Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Falkirk – 11th August 2018

League football returned to Maryhill this afternoon as Falkirk visited the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill for Partick Thistle’s first home fixture of the 2018/19 Championship campaign. The Jags came home after a 2-0 defeat kicked off the new season at Somerset Park last Saturday but were looking to bounce back with a result against Paul Hartley’s Bairns, who also suffered opening day defeat, at the hands of Inverness Caley Thistle.

Two changes were made to Thistle starting line-up from last weekend’s game as two players jumped straight back into the team after not being in the squad seven days ago. Replacing Max Melbourne, Christie Elliott returned at right-back having served his one-game suspension and took hold of the captain’s armband for the day. The rest of the back four consisted of Tam O’Ware, Sean McGinty and James Penrice ahead of Cammy Bell between the sticks. Shea Gordon played the anchor role in midfield for the first time this season, giving Craig Slater a bit more freedom as the floating central midfielder. Jack Storer started as the player in the middle of an attacking midfield three with Chris Erskine and Blair Spittal on either flank. Miles Storey played as the sole striker with Kris Doolan not starting for the first time of the season with Thistle’s number nine on the bench.

The hosts started very brightly and threatened the Falkirk defence without carving out a real chance in the opening stages. Craig Slater did register the game’s first shot on target in the eighth minute but the number 17 dragged his ranged effort and Leo Fasan had a very easy save to make.

Thistle would, however, capitalise on their strong start in the 23rd minute when James Penrice opened the scoring. Following a Blair Spittal free-kick delivery into the box, the cleared ball fell the way of Miles Storey. The Englishman then turned the ball back to James Penrice. The Thistle Weir Academy Graduate then checked infield before weaving his way past three defenders and shooting. His initial attempt seemed to be going wide but a deflection off a Falkirk body took it past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. The goal, which has been awarded to Penrice, is the left—back’s second of the season making it his best ever scoring campaign after just six games.

The advantage was quickly doubled just five minutes later when Chris Erskine struck home his first goal of the new season. The Jags number ten received the ball from Christie Elliott and immediately drove inside. He cut past not one, not two, but three Falkirk players before slamming home a left footed effort from just inside the box. The goal gets him off the mark for the 2018/19 season and sent the home side into the break with a two goal lead.

After the half-time interval, Miles Storey went close to netting his first in the league this year as he thundered an effort narrowly wide from over 25 yards. The shot came at the end of a long spell of Thistle possession containing over 20 passes and eventually Spittal teed Storey up but his powerful effort couldn’t find the target.

On the hour mark, Falkirk went very close to pulling one back and a bit of good luck on the Jags’ part kept the score at 2-0. After Rees Greenwood was fouled by Craig Slater, Hearts loanee, Andrew Irving stepped up and curled a sumptuous effort towards Cammy Bell’s goal. The set-piece attempt came back off the cross bar and ricocheted against Bell’s back. Hearts were in mouths right around the stadium but the ball bounced behind for a corner rather than bouncing into the net.

The subsequent corner presented another opportunity for the travelling Bairns as they once again hit the woodwork. A delivery from the Jackie Husband Stand side of the pitch was met by Falkirk defender, Scott Harrison who nodded goalward. The header looked to be threatening the top corner of the Thistle goal but it only clipped the bar on the way over.

Shortly thereafter, Thistle made their first change of the game as Jack Storer came off to be replaced by Kris Doolan in the 65th minute.

The visitors’ next chance to pull one back came with ten minutes of normal time remaining. The ball was fed to Paul Paton who had made a ghosting run into the Jags’ penalty area. He turned and lifted a pass towards the back post where Jordan McGhee had made a terrific run from the left of defence. He tried a drilled effort at the near post but missed the target completely when it seemed a fairly simple finish for the Bairns’ number three.

The Jags then made two further alterations during the last ten minutes. Firstly, Blair Spittal was replaced by Aidan Fitzpatrick in the 81st minute before Callum Wilson was then handed a debut, coming on for Chris Erskine in the 89th minute.

As the game entered added time, Falkirk did manage to pull a goal back. A long throw by Aaron Muirhead dropped in the box and first on the scene was Bairns substitute, Rees Greenwood who rifled a low shot into the back of the net at the near post, leaving Cammy Bell with no chance whatsoever.

Although Falkirk then began pushing hard for an equaliser, it was Thistle who came closest to the game’s fourth goal through Kris Doolan in the 91st minute. Miles Storey fed the ball to the talismanic forward and Doolan took a touch before shooting. He lashed a left footed shot towards goal but found only the side-netting as he continues his search for his first of the new season.

That would be the final action of the game as Kevin Clancy blew for full-time at 2-1. The Jags picked up their first three points of this season’s Championship having shown marked improvement on the previous week’s showing.

Thistle now turn their attentions to something of a cup week. First up is Stranraer away in the Irn Bru Cup with kick-off at 19:45 this Tuesday from Stair Park.

THISTLE TEAM: Bell, Elliott, O’Ware, McGinty, Penrice, Gordon, Slater, Spittal (Fitzpatrick, 81’), Erskine (Wilson, 89’), Storer (Doolan, 65’), Storey.

UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Sneddon, Keown, Melbourne.

FALKIRK TEAM: Fasan, Muirhead, Dallison, Harrison, McGhee, Sammut (Russell, HT), Paton, Irving, Petravicius (Greenwood, HT), Lewis, Mackin (Froxylias, 61’).

UNUSED SUBS (FLK): Mutch, Kidd, Robson, O’Hara.

Article Copyright © 2018. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to

< Back