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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Dundee v Partick Thistle – 30th July 2022

The new cinch Championship season began for Partick Thistle this afternoon as they travelled to Dens Park to take on Dundee.

The Jags came into the league curtain-raiser off the back of a 4-2 win over Montrose at Firhill which had secured their place in the last 16 of the Premier Sports Cup. Their hosts had also impressed during the group stages, finishing off with a 5-1 home victory against Forfar.

Ian McCall was forced to make two changes to the side which started the previous week with a central defensive injury crisis limiting his options. Kevin Holt was partnered by Jack McMillan at the back in front of David Mitchell with Kyle Turner filling in at right-back on the opposite side to Harry Milne. The midfield was unchanged with Docherty, Bannigan and McKinnon continuing behind a front three of Aidan Fitzpatrick, Brian Graham and Steven Lawless who came in for the injured Cammy Smith.

The game was nervy early on with a mistake leading to the first chance of the game. A slack pass in the Jags’ defence allowed Alex Jakubiak to slide Niall McGinn the ball on the left side of the Thistle box. The ex-Aberdeen winger tried to beat David Mitchell at the near post but found only the side-netting.

Then, all of a sudden and somewhat out of nowhere, Thistle hit the front. Neat play on the left flank allowed the Jags to get the ball to Aidan Fitzpatrick 20 yards from goal and the 21-year-old quickly took aim at the Dundee goal. His shot took a sizeable deflection and looped over the home ‘keeper to fire the Jags into the lead and earn him his first league goal back at the club.

Before too long it was 2-0 and this time the goal was entirely self-inflicted. A long ball over the top wasn’t immediately dealt with by Ryan Sweeney and when rushed the Englishman miskicked his clearance straight to Steven Lawless. The number 11 took a touch and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to extend the advantage with just 23 minutes on the clock.

It very easily could have got even better for the visitors right before the interval. Aidan FItzpatrick got the ball on the right flank and spotted the bending run of Brian Graham towards the back post. The former Queen of the South man delivered a beautiful ball into the area Graham was occupying but the number 9 couldn’t keep his volley down as the shot struck the bar and flew out for a goalkick.

Former Jag Zak Rudden was brought on at half-time as the home side looked to change the game but it didn’t help much as the Maryhill men found a third goal five minutes after the restart. It came from some nice play off the left flank that got Brian Graham into the Dundee box with a few different options on his left foot. He opted for a chipped cross to the back post which found Cole McKinnon and the on-loan midfielder simply cushioned a header back across goal to make it 3-0 to Thistle.

The Jags were in dreamland but that feeling didn’t last too long as Gary Bowyer’s side pulled a goal back with 25 minutes to play. A Paul McMullan corner kick found Cammy Kerr at the near post and the full-back was able to glance a header past David Mitchell at the near post.

Things got even more tense for Ian McCall’s team when Tyler French brought Dundee within a goal with five minutes to play. It was another in-swinging Paul McMullan corner which this time went to the back post with French battling past a couple of bodies to get his head on it. The centre-half powered his effort in despite the best efforts of Mitchell to set up a grandstand finish.

Dundee threw everything they had at Thistle in the closing stages including a further barage of corners and free-kicks delivered by McMullan, however, the makeshift Jags backline stood strong and held out for a massive three points in the City of Discovery.

Next up for the Maryhill men is a clash with Hamilton Accies in the first home game of the league season. That one is a 3pm kick-off on 6th August at Firhill.

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