Wednesday 9th July, 2014 at 6:33pm
Thistle marked their first pre-season game with a win in Spain against recently promoted FC Pinatar Arena. The Scots started the game well, dominating possession during the early stages of the first half.
Despite seeing a lot of the ball the team from Maryhill were unable to create more than a couple of clear chances and shortly before half time fell behind to a scrappy goal scored by striker Yago Castro. Following two great saves by Gallacher Yago was on hand to poke the ball into the net on 29 minutes.
Having started to link up well before the break, with Muirhead and Lawless combining to put Stevenson through on goal, the Jags would be justified in feeling a little hard done by as the half time whistle blew.
With FC Pinatar making several changes during the break the cracks soon began to show and it wasn’t long before the chances started to come.
First Gary Fraser hit a wicked free kick from fully 35 yards which was well saved by the keeper. Minutes later Thistle were awarded another free kick just outside the box. This time Higginbotham stood up to hit it but, in a move straight off the training ground, laid it off to Fraser who again smashed a shot only to see the ball ricochet off a defender’s legs.
Two yellow cards followed for FC Pinatar players before Fraser again stepped up and wasn’t to be denied a third time. Picking the ball up deep in the opposition half he lashed a shot from more then twenty yards low down to the keeper’s right.
With Thistle making several changes as the second half wore on it was one of their young players, Declan McDaid, that really made the difference. Picking up the ball shortly after having come on he went on a mazy run, beating three Pinatar players before putting the ball past the goalie via a defender’s deflection.
Having put Thistle into the lead it was McDaid again who gave them a two goal cushion. After a wonderfully weighted ball from Steven Lawless, who played the full 90 minutes, McDaid slotted home from close range.
Another youngster, Chris Duggan, also had a chance late on but couldn’t add to Thistle’s tally and the game finished in a 3-1 victory for Thistle.
A special thanks goes to the 40 or so Thistle fans who supported the team throughout the 90 minutes.