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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Dumbarton – 25th August 2012

Victory this afternoon over Dumbarton took Thistle to the top of the First Division.
With Thistle looking to record a sixth successive victory it was hardly any great surprise that Jackie McNamara selected the same side, right down to the choice of the five substitutes, that defeated Dunfermline seven days earlier.
Thistle made a whirlwind start against Falkirk in the previous home league game but there was no repeat against a Dumbarton side that had lost 7 goals in losing their first two league games. Indeed Dumbarton came close to taking an unexpected tenth minute lead. Scott Fox came a long way out his goal to clear a through ball and his clearance was seized upon by Dumbarton’s Steven McDougall. With Fox still out his goal, McDougall tried to find the net from fully 40 yards out and he wasn’t too far off target either, his effort taking a deflection on the way past the post.
Thistle though were starting to take a grip on proceedings by this stage. An excellent Paul Paton cross found no takers and Stephen O’Donnell tested Stephen Grindlay with a low drive after he had collected a Paul Paton pass.
The opening goal that Thistle were threatening arrived in the 15th minute. Stuart Bannigan crossed from the left and Kris Doolan threw himself at the ball to connect with Bannigan’s cross and his header flew into the back of the net.
Dumbarton at this stage were struggling to contain Thistle and Doolan was close to a second goal in the 24th minute. A Paul Paton cross was touched back into Doolan’s path and his shot took a touch off a Dumbarton player as it crept wide of goal. The corner that followed was cleared only as far as Stephen O’Donnell who was lurking some 30 yards from goal and he too saw a shot take a touch off a Dumbarton player as it went just wide of goal.
There had been a couple of moments from the visitors and Dumbarton would have been level in the 32nd minute had Scott Fox not made a magnificent save from point blank range to keep out a Jim Lister header. There was an opportunity too for Dumbarton from the subsequent corner and Andy Graham probably should have done better than lift his shot over the bar from 10 yards out.
A second Thistle goal would though have probably have given the score line a more accurate reflection on the passage of play as half-time approached and a wonderful flowing move from Thistle, starting right at the back, nearly produced that second goal. Stephen O’Donnell did well to set up Chris Erskine. Erskine looked certain to score but he was denied a goal by a fantastic goal line clearance thus restricting Thistle to a one goal advantage at the interval.
While that advantage remained at just a solitary goal there was a nervousness about Thistle’s play. Passing moves were starting to break down while Dumbarton remained a threat on the break. There was a greatr sense of relief, therefore, when Thistle found a second goal in the 62nd minute. Paul Paton, who was central to everything Thistle did during the 90 minutes, burst into the box and his cross was steered home by Chris Erskine.
Seven minutes later the points were all but secured. Thistle were able to open up the Dumbarton defence down the left hand side and when Chris Erskine set up Stuart Bannigan he made no mistake.
With the points safe Jackie McNamara utilised all three of his permitted substitutes and one of them, Christie Elliott, was close to a fourth Thistle goal but Grindlay was able to spread himself and save after Elliott had managed to get in behind the Dumbarton defence.
Grindlay saved too from James Craigen as Thistle started to coast towards victory. Stephen O’Donnell was voted the sponsor’s man of the Match and he nearly capped an impressive display with a goal in the 87th minute but Grindlay got just enough of a touch to O’Donnell’s shot to keep the ball out.

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