Saturday 3rd October, 2015 at 3:06pm
Thistle entertained Dundee United in crucial Ladbrokes Premiership match with the sides occupying the bottom two positions in the division. Thistle were still seeking their first win of the season, and for the second consecutive week faced a side that had recently parted company with their manager.
Alan Archibald made three changes to the side which had lost narrowly to Motherwell, electing to introduce Mathias Pogba from the start, hoping the striker would add a bit more physicality to his side, as he looked to boss the United defence from the start. Robbie Muirhead dropped out due to being unable to face his parent club, meaning there was a start for David Amoo who netted his first Thistle goal last weekend. Frederic Frans missed out through injury allowing Liam Lindsay to return to the starting eleven and, in turn, giving manager Alan Archibald his 8th different starting defence of the season so far.
Thistle started in positive fashion with Dumbuya acquitting himself well against the United defender, and his cross was gathered by Zwick under pressure from Pogba. It set the tone for the afternoon with Pogba proving to be a handful for the United rearguard. After the big striker spooned a back post volley over the bar, Thistle took the lead. It was a slow patient move with 19 passes being played from Tomas Cerny collecting a loose ball. Bannigan switched the ball wide to Booth, who after a quick one-two fired over a cross which looped up into the six yard box. Amoo was waiting and outjumped Zwick to nod Thistle into the lead.
United nearly had a quickfire equaliser and Cerny had to produce a good fingertip save after a Dow shot seemed destined for the top corner of the net. Thistle were showing their dangerous side on the counter and Amoo was close to doubling his personal tally, but his low shot, after being played in by Lawless, was saved by the feet of the goalkeeper.
Bannigan was caught late 25 yards from goal, with Welsh hitting a splendid effort that was matched only by an equally good save from Zwick who tipped it over the crossbar. From Bannigan’s corner, Seaborne headed the ball goalwards, it struck the bar before hitting the goalkeeper on the foot. The ball bounced up and grazed the outside of the post before spinning behind for another corner.
A couple of minutes later saw United come close with Fraser smashing a volley off the frame of Tomas Cerny’s goal and rebounding out to safety. It was a game changing moment and Thistle reached half time of a very entertaining half with a goal advantage.
Thistle came out with the same intensity after the restart and pushed United deep with Pogba, once again, proving to be a crucial focal point in the team from an attacking sense. It was from a different source, however, that Thistle scored their second.
Dumbuya had been getting forward in support of Amoo all game, and when the winger slotted the ball into his path, he cut inside before firing a left footed effort across goal. Steven Lawless appeared to go for the ball, missing it allowing Dumbuya’s effort to creep into the far post.
It was a two goal lead the Thistle richly deserved, and although United looked dangerous in spells, Thistle’s defending denying the service into the box.
Thistle soon extended their lead to three when Pogba delivered a low cross into the box and Bannigan curled a right footed effort beyond Zwick. Thistle were in complete control and although the intensity of the game dropped significantly, Thistle could have added a fourth when Pogba drilled a low ball across goal, but Wilson didn’t show enough desire to poke the ball in at the back post.
All in all, Thistle more than merited their first three points of the season they leapfrogged Dundee United into 11th place.