on the stroke of half-time before they had another notable effort on the Dumbarton goal. Kris Doolan spotted Higginbotham to his left and he curled his shot just over the crossbar.
While the Dumbarton keeper wasn’t required to make a save on that occasion, or indeed throughout the opening half, his opposite number; Scott Fox, did have to produce a couple of smart saves in the opening 45 minutes.
In the 24th minute the Thistle keeper did well to palm a shot from Kirkpatrick away from his goal and with half-time just eight minutes away he pushed away a shot from Dumbarton’s trialist number 11 after Thistle were nearly caught by an incisive Dumbarton counter attack.
Despite the almost constant introduction of substitutes the second half of this game was a livelier affair although again it was typical of some many pre-season fixtures.
Eleven minutes into the second half and the deadlock was broken when the Championship side took the lead. A cross came over from the Thistle left and Bryan Prunty was able to stoop and head the ball beyond the reach of Scott Fox and into the corner of the net.
The same player very nearly doubled Dumbarton’s lead a few minutes later but Thistle were level in the 68th minute. New boy Ryan Stevenson, one of a number of half-time substitutions, found the net with a shot from the edge of the box that took a touch off a Dumbarton defender.
Just over a minute later Thistle were very nearly in front but one of Thistle’s trialist, a second half substitute, saw his shot blocked by the legs of the Dumbarton goalkeeper.
A Jordan McMillan effort suffered a similar fate as Thistle pushed for a winning goal and the trialist striker was again denied a goal by the body of Grindlay in the Dumbarton goal.
At the other end Scott Fox was required to a touch a McCallum shot round the post for a corner kick before, with the final whistle just a matter of minutes away, David Wilson came close to finding a winner for Thistle with a shot that just crept wide of goal.
Next up for Thistle is a trip to Belfast next Sunday and a meeting with Glentoran.