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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Livingston v Partick Thistle – 15th September 2012

Thistle maintained their 100% start to the league season with a well deserved 2-1 win over Livingston.
The only change that manager Jackie McNamara made to the side that defeated Raith Rovers in the Ramsdens Cup was on the bench. A problem with his back ruled out sub keeper Ryan Scully and his place went to trialist Graeme Smith.
On an immaculate playing surface Thistle made a brisk start to the game and forced their first corner, the first of many, inside the first 60 seconds.
Thistle’s pre-match plans were upset, however, in the 11th minute when Steven Craig had to be withdrawn due to injury; his place in the team going to Christie Elliott who produced an excellent performance in Craig’s place.
Thistle were producing some excellent possession football, switching play from wing to wing but it took them until the 21st minute for them to have their first serious effort on the Livingston goal. A corner from the left was headed down by Alan Archibald to Aaron Muirhead who lashed a shot over the bar, the ball taking a touch off a Livingston defender on its’ way over.
The home side meantime hadn’t been much of a threat but they did come close to a goal in the 32nd minute. A simple long ball forward caught the Thistle defence out and Iain Russell’s first time shot wasn’t too far wide of Scott Fox’s right hand post.
Six minutes later though Thistle were in front. Paul Paton had dragged a shot from the edge of the box wide of goal just a couple of minutes earlier but from a not dissimilar position Steven Lawless made no mistake with a shot that beat McNeil all ends up and went in via the underside of the bar.
It was a well deserved lead for Thistle and they were close to a second goal just three minutes later. Christie Elliott did well to set up Chris Erskine and the player who has already scored six times this season, smacked an effort off the post.
From being close to being 2-0 up Thistle were nearly dragged back to level terms when a shot from Jordan Morton suffered the same fate as Chris Erskine’s, and rebounded off the frame of the goal with Iain Russell stabbing the rebound wide of target.
It would have been extremely harsh on Thistle had they not gone in at half-time ahead and three minutes after the restart they doubled their advantage. It was another top quality strike, Stephen O’Donnell’s neat ball into the box was gathered by Steven Lawless and his angled drive found the corner of the net.
Thistle were at this stage in total control but the in the 58th minute Livingston, almost completely out of the blue, pulled themselves right back into the match. A corner from the left wasn’t properly dealt with and when the ball fell to Jordan Morton he shot past Fox and into the net.
The expected onslaught from the home side never really materialised. Scott Fox did have to make a quite excellent save in the 76th minute to turn a McNulty shot round the post, but that was their only real chance.
It was a different story at the other end. Sean Welsh shot just wide in the 67th minute and Paul Paton fired over the bar seven minutes later after Chris Erskine had spotted him to his right.
The closest Thistle came to a third goal that was an Aaron Muirhead free kick that McNeil was able to save but not hold. As the ball broke loose for a split second it looked as if Steven Lawless would be the first to the ball and would complete an impressive hat-trick. A Livingston defender though was able to make the block that prevented a near certain goal.
Although Thistle weren’t able to find a third goal, and had to endure a tense nervous three minutes of injury time they were still worthy winners and provided a further indication that they are in no mood to relinquish their position at the top of the league.

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