Saturday 25th August, 2018 at 8:04pm
Partick Thistle won their first league game of the season two weeks ago against Falkirk and looked to add to that victory by taking three points from Dundee United this afternoon. The Jags travelled to Tannadice having been knocked out of the Betfred Cup by Celtic seven days prior, venturing to get back to winning ways against the Tangerines who came into the game off the back of consecutive wins in league and cup.
Two changes were made to the Thistle side that was beaten by Celtic last weekend. Cammy Bell remained in goals behind an unchanged rear-guard of Max Melbourne, Sean McGinty, Tam O’Ware and Christie Elliott. James Penrice was once again operating in the midfield alongside Craig Slater who returned to the starting XI in place of the injured Shea Gordon. Jack Storer started in the number ten role with Blair Spittal and Andréa Mbuyi-Mutombo on either wing behind the lone striker, Miles Storey. The players on the bench were Jamie Sneddon, Niall Keown, Callum Wilson, Aidan Fitzpatrick, Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan.
The match started quickly but came to a grinding halt as Tam O’Ware went down clutching his knee in the fourth minute. He was attended to for a couple of minutes before the stretcher threatened to make an appearance, thankfully, Tam was able to walk off the park and the stretcher was packed away. Nevertheless, O’Ware did have to come off and he was replaced by Niall Keown.
A minute after that change, United had the lead. A free kick was swung in from the United right and it found the head of Paul Watson. The former Raith Rovers man found himself in acres of space and he headed easily past Cammy Bell to make it 1-0.
The game became extremely scrappy from that point on with neither side really creating much. Christoph Rabitsch could have made it two as the ball fell to him just inside the Jags’ box but his well-struck effort was straight at Thistle’s goalkeeper, Bell.
Miles Storey had a shot on goal 21 minutes in as Blair Spittal lifted the ball towards him. The forward received the ball from Spittal’s lifted pass and tried a shot on the bounce. He rather scuffed his effort, however, and Matej Rakovan saved easily.
Adam Barton came close to a goal against his former club with eight minutes left of the first half. The ball fell to the midfielder following a long-throw and he fired a right-footed effort towards goal. He met it sweetly but his powerful shot was straight at Cammy Bell who held comfortably.
At the start of the second half, the visitors looked better. They tried to get the ball forward more quickly and Jack Storer had the first chance of the second period as his half volley flew a couple of yards wide of the United goal. Storer was replaced shortly thereafter as Chris Erskine came on in the 55th minute.
There was another chance from distance in the 58th minute as James Penrice saw his ranged volley bounce just wide. The ball dropped to Thistle’s number three 30 yards from goal and he decided to have a pop. The Thistle Weir Youth Academy graduate’s effort took a very early deflection which saw it wriggle just wide of the hosts’ goal.
Another chance fell the Jags’ way on the hour mark and this time, they really should have been level. Sean McGinty fed the ball out wide to Miles Storey who created a yard of space before delivering the ball into the danger area. Blair Spittal met the cross and tried to direct the ball into the far corner, however, his attempt spun wide of the target.
In the 73rd minute, Thistle made their final alteration of the game as Kris Doolan replaced Craig Slater with the Jags adopting a more attacking formation.
Unfortunately for the travelling Jags, shortly after the change, Dundee United grabbed a second goal. It was another set play as Yannick Loemba whipped a corner in from the area in front of the tunnel and Paul Watson was there to meet it once again. The defender nodded goalwards, beating Cammy Bell all ends up and doubling his side’s advantage.
As Thistle pushed for a goal and a way back into the game, the home side were able to make it three with a counter-attacking move. The Terrors broke down their left hand side with Fraser Aird moving into the Thistle box. He had the chance to shoot but opted rather to square the ball across the face of goal to teammate, Craig Curran who tapped home into the empty net to put the game beyond any doubt.
The Jags were able to grab a late consolation through substitute, Chris Erskine. Miles Storey crosses the ball in from the right wing and United ‘stopper, Matej Rakovan made a mess of claiming the delivery. He dropped it and Erskine capitalised, nodding home into an empty net for his second of the new season.
The referee called time on the game with the score at 3-1 and Dundee United claimed all three points as their prominence from set pieces proved the difference in a game of little quality. The results sees the Jags remain on three points, putting United three clear of their opponents today.
Thistle now turn their attentions to next Saturday’s league clash against Greenock Morton. The Ton come to Maryhill for a second time this season with Thistle now looking to make amends for a poor result today.
THISTLE TEAM: Bell, Elliott, O’Ware (Keown, 4’), McGinty, Melbourne, Penrice, Slater (Doolan, 73’), Spittal, Storer (Erskine, 55’), Mutombo, Storey.
UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Sneddon, Wilson, Fitzpatrick.
DUNDEE UNITED TEAM: Rakovan, Murdoch, Frans, Watson, Robson, Barton, Rabitsch, Loemba, Aird (Booth, 87’), Safranko, Curran (Glass, 87’).
UNUSED SUBS (DNU): Siegrist, McMullan, Edjenguele, Wardrop, Smith.
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