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Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Motherwell v Partick Thistle – 30th September 2017

Partick Thistle continued their search for their first win of the league season this afternoon with a trip to Fir Park to face Betfred Cup semi-finalists, Motherwell. The Jags came into the game in 11th place on three points having drawn their last three Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures against Ross County, Rangers and Hearts.

Tomas Cerny returned to the Thistle line-up having overcome his stomach muscle problem having missed three games through injury. The three centre-halves from the Hearts game retained their place in the backline. Paul McGinn and Milan Nitriansky started at wing-back with Milan replacing Christie Elliott after the number 14 picked up an injury against Hearts. Ryan Edwards and Adam Barton started in the middle of the park with Blair Spittal sitting in front of them. Alan Archibald went with Kris Doolan and Miles Storey up front once again as he searches for the perfect attacking combination. Chris Erskine returned to the bench having served out his two-match suspension.

The Jags hopes of claiming a first win of the league season were dealt a devastating blow when they fell behind just six minutes into the game. Tomas Cerny committed a foul just outside the box on the Motherwell left. Louis Moult stepped up and hit the inside of the near post. The ball then fell to Peter Hartley and he bundled the ball in from close range to give the Steelmen the advantage.

The ’Well had an excellent opportunity to double the deficit in the 10th minute. They broke in behind the Thistle rear-guard and Moult got on the end of a cut-back. The Motherwell number nine shot on goal but was denied by Tomas Cerny and then Cadden’s attempt on the rebound was blocked by Paul McGinn on the line.

Action was scarce for the rest of the half as the sides went into the break at 1-0. Neither side had been particularly creative in possession but the early goal from Hartley separated the teams.

In the opening five minutes of the second period, both teams had half-chances. Paul McGinn’s clearing header fell straight to Craig Tanner but the former Reading man horribly misjudged his shot and it went out for a throw. Next up, Miles Storey’s deflected shot came to Adam Barton but when the midfielder went for the shot, he sliced it up into the air. Just after Barton’s attempt, Blair Spittal had a free-kick chance from 20 yards but his effort smashed straight into the wall. In the 53rd minute Conor Sammon came on for Kris Doolan in Alan Archibald’s first change of the game.

Thistle would be made to rue their failure to get level when Motherwell doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half. Richard Tait worked the ball on the ‘Well left and drilled a low cross into the Jags’ box. Tait found his teammate Craig Tanner and the number 27 hit a first time shot which just about squeezed past Tomas Cerny and into the back of the net.

In attempt to drag his side back into the game, Alan Archibald made two changes after that second goal. Daniel Devine and Blair Spittal were replaced by Chris Erskine and Steven Lawless in the 55th and 65th minutes, respectively.

However, despite these changes, Thistle’s misery was compounded in the 81st minute when Ryan Bowman made it 3-0 to the hosts. An Elliott Frear corner fell to deadlock-breaker, Peter Hartley, and the loanee tried a low cross. It was turned away by Tomas Cerny but then fell to Bowman who, on the second attempt, buried his effort to make it three.

The game ended 3-0, representing the Jags’ heaviest defeat of the 2017/18 campaign so far and it keeps them in 11th place, equal on points with Kilmarnock who suffered a 2-0 defeat to Ross County this afternoon.

Alan Archibald’s Thistle return to action in two weeks with the international break filling the interim. Their next match comes against Kilmarnock on the 14th of October. Kick-off is at 15:00 from the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.

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