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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Dundee – 20th December 2014

After the previous weekend’s magnificent performance and victory over Inverness, Thistle were looking to record back to back league wins for the first time since we returned to the top flight. There was one change to the starting line up from last week as Jordan McMillan missed out. James Craigen came back in to the starting eleven with Stuart Bannigan moved to fill the vacant left back position.

Thistle started the game on the front foot and some excellent link up play and possession between O’Donnell and Craigen saw them create an early shooting chance for Elliott but his effort was blocked inside the box. A Higginbotham cross was then collected by Letheren before it could reach Elliott before Ryan Stevenson went on a gliding run, dancing his way past two defenders and then firing a powerful left foot shot just over the bar from 20 yards.

The visitors had their first chance in the 13th minute when Thistle failed to clear their lines properly and, after the ball broke off Fraser, Greg Stewart collected and fired a shot just over Gallacher’s goal.

Despite the scare Thistle continued to dominate and were awarded a free kick on the right after Elliott took a stray boot to the face. Bannigan sent in another of his trademark deliveries but the ball just evaded Seaborne and Osman who were both stretching to get a touch.

There was then another scare at the other end when slack play from Higginbotham on the edge of his own box saw Irvine pounce to smash his shot inches wide of the far post. On the half hour mark Thistle had the best chance of the game so far, Higginbotham slid a through pass behind the visitors defence and Craigen timed his run to perfection but saw his curling shot well saved by Letheren.

The visitors did have a couple of chances just before half time when firstly, a long ball into the box found Stewart who flashed a shot just wide and then Irvine headed wide from a corner.

At half time the teams went in level at 0-0.

Thistle were again the first to threaten at the start of the second half, quick thinking by Bannigan saw his quick throw find Stevenson and Craigen exchanged passes to set up Fraser whose shot was deflected for a corner. From the resulting set piece Balatoni saw his header under pressure saved.

Fraser had to look lively at the other end to clear a dangerous cross from Dyer before McGinn fired a powerful shot over the bar as the visitors looked to catch the Jags with a quick counter. Fraser then won the ball in midfield before finding Stevenson with his back to goal, he turned his man and curled a shot just over.

Thistle then broke the deadlock on the 58th minute. A quick throw in taken by the Jags on the left saw Higginbotham and Stevenson link up in the box, Stevenson then created space, beat his man and cut the ball back across goal to find James Craigen who slotted home from eight yards to make it 1-0 to the Jags.

The goal lifted Thistle and Fraser fizzed a 25 yard shot inches wide of the visitors’ goal. It was all Thistle for a period and in the 72nd minute the home team broke away after Fraser won the ball in midfield. Stevenson found Higginbotham driving forward and he squared the ball to Craigen but he curled his effort over the bar from 16 yards. Fraser then saw a shot deflected wide and two minutes later a great midfield tackle by Craigen saw him find Stevenson who passed to Fraser but he was again wide of the target.

With 10 minutes to go Roberts shot just wide of Gallacher’s post before McPake saw his header saved comfortably by the Jags keeper.

However, in the 90th minute, disaster struck for the Jags and their profligacy in front of goal was punished in the harshest manner possible.

A contentious refereeing decision saw Bannigan penalised for a free kick despite winning the ball and being the meat in a Dundee sandwich. O’Donnell cleared the free kick but, when the ball came back in, it fell to Roberts wide and he fired the ball across goal. His shot was probably going out for a  throw in but the unfortunate Balatoni stuck a foot out and deflected it past a helpless Gallacher to make it 1-1.

A cruel end to the game for the Jags.

Starting line-up: Gallacher, O’Donnell, Seaborne, Balatoni, Craigen, Bannigan, Stevenson, Elliott, Higginbotham, Osman, Fraser

Subs: Fox (N/U), Doolan (79), Lawless (N/U), Eccleston (N/U), Wilson (N/U), Lindsay (N/U), McDaid (N/U)

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