Saturday 30th April, 2016 at 2:33pm
Thistle hosted Inverness in their second post-split fixture of the 2015/16 campaign with the Jags looking to pick up the three points that would end all uncertainty about the sides Premiership status for next season.
Alan Archibald made 3 changes to the side which lost narrowly to Dundee last weekend with the suspended duo of Callum Booth and Dan Seaborne returning to the side. Christie Elliott and Gary Miller dropped out. The midfield was adjusted slightly with the pace of David Amoo preferred to the creativity of Aidan Nesbitt.
Thistle got the game underway, shooting towards the North Stand in the first half and the game was immediately an open end to end affair. With just over a minute played Liam Polworth had an early effort comfortably dealt with by Ryan Scully from around 25 yards out.
Thistle had a glorious chance to take the lead after three minutes when Kris Doolan and Ryan Edwards linked up well from a Scully clearance. Edwards was able to slot the ball into the path of Steven Lawless who fired an effort inches wide of target from just inside the Inverness penalty area.
Inverness were playing with a high pressing game and David Amoo burst through wide on the right. As he cut into the visitor’s penalty area, an excellent tackle halted his progress.
With 15 minutes on the clock Inverness took the lead. Carl Tremarco entered the Thistle half untracked and received a through ball. With Kris Doolan bursting a gut to track the full back, Tremarco was able to advance into the Thistle penalty area and dink an effort past Scully into the far corner of the net.
Jordan Roberts was next to have an effort on the Thistle goal when he curled a free kick just wide of Scully’s post. Storey burst through on goal and looked set to double Inverness’ lead but good pressure from Liam Lindsay meant his effort was weak and Scully could collect comfortably.
Callum Booth whipped over a low cross which evaded everyone but unfortunately for Thistle it glanced just beyond the far post.
Thistle were starting to come back into the game as an attacking threat as the first half wore on but both Welsh and Doolan couldn’t find the target with long range efforts.
Miles Storey was fed through by Ross Draper but, once again, Ryan Scully was equal to his effort.
Thistle’s best chance of the first half fell to Sean Welsh when his free kick from 30 yards forced a diving full length save from Fon Williams in the Inverness goal.
The final effort of the first half fell to David Amoo. Steven Lawless switched the ball wide to the pacey winger. With Carl Tremarco facing him up, he cut inside but his effort was deflected into Fon Williams’ arms.
The second half got off to the worst possible fashion as Inverness doubled their lead with just over 30 seconds on the clock. A throw in found Storey in acres of space inside the Thistle penalty box. He fired a low effort across goal, finding the back of the net via the back post despite Scully getting a hand on the ball.
Inverness were rampant and cutting Thistle apart at will. Storey was finding acres of space around the Thistle defence and when he teed up Mutombo, the attacker could only find the side netting.
Inverness should really have been three goals up when Meekings’ cross was diverted goalwards by Jordan Roberts. His effort, however, struck the post of Ryan Scully.
Thistle’s defence were all over the place as Inverness piled forward. Mutombo delivered a deep cross, which was met by Miles Storey but a terrific save from Ryan Scully denied the striker.
Inverness were attacking relentlessly in the second half and only poor finishing denied them a third goal that they deserved. Brave blocks from Osman and Doolan denied Mutombo before the lively attacker was denied by an excellent double save from Scully. With the loose ball rolling towards the goal, Seaborne was able to get back and clear off the goal line.
With 15 minutes to go, Inverness did grab their third goal when Meekings was able to guide a Tansey corner beyond Scully. The defender was in acres of space and fired a first time effort beyond the helpless goalkeeper.
Inverness were content with the three goal cushion and retained the ball comfortably in the closing stages of the game.
There was a lifeline for Thistle with six minutes remaining when Kris Doolan scored for the third consecutive home game. He pounced on hesitancy in the Inverness defence to take control of a loose ball. He danced the ball away from the goalkeeper before slotting into an empty net.
The joy was short lived, however, as Roberts met a cross at the back post. His half volley went high into the net past the helpless Ryan Scully.
Inverness could have added to their lead in the closing minutes as they toyed with a beleaguered Thistle side.
After two minutes of additional time, Euan Anderson put the home support out of their misery in a game that could have been much worse for Alan Archibald’s men.