Saturday 29th August, 2015 at 3:14pm
Thistle entertained Aberdeen in the latest round of the Ladbrokes Premiership still looking for the coveted first win of the new season. Their opponents, however, were enjoying a 100% record near the top of the league and were flying high having kept six clean sheets in seven meetings between the sides since Thistle returned to top flight action in 2013.
Alan Archibald made six changes to the team which crashed out the League Cup to Falkirk, as he looked to get an improved performance from his side. There was a big change in the defence as Frederic Frans and Liam Lindsay returned to the centre of defence in play of Dan Seaborne and Jack Hendry. Declan McDaid, who impressed in his cameo appearance against Hearts last week, earned his first start at the expense of David Amoo while injury denied the manager of Gary Fraser’s services. Mathias Pogba came into the striking role at the expense of Doolan as Archibald looked to shake things up against a tough Aberdeen defence.
Aberdeen started the game in dominant fashion not allowing Thistle any cheap early possession but neither goalkeeper was seriously tested in the opening stages of the game. Aberdeen won a couple of early free kicks wide on the pitch but Thistle dealt with these comfortably enough as Aberdeen sought to use their aerial advantage to gain the lead.
Thistle’s first real foray up the pitch resulted in a corner as Miller tried to whip in a cross from the right hand side. Bannigan’s corner was comfortably gathered by Ward right on his goal line.
Aberdeen were dominating possession but neither goalkeeper was being significantly tested as the sides emerged into a deadlock. Aberdeen did have the ball in the back of the net when Taylor nodded down a corner with Goodwillie tapping the loose ball into the back of the net. Referee, Finnie, had already blown for a foul and the goal was chalked off.
Thistle were forced into a substitution before half time when Frederic Frans went off with a hamstring strain, with Jack Hendry replacing the Belgian defender. Pogba was starting to be dominant in his battles with the Aberdeen defence and from one of his flicks he spun towards the box, seemingly manhandled to the ground but the referee waved play on.
Thistle started the second half brightly and Welsh forced a fingertip save from Danny Ward before Liam Lindsay fired narrowly wide from the resulting corner.
Just as Thistle were looking to become a more assertive force in the game they fell behind in controversial circumstances. Logan took a throw in to McLean, who had gone free from his markers. His powerful drive was met by Rooney at the back post, who controlled the ball with his hand before slotting the ball into the net. Thistle were furious at the goal being allowed and showed their protestations towards referee Finnie who was unmoved.
Thistle were stunned by the concession of a goal and were lucky not to fall two goals behind a couple of minutes later when Rooney fired a shot narrowly over the bar having found space inside the box. Liam Lindsay had a couple of chances from corners before Kenny McLean put the game beyond doubt.
Thistle failed to clear their lines and Hayes forced Cerny into a cracking save. McLean was alert at the back post to bundle home the loose ball and give Aberdeen a two goal cushion.
Thistle huffed and puffed, trying to get their way back into the game against a stubborn Aberdeen defence but had a chance through Booth when he found himself in space inside the box, but Ward was more than equal to his shot.
Jack Hendry came closest to getting a consolation for Thistle when he headed Stevenson’s free kick across goal, but no Thistle player was able to touch the bouncing ball into the back of the net.
McGinn has a chance to extend Aberdeen’s lead at the death, but it was to be just the two goals as Aberdeen extended their winning run, while Thistle have to wait until after the international break to record that elusive first win of the season.