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Match Report

Dundee v Partick Thistle – 16th December 2017

Partick Thistle aimed to build on their first win since October with a trip to Dens Park to take on 11th placed Dundee. The Jags aimed for a second win of the season over the Tayside team knowing a victory would take them off the bottom of the table, above the day’s opponents.

Alan Archibald made no changes to the team who overcame the challenge of Motherwell during the week. Martin Woods retained his place in the Jags midfield despite being forced off the park less than hour into his first Thistle start. The strike force remained the same for the away side with Conor Sammon and Miles Storey looking to continue their positive connections from Wednesday night.

Dundee came flying out of the traps and Tomas Cerny was forced into some early action after three minutes. A low cross from the Dundee left moved towards the front post and Thistle’s stand-in skipper, Daniel Devine made a move for it. The defender waved a leg at the ball but only deflected the cross towards his own goal. Luckily for Devine, Cerny was on his toes and produced a good save to keep the ball out before Jordan Turnbull headed the ball away.

The hosts continued their impressive start and after 17 minutes found a breakthrough. Sofien Moussa received the ball in the box and moved wide after a couple of step-overs. However, Daniel Devine made a lunge, taking Moussa down and the referee Greg Aitken pointed to the spot. The man who won the penalty took the kick and Sofien Moussa placed it home, sending Cerny the wrong way to give Dundee the lead.

After a period of sustained Thistle possession that lacked penetration, the Dee would double their lead on the counter. A quick turnover in possession from the home side got the ball to A-Jay Leitch-Smith in the Jags area. The Englishman’s low shot was saved by the legs of Tomas Cerny but the ball fell directly to Mark O’Hara who, after taking a touch, slammed the ball into the goal making it 2-0.

Half chances for Miles Storey, Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Ryan Edwards followed but the game would reach the half way point with no further goals. Thistle found themselves two goals behind despite having much more of the ball. The game had highlighted the problems that have plagued the Jags’ season so far. A lot of possession but no incision and frailty at the back left the visitors with a lot of work to do.

Alan Archibald did make a half time substitution to try to shake things up as Chris Erskine replaced Miles Storey. The Jags then made another two changes within 15 minutes of the second half. Steven Lawless replaced Martin Woods and Kris Doolan came on for Conor Sammon.

The changes were to no avail, however, as the hosts made it three in the 64th minute. As Steven Lawless attempted to deal with a high ball it ricocheted off him and fell towards Daniel Devine. Then when Devine looked to clear, he slipped, slicing the ball straight to Cammy Kerr. Thistle’s number 15, Devine then tried to rectify his error but in his attempts to do so, he brought down Cammy Kerr in the box and the penalty was given. Once again, it was Sofien Moussa stepping up to strike the spot kick and once again he converted from 12 yards, sending Cerny the wrong way for the second time and finding the same corner as he did in the first half.

Mark O’Hara then went close to a Dundee fourth in the 71st minute. He picked the ball up in the Thistle half and unleashed a rasping shot from distance. He struck it sweetly but the attempt rifled just wide of the Thistle goal.

O’Hara nearly scored again with 16 minutes left as he searched for his brace. The number 14 took a shot as he moved wide of the goal, firing from an angle. His effort found the target but Tomas Cerny produced an excellent save to turn the ball behind.

That would prove to be the final chance of the game as the referee blew for full time with the score at 3-0. The loss leaves Thistle two points below 11th place which is now occupied by Ross County with Dundee moving up the table after their victory.

Alan Archibald’s Jags now look to Wednesday night as a chance for retribution as they face the monumental challenge of a trip to Parkhead to take on Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic. Kick-off is 19:45 from Celtic Park.

THISTLE TEAM: Cerny, McGinn, Devine (c), Keown, Turnbull, Spittal, Barton, Woods (Lawless, 55′), Edwards, Sammon (Doolan, 60′), Storey (Erskine, 45′)

THISTLE SUBS (N/U): Scully, Nitriansky, McCarthy, Nisbet.

DUNDEE TEAM: Parish, Kerr (c), Hendry, Meekings, Aurtenetxe, McGowan, Kamara, El Bakhtaoui (Allan, 65′), O’Hara (Curran, 88′), Leitch-Smith, Moussa (Haber, 74′).

DUNDEE SUBS (N/U): Ferrie, Holt, O’Dea, Henvey.

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