Saturday 4th July, 2015 at 10:45am
Scott MacKenzie’s Young Jags started their pre-season preparations with a friendly against East Stirlingshire earlier today at the Grangemouth Stadium.
It was a young Thistle side that took to the field against their League Two opponents with plenty of trialists featuring for both sides as is the case in these early friendly games.
It was perhaps this unfamiliarity that caused both sides to take a while to settle into the side but it was the Shire who settled quickest having the bulk of the early goalmouth pressure without really threatening Waters in the Jags goal.
Thistle almost took advantage of a slip allowing a trialist to get in down the left. With no red and yellow body in the penalty area, he opted to square for McInally but his pass lacked the pace needed to reach the right back.
East Stirling pounced first and opened the scoring through their trialist 11. A cross from the right wasn’t dealt with and it landed at the feet of the unmarked winger. He fired a low powerful shot which gave Marc Waters no chance.
Shire took confidence from the goal and pushed Thistle back for the next period of the game having a few efforts from distance going close by the post. They adopted a high tempo pressing game pressurising the defenders receiving short kick outs making them play the ball quickly.
McMullin showed Thistle’s danger on the break as he glanced a right footed shot just wide of the park before Thistle were level. The ball was cut back from the right and with players queuing up to hit it, Docherty seized the chance to fire the ball home.
Both sides had chances before the half time interval but neither goal keeper was seriously tested. At the break Thistle gave Cullen a 45 minute run out while Shire made 8 changes to their side.
Thistle came out sharper and created several good opportunities through neat passing but the final ball was slightly lacking.
Thistle scored the game’s winning goal when McLaren rose highest to head a corner back where it came from beating the goalkeeper all ends up.
East Stirling kept battling hard, but they were not to find an equaliser, although the defending from Thistle was frantic and last ditch at times.
All in all, it was a good workout for MacKenzie’s Development side as they begin their pre-season build up with a win. Having recovered from a slack opening, Thistle merited their win on the basis of the second half performance in which they were the better side.