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Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Dundee – 21st October 2017

Nine games into the Ladbrokes Premiership and things were beginning to look grim for Partick Thistle going into their clash with Dundee at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. No league wins and sitting in 12th place, Thistle were in danger of falling away from the pack. Dundee sat five points above the Jags before play began with just one loss in their last four league games with that defeat being a narrow 1-0 at Celtic Park.

Tomas Cerny retained his starting place for Thistle with Daniel Devine and Niall Keown in the centre-half slots. Jordan Turnbull started at left-back for the first time in Thistle colours while Paul McGinn moved back over to his natural right-side to complete the back-line. The Jags went with a midfield three; Adam Barton, Ryan Edwards and Andrew McCarthy being the men in the middle of the park. Steven Lawless returned from illness to start on the left with Chris Erskine on the opposite flank. The lone striker was the on-loan Conor Sammon.

Thistle haven’t been able to keep a league clean sheet yet this season and that trend would be continued when Dundee took the lead nine minutes in. Andrew McCarthy slipped in the middle of the park and that allowed Glen Kamara to move into the Jags’ box. He played a ball forward to Sofien Moussa who under Jordan Turnbull’s challenge managed to direct the ball towards goal and past Tomas Cerny. The shot was rolling in but Daniel Devine recovered magnificently to clear the ball off the goal-line. However, the clearance fell straight to Kevin Holt. Dundee’s number three then fired it back towards goal and when it skipped up off Devine’s leg, it fell to Ajay Leitch-Smith who nodded home into the empty net giving the Tayside outfit the advantage.

The hosts almost pulled level in spectacular fashion in the 13th minute through Ryan Edwards. Conor Sammon won an aerial duel heading the ball down to Edwards and the Australian spotted Dundee ‘keeper, Scott Bain, off his line. He went for the audacious shot, launching an effort from all of 40 yards and it almost found the goal with the ball landing on the roof of the net and Bain scrambling back towards his goal.

The travelling Dundee side were handed a golden opportunity to double their lead with 20 minutes gone. Daniel Devine attempted a clearance down the right flank but his long ball ricocheted off Niall Keown, landing at the feet of Ajay Leitch-Smith. The deadlock-breaking Englishman broke forward into space with no defenders left to beat and knocked the ball past Tomas Cerny. The Czech goalkeeper made a dive for the ball but ended up wiping out the attacker. Euan Anderson pointed to the spot, brandished a yellow card for Cerny and Dundee now had a great chance to go two up. The man who won the spot kick took it and Ajay Leitch-Smith stepped up looking for a brace securing goal. He drilled it down the middle but Tomas Cerny made the save with his legs, keeping the Jags within touching distance of their opposition.

Both sides saw half-chances go begging before the break but the sides went into the interval at 1-0. Thistle’s performance had been better than it was in their previous two games but they still found themselves trailing by a goal at half-time as they did against Motherwell and Kilmarnock. They had created some openings but were lucky to be just one behind considering some of the opportunities that Dundee had to double the deficit, namely the missed penalty.

Alan Archibald made three substitutions early in the second half, between the 55th and 63rd minute. Miles Storey, Blair Spittal and Kris Doolan were all introduced with Andrew McCarthy, Chris Erskine and Conor Sammon being withdrawn.

As the game moved on it was looking like Dundee might see the game out but Ryan Edwards popped up in the 75th minute to grab an equaliser. A Blair Spittal cross was misjudged by Josh Meekings and the ball skipped through to Paul McGinn who controlled on the right of the box. He shot low on goal but Bain made a save. The ‘keeper couldn’t hold, though, and Kris Doolan got to the spilled ball first. The striker tried a shot which was saved but the rebound fell to Ryan Edwards who shinned home to make it 1-1.

The Dark Blues almost retook the lead just three minutes later when Sofien Moussa had a big chance with 12 minutes to go. Glen Kamara found Roarie Deacon with a lovely ball into the box and the pacey wide-man squared the ball to Sofien Moussa. The striker had the goal at his mercy and turned it onto the target. His shot was goal-bound but Tomas Cerny flew across the face of the goal to make a wonderful left-handed save to deny the Tunisian before collecting the ball.

The game was one which seemed to have another goal in it and that goal came in injury time and it came for the home side. Jordan Turnbull controlled the ball in the middle of the pitch and played an excellently weighted pass into Kris Doolan who was being played on by Jack Hendry. The talismanic forward then squared a well-timed ball across the box to Miles Storey who finished the chance from point-blank range, netting his first goal in the red and yellow of Partick Thistle.

The Jags would see the game out, securing their first win of the 2017/18 league season. Miles Storey’s late goal securing the three points for the Jags as they ensure they’re not cut adrift at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table.

Alan Archibald and the rest of the squad now turn their attentions to Tuesday night when they travel to take on Hamilton Accies. Kick-off from the SuperSeal Stadium is 19:45.

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