Saturday 10th October, 2020 at 11:00pm
Competitive football returned to Firhill Stadium as Partick Thistle took on Queen’s Park in the Jags’ second of four Betfred Cup group stage matches.
Thistle were looking to bounce back from a midweek defeat by St. Mirren wherein Ian McCall’s side felt they deserved more from the game than they got meanwhile the visiting Spiders were playing their first game of the new season having sat out the first round of fixtures.
The Jags’ management team made four changes to the team which lost in Paisley with goalscorer from the 4-1 defeat, Blair Spittal, coming into the starting line-up. Richard Foster, Ciaran McKenna and Zak Rudden also made their first starts of the campaign.
The opening opportunity of the afternoon fell for the away side with Michael Doyle making headway on the right flank before delivering a decent enough ball into the box. He found Bob McHugh but the ex-Falkirk man could only try an acrobatic effort which was comfortably wide of the target.
It was quite a low key first half in general with neither side really creating much. The home side’s best chance was from a Blair Spittal corner as Darren Brownlie rose to head goalwards but like McHugh earlier, he didn’t really threaten the goal.
As the match approached the break it was Queen’s Park who looked more threatening. First of all, Ross MacLean found some space at the back post as he headed a lofted cross towards goal, however, Jamie Sneddon was well-placed to save.
Then, a Louis Longridge ball through the Jags defence found Darren Lyon sprinting forward with time to get a shot away. He elected to hit it first time but again Sneddon was in a good position to deny the away side.
Following a fairly tepid first 45 minutes left the score goalless at the break, Ian McCall decided to make a couple of alterations with Ryan Williamson replacing Richard Foster and Zak Rudden making way for Joe Cardle at the break.
With those changes, the Jags looked more dangerous almost immediately with Wullie Muir forced into his first proper save of the game on 47 minutes. A deep ball by Stuart Bannigan into the box was mis-headed by Joe Cardle, however, the attack stayed alive and after some untidy battling at the edge of the box, Blair Spittal was able to fire a shot in with Muir on hand to turn it away.
A pair of half-chances followed with Ross Docherty firing well over the bar from around 25 yards in the 51st minute before a teasing ball into the box was glanced past the post by Brian Graham with 64 on the clock.
The opener did eventually come though as half-time substitute Joe Cardle bagged his first goal of the new season. James Penrice was fed the ball on the left wing and the full-back cut inside onto his right foot, lifting a measured ball towards the back post area where Joe Cardle was waiting. The number seven met the cross on the stretch with his right foot and volleyed it back across goal into the net to give the Jags the advantage.
Cardle was the scorer once again as the deficit was doubled with nine minutes left to play. Thistle’s second started with terrific midfield play by Mouhamed Niang who had not long replaced Shea Gordon. The number 21 intercepted Louis Longridge’s pass in the centre circle and carried it 20 yards before giving it to Brian Graham. The striker then curled a lovely pass into the feet of Joe Cardle who brought it down, cut past his man and finished with his left foot at the near post.
The game finished 2-0 as the hosts claimed their first win of the new season and their first points of the group stage with a trip to Queen of the South up next.