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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Hearts WFC v Partick Thistle – May 3rd 2023

A finish in the top six for Thistle was always going to come with its challenges. Pitting a relatively small, part-time, squad against fully professional full-time outfits with a run of demanding fixtures in a short space of time. This isn’t a Thistle side though to shirk from a challenge, and they have faced these challenges with typical rigour and determination. There was the reward for that in shape of a deserved point, tinged with a little disappointment that it wasn’t all three, in this fixture.

Thistle’s preparation for this match suffered a blow when an injury in the warm up for Taylor McGlashan necessitated a late change to the line-up with Leah Robinson drafted in to replace the luckless McGlashan. There would be further injury blows for Thistle before the end of the 90 minutes.

Whether this late change had any impact on the Thistle performance is open to debate but it was certainly the home side that had the better of the first quarter of the game, and they had already forced Megan Cunningham into a smart save from Penman before they took a 7th minute lead.

It was an avoidable goal from a Thistle perspective to concede. Robinson was robbed of possession by Smith who advanced on goal before finding the net past Cunningham.

While Hearts didn’t create an abundance of chances in the wake of that early goal they were the dominate side with Thistle looking uncertain defensively.

Thistle gradually though began to get into their stride. A Linzi Taylor free kick forced a save, albeit a fairly comfortable one, from Parker-Smith in the Hearts goal.

It wasn’t really until the latter stages of the first half though that Thistle truly started to assert themselves on proceedings and they were close to an equaliser when Rachel Donaldson collected a fantastic pass down the right from full back Clare Docherty. Docherty advanced deep into the Hearts box but found the angle just too tight to squeeze the ball past Parker-Smith who made a fine save. That wouldn’t be the last time that the Hearts keeper would prevent a Thistle goal.

Claire Adams sent a shot over the bar after collecting a pass from Imogen Longcake, a first half substitute for an injured Abbie Ferguson, as Thistle ended the half on a positive note.

The first chance of the second half came the way of Hearts when Cunningham was well placed to save an effort from Forsyth but in truth the remainder of the half belonged to Thistle.

Donaldson, who would give Hearts a torrid time before injury brought her night to a premature end, was unlucky to see a shot clear the crossbar and Parker-Smith made a fine stop to deny Cara Henderson after the ball fell to Henderson inside the box.

The deserved Thistle equaliser though arrived after 65 minutes. Donaldson’s corner deep to the back post found the head of captain Demi Falconer who headed home her first goal of the season.

Thistle were a whisker away from taking the lead when a fantastic free kick from Taylor produced an equally fantastic save from Parker-Smith.

At this point Thistle looked by far the more likely winners and Parker-Smith produced another smart save, this time from Longcake who had been set up by Taylor, as the visitors pressed for a second goal before another Taylor free kick forced the Hearts custodian into a further save though this was much more routine in nature.

There would, however, be no Thistle winner but this was another performance that epitomises the spirit and talent contained within this group of players.

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