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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Gateshead v Partick Thistle – 6th July 2013

Thistle’s first public outing of pre-season ended in a disappointing defeat, in difficult conditions, against Gateshead at Durham but that shouldn’t detract any from what was otherwise an excellent week away.
The heat and the difficult plastic pitch altered the manager’s approach to the game a little with the result that he fielded virtually two separate teams in each half of a match that in truth amounted to little more than a training game.
Several hundred Thistle fans made the trip, however, and they were disappointed to see their side fall behind as early as the 2nd minute. Collecting a flick from a team mate Rob Briggs had just a little too much time and space inside the Thistle box and his well struck effort beat Scott Fox to his right.
The heat was a factor for both sets of players and in the 27th minute the referee, during a break for treatment to a Gateshead player, rather sensibly allowed both teams to take a prolonged breather to get a drink.
It wasn’t perhaps any great surprise then that for long spells of the game there was little action in front of either goal.
James Craigen did threaten a goal for Thistle in the 13th minute. His own enterprising play at the left corner of the Gateshead box gave him a shooting opportunity but there was no great pace in his shot and the keeper was able to save with some comfort.
At the other end Scott Fox had to make a sharp save low to his right in the 19th minute to keep the score at 1-0 while Thistle’s best move of a largely forgettable first half was halted when the flag for offside went up against the trialist striker.
The goal though that gave Gateshead a two goal advantage just five minutes before the break was a strike of the highest quality and not entirely in keeping with the rest of the action. James Marwood’s shot from fully 30 yards out swerved to beat Scott Fox who could only stand and watch the ball fly past him and into the back of the net.
Thistle made a whole host of changes at the interval and at one point during the course of the second half they had no fewer than four trialists on the pitch.
It was understandable then that with Gateshead also making a large number of changes that there was little rhythm to the match.
Thistle were seen a little more as an attacking force during the second 45 minutes. Twice John Baird tried to flick corners from one of the trialists into the net and Aaron Muirhead and another trialist both saw shots blocked by defenders after a corner had only been partially cleared.
There were signs too that John Baird and Kris Doolan may link up well. After 72 minutes Doolan was able to set Baird up and he in turn saw his shot saved by the Gateshead goalkeeper.
It was Baird too that pulled a goal back for Thistle with ten minutes of the game remaining. It was a bit of a gift for the summer signing. He was able to collect a misdirected pass back and when left with just the keeper to beat he calmly rolled the ball wide of him and into the net.
There was little time left for Thistle to grab an equaliser with Christie Elliott sending the ball over the bar in the only half chance that came Thistle’s way in the time that remained.
The referee blew his whistle for full-time almost a full minute early but on a hot day few in the crowd of 602 were complaining too much about that.
Team first half: Fox, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Murray, Muirhead, Balatoni, Wilson, Craigen, Trialist, Forbes, McGuigan.
Team second half: Fox, O’Donnell, McMillan, Muirhead, Balatoni (Trialist), Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Elliott, Baird, Doolan.

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