Saturday 23rd January, 2016 at 2:45pm
Thistle made the long trip to Inverness looking to register their first league win of 2016. Thistle have enjoyed a good record against Inverness since winning promotion to the Premiership in 2013 with only a single defeat in the fixtures to date. Thistle battled to a draw when visiting the Highland capital on an August evening earlier this season while the fixture at Firhill was won with a late injury time winner from Ryan Stevenson.
Manager Alan Archibald made two changes from the side which fell to a heavy defeat against Dundee with captain Abdul Osman, free from suspension, taking up his customary midfield role in place of David Wilson, who drops to the bench. Frederic Frans starts his first game since late September, replacing the suspended Liam Lindsay who served the first of his two game ban.
The first half was quiet with very few chances to report for either side. It was Inverness who started the brighter with Mutombo proving to be a handful for Callum Booth to deal with. For all his endeavour and hard work, however, there was little to trouble Tomas Cerny in the Thistle goal.
Thistle worked hard to try and construct slick passing moves but at times, their passing wasn’t quite as crisp as Alan Archibald would desire. Inverness won a succession of corners in the first half, but all were dealt with confidently by a stubborn Thistle defence, with only a flicked delivery to the back post, which Draper was unable to keep in play as he slid to connect at an acute angle, proving any danger to the scoresheet.
Thistle registered just a single effort on the first half with Stuart Bannigan’s corner reaching Doolan at the edge of the box, but his first time shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
Alan Archibald demanded more of his side in the second half that, in truth, couldn’t have been any worse than the first 45.
Thistle started the second half in a more positive fashion committing men forward as the search for the game’s first goal heated up. Steven Lawless had the first opportunity when he created a pocket of space for himself on the edge of the box. His low effort, hit just after a collision with an Inverness body, across goal was blocked by Doolan, with the midfielder looking to shake off the effects of the collision.
It was to prove too much for the creative player to shake off and his game was over a few minutes, being replaced by Christie Elliott.
Thistle were keeping the ball with ease, as the home support grew more and more frustrated with their sides efforts, Thistles discipline restricting opportunities for the probing Inverness midfield.
Sean Welsh had the next sight of goal, but his effort from 25 yards never really threatened Fon Williams as it sclaffed wide of goal.
Inverness were almost cheering a goal when Miles Storey had a long range effort which Tomas Cerny had to be alert to tip over his crossbar before good work on the wing by the striker set up Polworth. With just Cerny to beat, six yards from goal, the Inverness player sent his effort wide.
The game was becoming stretched as both sides looked to net the goal that would prove decisive. Christie Elliott rode a couple of Inverness challenges to go clear on goal. With Kris Doolan in support the wideman elected to go for goal, with his effort deflected behind for a corner.
This game remained goalless, an outcome that appeared likely from the early stages, and Thistle were able to head back down the A9 with a well merited point.