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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Heart of Midlothian – 31st October 2015

Thistle looked to extend their unbeaten run to four games with the visit of Hearts. The Edinburgh side had the incentive of moving into second position in the league so Alan Archibald’s side knew they would be in for a tough afternoon.

Thistle made two changes to the side which had drawn with Hamilton Accies last weekend. Tomas Cerny, injured during the first half of that draw, missed out allowing a first Thistle league start for Ryan Scully since March 2012. Captain Abdul Osman returned to the heart of the Thistle midfield at the expense of Ryan Edwards who dropped out of the squad completely.

Hearts started the game the stronger side and Paterson showed the first sign of intent, drilling a low free kick wide of Scully’s goal. Hearts were quick to take advantage of loose play from Thistle and after a slack pass, Djoum saw a shot blocked by Liam Lindsay before Swanson fired the rebound wide of the post.

Thistle’s best efforts at carving open the Hearts defence were coming from set pieces and Bannigan’s corner deliveries were causing the Edinburgh side all sorts of problems. Amoo was having an enjoyable time down the right hand side of Thistle’s attack and when he laid the ball off to Dumbuya, the full backs cross found Bannigan at the back post, but his snap shot was narrowly wide of Alexander’s goal.

Thistle continued to press, looking for the first goal in the game and when Booth’s cross was deflected behind for a corner, it presented Bannigan with another opportunity to deliver a killer delivery into the box. After a knockdown, the ball fell to Amoo who fires a goalbound shot, which struck the heel of McGhee, more through uck than decision, and out for a second corner.

There was to be a goal before the halftime break and it was the visitors who got it. Swanson swung in a free kick wide of the Thistle penalty box which Juanma headed goalwards. Scully palmed the ball away from goal, but Osman Sow reacted quickest. He smashed a low ball back into the six yard box for Juanma to bundle home from close range to give Hearts the lead.

Thistle came out for the second half, looking to get back into the game but soon fell further behind when Osman Sow was given a couple of chances inside the box and he dispatched a low effort into the far corner of the net.

Hearts were comfortable in the lead and knocking the ball about with the confidence of being higher up in the table. Callum Paterson tested Ryan Scully from 25 yards before Hearts managed to secure their killer third goal.

Djoum got the better of Thistle’s defence and Lindsay hauled down the striker inside the box, and was lucky to see only yellow. Juanma, who missed a penalty against Thistle at Tynecastle, sent Scully the wrong way and his penalty rolled into the back of the net.

Hearts were in complete control and despite Thistle having a significant amount of the ball, they were never in serious danger of troubling the Hearts rearguard, indeed it was the Edinburgh side who added a fourth goal to the game.

Osman Sow, who was marginally onside, was slipped clean through on goal, before colliding with Scully inside the box. Referee, Steven McLean was left with no choice but to send off the Jags keeper. With Thistle having used up all three subs it was left to Ryan Stevenson to don the gloves but, despite getting a strong hand on the ball, he was unable to keep Osman Sow’s effort out of the net.

What had been a promising first half, with an evenly contested match, turned into a Halloween horror show after the break as Hearts showed their clinical side in front of goal, punishing Thistle at every turn. Alan Archibald will look for vast improvement in next week’s trip to Dundee; a fixture which will see a fourth different Thistle player playing as a goalkeeper.

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