Saturday 28th November, 2020 at 7:51pm
Partick Thistle went to Montrose this afternoon looking to make it back-to-back league wins, building on their 2-0 victory over East Fife last weekend. The Jags hadn’t faced the Gable Endies in league action since 1992 though the two sides had faced off in Challenge Cup action last September with Thistle 2-0 victors on that occasion.
With injury problems persisting for the Jags it was an unchanged line-up from the one which began the triumph against East Fife with only four subs available once again.
The hosts came into the game with the joint-best attack in the division while no one had conceded more goals than the Angus side, meanwhile, the travelling Maryhill men were experiencing a contrasting dilemma. Their defence had been much less porous than the home side with seven fewer goals conceded, however, they’d managed only six goals in five games compared to the Gable Endies’ 11.
Nevertheless, Thistle were first on the scoresheet after just six minutes. A corner towards the front post area found the head of Ross Docherty who glanced it towards goal. Montrose ‘keeper Allan Fleming was able to claw it off the line but Connor Murray was on hand to force it over the line to give Thistle the lead and claim his first goal as a Jag.
The sprightly hosts weren’t deterred by the opener though as they came back at Thistle and carved out a couple of chances to get level. Firstly, after some nice football in the Jags half, Russell McLean was able to set up Lewis Milne but the midfielder’s driven effort was comfortably stopped and held by Kieran Wright.
Milne had another opportunity to restore parity in the 25th minute when a well-placed delivery picked him out in the middle of the Jags box. He looked to strike a volley goalwards but entirely miscued and saw his effort fly high over the crossbar.
Ian McCall’s side could easily have doubled their lead on the half hour mark when Ross Docherty showed some great ambition to charge forward from midfield. The Jags’ skipper broke away from a couple of defenders before manoeuvring past the goalkeeper and firing the ball across the goal line towards the waiting Brian Graham. Unfortunately, the ball wouldn’t reach the striker as Kerr Waddell got back to make a vital interception under his own crossbar.
The final decent chance of the first period came in the 32nd minute as Russell McLean got on the end of a cross from Andrew Steeves. The striker had found half a yard of space in the front post area and managed to stoop to meet the defender’s cross, however, he couldn’t direct it on target.
Once the second half started, neither side was able to take control of proceedings and chances were scarce. Ross Docherty went relatively close with a 20-yard free kick and Joe Cardle saw a low shot bobble just wide of goal from the corner of the box but it wasn’t until the 69th when we saw the first real sight of goal in the second 45. The ball fell to Graham Webster in the Jags penalty area and the Gable Endies’ midfielder wiggled away from his man to find a bit of room. Under little pressure, he had the whole goal to aim at from around 15 yards but he ballooned the ball well over crossbar letting the away side off with one.
15 minutes later Montrose had another good chance as substitute Ross Campbell found himself free in the box as a corner kick was swung in. The delivery from the side opposing Links Park’s lone stand found the head of the unmarked Campbell just second after he had been brought on but the number 15 couldn’t keep his header down and the opportunity went begging.
From there, the home side sent plenty of high balls into the box but Thistle were able to withstand the advances and hold out for a valuable three points which moved them to within four points of the league leaders, Falkirk. Next up for the Jags are Dumbarton at Firhill in the first game of December.