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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle WFC v Dundee United WFC – 13th August 2023

Thistle got the competitive action in season 2023-2024 off the best possible of starts with a comfortable win, but a win not without controversy, over Dundee United.

Brian Graham’s team selection saw the inclusion of five summer recruits. Rosie McQuillan, Lucy Sinclair and Kodie Hay made their Partick Thistle debuts while Emma Lawton made her competitive return to the red and yellow of Partick Thistle for the first time since 2019. In Megan Cunningham too there was a familiar face in the Thistle goal with Megan starting a second season at Petershill Park on loan from Rangers.

It was one of the core of last season’s highly successful squad though that deservedly took the after match plaudits with Cara Henderson, scorer of the winning goal against United in both of last season’s meetings, grabbing an opening day hat-trick.

The first of Henderson’s three goals arrived as early as the 4th minute.

Two of the aforementioned new players had a hand in this goal. McQuillan’s ball over the top found Sinclair. Her shot was half saved by Sidey and when Sinclair stabbed the loose ball towards goal Henderson was in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball home.

With the confidence of that early goal behind them Thistle took a firm grip of proceedings with the game almost exclusively played inside the United half with Thistle looking to build upon the platform that Henderson’s goal had provided them with.

There was a shock ahead for Thistle though when the referee dramatically flashed a red card in the direction of Clare Docherty just after the 20 minute mark for what we can only assume was something that Docherty said.

If there was any anxiety that the reduction in numbers would have an impact on proceedings were soon dispelled as Thistle continued to dominate and a second goal was added before the interval.

As she had with the first goal Sinclair had a hand in this goal too. Collecting a pass from Henderson, who had held the ball up following a throw, Sinclair squared for McQuillan to mark her debut with a neat left foot finish from 6 yards out.

A disciplined and mature performance after the break, with 17 year old Jenna Ferguson who was introduced as a sub in the immediate wake of Docherty’s red card outstanding, in the heart of the Thistle defence, ensured that there was no chance of a United comeback.

The win was sealed with 14 minutes of the match remaining. Hay lifted the ball over the United defence for sub Imogen Longcake to use her pace to get on the end of. She looked set to score as she took the ball round the keeper only to he hauled to the ground for an obvious penalty. Sadly Longacke picked up an injury in being fouled and was unable to continue.

It was Henderson that was entrusted with the penalty and she powerfully sent the ball to the keeper’s right and into the back of the net.

Six minute later Henderson completed her hat-trick with another emphatic penalty conversion, this time after Lawton was fouled inside the box.

A United side that had rarely, if ever, threatened did create one opening with the game inside the final 90 minutes but they could find no way past Cunningham.

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