Saturday 5th January, 2019 at 8:29pm
Partick Thistle began the new year this afternoon as they travelled to Tannadice to take on third placed Dundee United. The Jags were looking to kick off 2019 with a win after three games without the taste of victory while Dundee United were aiming to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Alloa Athletic at the Indodrill Stadium.
Gary Caldwell made a number of changes to his side as he handed starts to three of his five new signings. Conor Hazard was the first debutant, replacing Jamie Sneddon in goals behind a back four containing another debuting player, Steven Saunders as well as Sean McGinty, James Penrice and Christie Elliott. Gary Harkins made his first Jags appearance since 2009 in the midfield beside Craig Slater, Stuart Bannigan and Blair Spittal while Kris Doolan and Miles Storey continued up front. On the bench were new faces, Joe Cardle and Ally Roy along with Jamie Sneddon, Chris Erskine, Dan Jefferies, Andrew McCarthy and Callum Wilson.
The away side started the game on top and could have had the lead early on through Miles Storey. A long ball over the top gave the number 19 something to chase and he brilliantly to bring the ball down before shooting across goal. His left-footed effort was on target but Benjamin Siegrist did well to get down and block. The rebound nearly fell the way of Kris Doolan but the Thistle striker could only turn it wide, on the stretch.
However, when Doolan got his next sight of goal he made no mistake. This time he was getting on the end of a Craig Slater corner which dipped brilliantly to find the number nine in space. Then from around seven or eight yards, Doolan nodded his side in front as he bagged goal number 119 in Jags colours.
Half chances then followed with Kris Doolan going close again and Gary Harkins seeing a header saved before Miles Storey had another chance to open his account for 2019. The Jags frontman was first to a knockdown from Conor Hazard’s kick-out and he controlled well with his thigh before shooting. His swerving volley looked goal-bound but was parried well by Siegrist who was on hand to deny Storey again.
The Maryhill men had one last chance to double their lead going into the break with Miles Storey central to the Jags play again. Some good football helped to feed Miles Storey the ball on the right flank. He intelligently cut the ball back to the late runner, Blair Spittal but his low effort was saved excellently by Benjamin Siegrist who got down quickly with his right hand to keep Spittal out.
So the teams went into the break with Thistle surely rueing missed chance while the home side would be feeling lucky to be just one goal down. Some of the Jags’ high-tempo play had ripped United apart with Benjamin Siegrist keeping the Tangerines in the contest.
As it turned out Thistle would be punished for missing those first half chance as the Terrors drew level on 61 minutes. Their goal came from a spot kick which was awarded after Sean McGinty fouled half time substitute Aidan Nesbitt in the box. Fraser Fyvie stepped up to take the penalty and calmly sent Conor Hazard the wrong way to make it 1-1.
Shortly after that goal Thistle made their first substitution of the game as Gary Harkins was replaced by Joe Cardle.
Dundee United did have the ball in the back of the net after 73 minutes but the celebrations were cut short by the referee’s whistle. With the ball high in the air, Conor Hazard came to claim the ball. Pavol Safranko was nearby though and tried to put Hazard off with a sly nudge. The ‘keeper consequently dropped the ball into the net but was saved by Bobby Madden who judged there to have been a foul.
The Jags then made another change as Steven Saunders was forced off due to cramp and was replaced by Dundee loanee, Dan Jefferies. Then Gary Caldwell committed a third substitution as Ally Roy made his debut by replacing Miles Storey.
After those changes, there was little to discuss as the Jags withstood a raft of United attacks to secure a point. Considering results elsewhere and the first half chance they had, Thistle were probably left feeling slightly disappointed to have only claimed a point.
They now face the challenge of Falkirk next Saturday at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill as the league bottom two sides battle it out. Kick-off is 15:00.
PARTICK THISTLE TEAM: Hazard, Elliott, Saunders (Jefferies, 73’), McGinty, Penrice, Harkins (Cardle, 64’), Bannigan, Slater, Spittal, Storey (Roy, 79’), Doolan.
UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Sneddon, McCarthy, Wilson, Erskine.
DUNDEE UNITED TEAM: Siegrist, Murdoch, Frans, Bouhenna, Booth, Fyvie, Stanton, Aird (Nesbitt, HT), Smith (King, 76’), McMullan, Safranko.
UNUSED SUBS (DNU): Rakovan, Robson, Watson, Rabitsch, Curran.
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