Saturday 22nd September, 2012 at 8:58pm
Thistle this afternoon maintained their 100% start to the league season with a sixth victory but it was mighty close with Cowdenbeath, after a first half of total Thistle dominance, coming back strongly after the btreak. They may well feel that they were unfortunate not to take something from the game.
Manager Jackie McNamara made two changes from the side that had made it five wins from five against Livingston; both in part because of injury. Steven Craig’s place went to Christie Elliott who had performed so well at Livingston while Aaron Sinclair replaced Sean Welsh; a move that saw Stuart Bannigan move into a midfield role.
Thistle totally dominated the first 45 minutes of this game and the only surprise that thistle led by just one goal at the interval. That goal arrived in the 24th minute and came via the penalty spot. There was little doubt about the award when Chris Erskine was upended inside the box after he had side stepped a challenge inside the box. There was a little doubt, however, over surrounding who would take it with Sean Welsh injured and Kris Doolan on the bench. Aaron Muirhead was the man entrusted with the kick and he made no mistake with a confident styrike.
It was a goal that had been coming for some time even allowing for the fact that Thistle hadn’t created that many clear cut chances. The Cowdenbeath defence were though hard pressed to keep Thistle out with the ball being switched from flank to flank with real pace and purpose.
A second Thistle goal before the break would have provided a more accurate reflection on the balance of play and Steven Lawless was twice close to scoring that goal. In the 40th minute Thomas Flynn, booked for a foul on Christie Elliott in the 13th minute that produced only a yellow card, did well to turn Lawless shot from 25 yards round the post for a corner that Cowdenbeath, just, managed to clear.
Two minutes later Lawless was close again, this time shooting over the bar after being set up by a deft Paul Paton back heel.
The half finished with Flynn needing two attempts to cling onto a driven cross from Aaron Sinclair as Thistle’s dominance continued.
Thistle were to rue the failure to score a second goal when Cowdenbeath equalised four minutes after the restart. Jamie Stevenson had a little too much time and space in midfield but there was no doubting the quality of his strike from 30 yards out that left Scott Fox with little chance of saving.
That goal seemed to turn the game on its’ head as the match neared the hour mark the visitors were unfortunate not once but twice to take the lead. Scott Fox had had little chance with Stevenson’s goal but he produced an excellent save low to his right to keep out an effort from Lewis Milne.
There was further anxiety for Thistle in Cowdenbeath’s next attack. Mckenzie rolled a dangerous ball right across the Thistle six yard box and Thistle were relieved to clear for a corner. McKenzie was able to get his head to that corner but Fox again was in the right spot to save.
Those near things may have served as a wake up call for Thistle and Paul Paton was close to putting Thistle in front again with a shot that Flynn did well to tip over the bar.
Thistle were back in front in the 70th minute and there was a touch of good fortune surrounding the goal. Cowdenbeath’s Scott Linton turning Aaron Sinclair’s cross into his own net. Credit though must go to Sinclair for delivering an excellent ball into a dangerous area. #
There was plenty of tension around the ground in the closing minutes, tension that Ross Forbes came close to removing in the 90th minute. Thistle caught Cowdenbeath on the counter attack, after Scott Fox had punched clear a throw and it took two attempts from Flynn to save Ross Forbes shot.