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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle WFC v Celtic WFC – 7th May 2023

There were conflicting emotions when the full-time whistle sounded at the end of this game. Crushing disappoitment at a point being snatched away from Thistle in the curelist of fashions after 95 plus minutes of football, vying with an overwhelming sense of pride at a truly outstanding performance from a team that continue to grow.

A point here against a Celtic side pressing for a league title would have been no smash and grab job either, but a richly deserved one from a squad down to very bare bones. So depleted were the Thistle ranks that only one outfield substitute could be listed with a number of the starting eleven receiving treatment almost right up to kick-off.

Not that you would have been aware of that such was the quality of the Thistle performance. Indeed Thistle could easily have been in front inside the game’s first few minutes with Imogen Longcake seeing her shot just clear the bar after a Demi Falconer free kick had been flicked on.

It was no isolated attack either with Rachel Donaldson shooting only narrowly wide before the same player saw a powerful effort blocked following a clever corner from Amy Bulloch.

At the other end Megan Cunningham made a smart save to deny Jacynta but despite Celtic seeing plenty of the ball in forward areas Thistle defended superbly to limit them to at best half chances.

It was almost against the run of play then when Celtic took the lead after half an hour when a free kick from the right, itself a contentious call, was headed home by Hayes.

It was really only in the 15 minute period that followed that goal that you could truly claim that Celtic were in control and it took an excellent save from Cunninghsm to insure that Thistle just trailed by a solitary goal at the break.

Celtic came close to a second goal early in the second half when a low cross from the left fizzed across the face of the Thistle goal without finding the touch that would have produced a second goal.

Like the first half Thistle defensive efforts, with Leah Robinson, Kim Murphy and Demi Falconer outstanding as a central defensive trio, limited Celtic opportunities and with full backs Clare Docherty and Rosie Slater able to push forward in attack there was an increasing sense that Thistle could take something from this game.

There was no real surprise then when Thistle drew level after 57 minutes.

And what a goal it was too.

Donaldson and Docherty combined superbly down the right handside with the latter’s inch perfect cross headed home by Cara Henderson for her 10th goal of a highly productive season for the young player playing in SWPL1 for the very first time.

There were anxious monents in and around the Thistle goal as play got more and more frantic but Cunningham’s goal was well protected by a Thistle side that continued to defend superbly from front to back.

Indeed it wasn’t just a question of whether Thistle could hold on but whether they could snatch a winner, and they were desperately close to doing so when substitute Taylor Fisher was denied by an excellent double save by Logan in the Celtic goal with 3 minutes of a pulsating match remaining.

The additional four minutes as indicated by the fourth official had passed largely without incident when Thistle were dealt the curliest of cruel blows. There were 95 minutes on the clock when a free kick was pumped deep into the Thistle box where the head of Hayes snatched away from Thistle what would have been a richly deserved point.

There was just time for Thistle to restart the game, and Robinson to try and catch out the Celtic keeper from the centre circle, before the final whistle sounded. The Thistle players sinking to their knees in despair. It was a cruel late blow that they did not deserve.

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