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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Cove Rangers – 17th September 2022

Match Report written by Chris Toner

Partick Thistle welcomed Cove Rangers to Firhill on Saturday afternoon as the cinch Championship resumed following the postponement of last weekend’s trip to Ayr out of respect following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Jags were looking to make it five wins in a row in all competitions, with their latest being a 2-0 win away to Arbroath two weeks ago and entered the game knowing a win and results elsewhere could have seen them top of the table by the close of play. The Toonsers, on the other hand, entered the game having picked up a point against Hamilton last time out after four defeats on the bounce which saw them sitting second bottom.

Ian McCall made two changes to the side that ran out winners at Gayfield a fortnight ago, with Scott Tiffoney and Stuart Bannigan coming in Cole McKinnon, who wasn’t named in the squad and Aidan Fitzpatrick who dropped to the bench.

Thistle wasted no time as Tiffoney found himself through on goal in the opening minute, forcing a good save out of Kyle Gourlay. Harry Milne’s cross three minutes later looked like it could have wound up in the net, instead it dipped wide before anyone could get onto it. Thistle had another chance before the clock hit ten minutes as a poor clearance landed at the feet of Brian Graham, whose attempt at goal was put over the bar as Tiffoney tried to divert it into the net.

The visitors’ best chance of the half fell to Fraser Fyvie as the former Hibs midfielder put a dangerous cross into the box. The ball took a bounce and David Mitchell had to parry the ball behind for a corner to avert any danger. At the other end, Tiffoney had a go from distance, which Gourlay initially fumbled before safely gathering. Moments later, Graham found himself through on goal, with the 34-year-old forcing the busy keeper into another save.

The deserved breakthrough for Thistle finally came in the 17th minute through a moment of magic from Steven Lawless, who’s well-taken shot from the edge of the box bounced off the underside of the bar and over the line.

Ten minutes later, Jack McMillan burst into the box from the right and had a go at goal from a tight angle but was denied by Gourlay. Just after the half hour mark, Mitch Megginson found himself through on goal with only Mitchell to beat, but Aaron Muirhead made a brilliant challenge at the last second to deny the former Aberdeen man. Thistle would have one last chance five minutes before the half as Tiffoney had a go at goal from the left-hand side, which Gourlay safely gathered.

Inside the opening five minutes of the second half, Kyle Turner’s free kick into the box found Graham who couldn’t keep the ball down. But in the 52nd minute Lawless’ cross was cleverly left by Graham for Bannigan, with the vice-captain drilling a right-footed effort low across goal into the net. Harry Milne would later have an effort for the top corner of the net turned behind for a corner.

With just over 70 minutes gone, Thistle would make a triple substitution as McMillan, Tiffoney and Graham all made way for Lee Hodson, Aidan Fitzpatrick and Anton Dowds. Fitzpatrick almost made an immediate impact as the 21-year-old’s chip attempt went agonisingly wide.

With just under ten minutes to go, Thistle failed to clear the ball in the box from a free kick and Mark Reynolds’ shot was deflected into the net. Cove kept up the tempo as substitute Leighton McIntosh burst into the box from the left, forcing Mitchell to make a good save.

Cove would then punish Thistle from a contested corner shortly thereafter as the Thistle defence once again failed to clear, with former Motherwell defender Reynolds once again being the provider. There would be no dramatic, last-gasp winner for Thistle and the game ended 2-2.

With a win Thistle could have been two points clear at the top of the table due to Ayr United’s defeat at Raith Rovers, but instead the draw sees us top with a superior goal difference of two.

Next up is our SPFL Trust Trophy third round visit to Falkirk. That one is a 7.45pm kickoff this Friday, 23 September.

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