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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Motherwell v Partick Thistle – 24th August 2013

Thistle’s long unbeaten came to an end as they lost out to a solitary Motherwell goal at Fir Park.
Alan Archibald was forced to make a change to the starting eleven with Sean Welsh out injured – Isaac Osbourne made his first Premiership start for Thistle, with Gabriel Piccolo taking his place on the bench.
It was Motherwell, shooting towards the Thistle fans, who dominated most of a quiet first half, pressing high up the pitch, and not allowing the Thistle midfield any time to settle.
James McFadden was prominent for the home side, but the early stages of this game are best described as uneventful.
Twenty minutes were on the clock when John Sutton was on hand to collect Zaine Francis-Angol’s cross-come-shot and his well struck shot left Scott Fox with little chance.
Thistle continued to struggle, and it was Motherwell who came closest to scoring again when Fox dived to his right to superbly parry Henri Anier’s fiercely struck shot away from goal.  Kris Doolan endured a lonely time up front, as he continued to be starved of any service.
Motherwell started the second half where they left off, with an Anier shot and a McFadden header both well off target, but quickly Thistle came more into the game.
Isaac Osbourne hit a long-range shot straight at Hollis before the introduction of Kallum Higginbotham, replacing Gary Fraser, really sparked Thistle into life.
A spell of sustained pressure followed, but without many clear cut chances falling Thistle’s way – a Taylor-Sinclair cross was knocked wide by a stretching Stephen O’Donnell, while shots from Higginbotham, Craigen and Taylor-Sinclair were well blocked by the Motherwell defence.
Motherwell threatened on the break, but only once was Scott Fox called into making a save, blocking a Keith Lasley shot from 12 yards with his feet.
Higginbotham hit the wall with a free kick from 30 yards after Stevie Lawless was upended and Aaron Muirhead fired over after he found himself in space just outside the box.
Ross Forbes, who had replaced the tiring Osbourne, became involved in a lot of Thistle’s play towards the end of the game – a shot from distance was diverted by John Baird, but Hollis was able to gather comfortably.  Shortly after, Baird controlled a diagonal ball from Forbes, but his shot lacked power and was easily saved.
McFadden had another couple of chances but wasn’t able to trouble the Thistle goal with either – James Craigen getting back to make the tackle after was he clear on goal, and McFadden shooting wide after Stuart Bannigan had been dispossessed.
The final chance fell to Aaron Muirhead, but he was unable to direct his header from Ross Forbes’ corner towards goal, and despite a much improved second half performance from the visitors, Motherwell held on for all three points.
Thistle have an early opportunity to get back to winning ways when Cowdenbeath visit Firhill for a League Cup second round tie on Tuesday evening.

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