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Match Report

Partick Thistle v Raith Rovers – 27th August 2022

Match Report written by Chris Toner

It was back to Saturday afternoon football for Partick Thistle as Raith Rovers made the trip from Fife to Firhill in the fifth match of the cinch Championship season.

Thistle looked to make it two wins on the bounce following their 4-1 Friday night thumping of Inverness that briefly put the Jags top of the table last weekend, while The Rovers were on a two-game winning streak of their own, after a 2-0 victory over Hamilton and a 2-1 win over Morton the week prior following two losses to start their campaign.

Following last Friday’s resounding victory, it was no surprise that Ian McCall kept the nucleus of the side together and made only one change; with new signing Lee Hodson fresh off his first start last week making way for Tunji Akinola.

After the flurry of goals last time out, it was no secret that Thistle would want to give their supporters more and it didn’t take long for that to happen. In just the third minute, captain Ross Docherty had a shot from the centre of the box saved and after a few blocked efforts by the frantic Raith defence, the ball to the feet of Scott Tiffoney, with the 23-year-old wasting no time disposing the ball into the bottom right corner of the net, sending Firhill into raptures.

The next chance for the home side came in the 14th minute, as Steven Lawless had an ambitious effort from range, but he was denied after keeper Jamie MacDonald used his chest to make an awkward save. Just two minutes later, the visitors had their first real chance of the game as Ross Millen put the ball high over the bar.

The game would then settle down, with the referee calling for a water break midway through the half. With about ten minutes before the half, Jack McMillan put in a low cross for Brian Graham, which was cleared behind for a corner. From the ensuing corner, the ball wound up back in the box and Harry Milne’s foot put the ball into the top corner, albeit from an offside position.

With three minutes until the break, a ball from McMillan was misjudged by a Raith defender, allowing Lawless to pounce and fire a low shot past the outstretched arm of MacDonald. The visitors, however, ensured they would not enter the half two-down, as they responded immediately as Sam Stanton’s pass picked out Ethan Ross, with the former Aberdeen man’s curling effort going into the bottom corner. The Jags almost restored their two-goal cushion through McMillan, who forced a save out of MacDonald, before a defender nearly put the ball in his own net, before it was finally cleared behind.

Thistle started the second half with a chance just two minutes in from Tiffoney, whose curling effort was saved on the line by MacDonald, with the former Hearts stopper having to go off in the 56th minute through injury. Just two minutes later, Lawless had another go from distance, this time just dipping past the left post.

On the hour mark, the visitors looked more threatening as they forced Harry Milne into making a block in the box, with substitute Kyle Connell almost making an immediate impact moments later, as the Kilmarnock loanee put a low shot just wide of the post.

There would be another water break in the 70th minute and on 77 minutes a cross into the box found the head of Thistle sub Anton Dowds, but he couldn’t divert his effort goal bound. In the 84th minute, fellow sub Kyle Turner’s blocked shot from the edge of the box had cries for handball ultimately rejected by referee Matthew MacDermid. At the other end seconds later, earlier scorer Ross paired up with Connell, who only had Mitchell to beat, but once again he could only put his effort wide.

Due to MacDonald’s injury, seven minutes of injury time were ultimately played, during which Thistle sub Aidan Fitzpatrick put a shot from a tight angle narrowly wide and with the very last kick of the game, Rovers captain Scott Brown blazed a shot over the bar.

Firhill breathed a sigh of relief as the referee blew the whistle to end a very nervy second half of football. The result sees Ian McCall’s men second in the table on goal difference and just a point off top-place Ayr United.

Next up for the Jags is the visit of Arbroath in the Premier Sports Cup. The action kicks off at 7.45pm at Firhill this Tuesday, 30th August.

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