Tuesday 1st December, 2015 at 10:37am
Having suffered disappointment against St Mirren in the last Development League outing when the side should have taken, at least, a point, Thistle’s development side returned to action with a visit to the Excelsior Stadium where they were the away opponents to Motherwell. The sides had met earlier in the season, with Motherwell prevailing by a goal to nil in a Scottish Youth Cup tie and the Young Jags were keen to gain some revenge over their Lanarkshire counterparts.
Scott MacKenzie kept faith with the majority of the side that had performed well against St Mirren, but were unable to muster a late equaliser with only two changes to the starting eleven. David Wilson dropped out of the squad altogether with Jordan Leyden coming into the starting line up. First team player Ryan Edwards replaced Mark Lamont who dropped to the bench. There was also a place on the bench for Under 17s goalkeeper Jack Livesey due to Conor Cullen suffering from illness.
The opening stages of the match were encouraging for Thistle with McDaid firing a long range effort wildly off target before Ryan Edwards found the winger at the back post, forcing a good save from the Motherwell keeper. Leyden tried his luck with the follow up from distance but it was a comfortable save from the goalkeeper.
Motherwell grew into the game and with barely a quarter of an hour played they took the lead when Allan Campbell dispatched a low effort past Waters from the edge of the Thistle penalty area. Motherwell took great confidence from the goal as Thistle fell out of the game completely, unable to string two passes together for much of the first half.
Cadden missed a glorious chance to double the lead when he met a cut back inside the penalty area, but he blazed his effort over the bar. Moments later Waters did well to parry away a powerful Mackin shot for a corner kick.
A second Motherwell goal seemed imminent and it arrived after 28 minutes. A corner from the left was met by a free header in the box, the original effort struck the post before MacLean managed to fire home from close range to double the lead.
The lethargic Thistle play continued into the second half with MacLean pouncing on a slack pass to cross for Mackin who did well to connect with the ball but fired it his effort high and wide of goal.
Sights of a Thistle goal were few and far between, with an excellent counter attacking break from a corner kick only finding the offside McInally who had headed the delivery wide of goal regardless.
The introduction of Mark Lamont brought Thistle’s attacking play with a bit more urgency but he too wasn’t having the best of luck in front of goal. After collecting a pass from McDaid his cross wasn’t able to pick out any of the red and yellow bodies in the box.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Lamont cut inside having collected the ball wide of goal before rifling a powerful shot high towards goal. It was a terrific strike and deserved better than to hit the junction of the crossbar and post and scrambled away for a corner kick.
The full time whistle arrived with Thistle lucky to have only lost by two goals and saw one of the most disappointing performances of the season to date. Scott MacKenzie will be hoping his side show their usual hunger next week, when the Young Jags face Dundee United.
Thistle Team: Waters, McInally, Penrice, McMullin, Whiteside, Leyden, McDaid, Docherty, Nisbet, Edwards(Lamont 69), McLaughlin.