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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Heart of Midlothian v Partick Thistle – 22nd August 2015

Thistle travelled to Tynecastle to take on the early pacesetters Hearts full of confidence after an impressive performance in the previous week’s 2-2 draw against Kilmarnock. They faced a Hearts side that had won 4 games out of 4 in the league so far, with their last top flight defeat coming against Thistle in May 2014, a night fondly remembered by the Thistle faithful.

Alan Archibald was forced into two changes as Liam Lindsay sat the game out having been red carded against Kilmarnock, while Steven Lawless dropped to the bench, still suffering the effects of a knock picked up against Kilmarnock. Dan Seaborne returned to partner Frederic Frans at the back, his first appearance for the side since February. Gary Fraser, who had made impressive substitute appearances against Celtic and Kilmarnock also came into the side operating on the right hand side, with David Amoo switching to the left.

Thistle started the game well enough and forced a series of corners early on. Gary Fraser was entrusted with the responsibility of swinging the ball in and his deep deliveries were unfortunate not to be met by the runs at the back post.

Hearts had the games first real opportunity as they sought to establish the momentum in the game. Sam Nicholson twisted and turned on the edge of the box before sending a fierce shot from 20 yards which Cerny did well to turn over the bar.

This set the tone as Hearts pressed Thistle high up the pitch, intent on making the Jags make errors at the back as they tried to play their way out of danger. This pressure led to a corner which Doolan did well to knock a Paterson header from near the goalline before the full backs follow up shot was blocked.

Sow, who bossed the Thistle defence all afternoon, was next to have an effort with Seaborne doing well to block the shot at the edge of the area.

With just about half an hour on the clock, Hearts took a deserved lead. A corner from the right was chipped into the box with Paterson’s header well blocked by Cerny. Sow reacted quickest to poke home the rebound from a couple of yards out.

Thistle tried hard to get their way back into the game before half time but, in truth, struggled to create anything of note in front of the Hearts goal. Free kicks and corners found their way flying straight into the hands of the grateful goalkeeper, Neil Alexander.

Hearts continued to exert their dominance as the second half began and Nicholson should have doubled the lead on 55 minutes. He broke clear on goal but, with just Cerny to beat, fired wide of goal.

Thistle were coming more into the game and Lawless made a good impact when he came on as a substitute but the game was soon beyond Thistle.

Paterson powered down the right and was brought down with a poor challenge from Bannigan. Juanma stepped up to take the penalty, with Cerny saving his low effort. Sam Nicholson, however, was quickest to react to the ball to power Hearts into a two goal cushion.

Less than 2 minutes later, it was 3-0. Buaben knocked a ball on for Juanma to run onto, he beat Frans in a foot race before cheekily chipping Cerny to seal the points.

Hearts were content to play the game out, with Lawless and McDaid working hard trying to get a goal back for the 748 Thistle fans who had travelled to the game.

It was to finish 3-0, however, and Hearts continued their fine start to the season, with Thistle still looking for the coveted first win. It won’t get any easier for the Jags as home game against Aberdeen follows the League Cup meeting with Falkirk midweek.

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