Sunday 17th October, 2021 at 10:27pm
After a win the previous Sunday over Hibernian that took most of the SWPL by surprise, Thistle welcomed Hamilton Accies to Petershill Park looking to make it two wins in a row for the first time this season. That they didn’t and had to settle for just a single point was due to a combination of unfortunate individual errors and bad luck.
That said it was Hamilton that probably had the better of the first half even though Thistle made a positive start to the game creating an opening after just 4 minutes. London Pollard worked the ball wide to Teigan McCann on the right. Her cross found Cara McBrearty but she was quickly closed down and when she did manage to get a shot away it was blocked by a Hamilton defender.
Hamilton as the half progressed though began to take a grip on proceedings.
They were close to opening the scoring after 18 minutes with Danica Dalziel able to get just enough of the ball to deny Sinclair with Rosie Slater on hand to tidy up and clear off the line.
Six minutes later Dalziel got a strong hand to tip a Muir free kick over the crossbar for a corner and from that corner Hamilton should have taken the lead. McTear’s late run went unchallenged, but she was unable to take advantage of the free header she was presented with and headed over the bar.
Thistle took full advantage of that let off and in the 26th minute they took the lead.
Great work down the right from McCann, after collecting an excellent pass from Pollard, created the opening as she squared for Clare Docherty, and last season’s top scorer netted her first goal of the current season to open the scoring.
Thistle suffered a blow just four minutes after opening the scoring when the dangerous McCann was fouled near the edge of the Hamilton box. McCann was initially able to continue but shortly after McBrearty had brought a save from the Hamilton keeper with the free kick that followed she was replaced by Cheryl Rigden.
That change, with Rigden taking up a role in the centre of the Thistle midfield, meant that McBrearty swapped her role wide on the left for one on the right with Docherty moving to the left hand side.
Whether that required reorganisation had an impact or not is open to debate, but Hamilton were level just a minute after the change. A cross from the Thistle right ended up in the far corner of the net with the final touch looking as if it may have come from Cheryl McCulloch.
Hamilton really had their tails up at this point and they may have had an excellent chance to take a half-time lead but for some superb defending from the always impressive Demi Falconer who nudged the ball away from Giard as she advanced on the Thistle goal.
Thistle made a positive start to the second half with Pollard forcing McTear into an error, but Pollard was unable to pick out Docherty with a pass at the edge of the box.
There was better again from Thistle with Pollard again involved, this time on the left, crossing for Bulloch who saw her shot saved at the keeper’s front post.
The second half was proving to be a very open game of football and it took a neat clearance from Freya MacDonald as Hamilton threatened the Thistle goal and Muir sliced a shot wide when given an opportunity at the back post.
The bulk of the attacking though was coming from Thistle. Pollard once more threatened down the left but the keeper was able to intercept her cross with Rigden waiting for a tap in.
By this stage Docherty and McBrearty had swapped flanks, and both were causing the Hamilton defence a host of problems. A fact that was clearly demonstrated when after 54 minutes a foul on Docherty earned Thistle a penalty kick.
Against Hibs, Amy Bulloch confidently scored from the spot firing high to the keeper’s left. Bulloch went the same way again with this spot kick, though this time she went low rather than high. The keeper guessed correctly and produced a fine stop to keep the score at 1-1.
It didn’t remain level for too much longer though.
There was a real buzz every time London Pollard got hold of the ball and there was no surprised that was at the heart of the move that saw take the lead for a second time. She picked out McBrearty to her left and McBearty’s shot left the keeper with no chance at all.
For the second time though Hamilton were back level within minutes of falling behind.
A lapse of concentration at the back gave sub McGonigle space inside the box at a free kick and she found the net with an effort that the otherwise reliable Dalziel will feel that she should have kept out.
That was the end of the scoring for the afternoon but certainly not the scoring with Thistle pushing and pushing for a winner that just wouldn’t come.
McBrearty sent a free kick from distance over the bar. A Bulloch corner flew across the face of the Hamilton goal and a Bulloch free kick produced a save from the visiting goalkeeper at her front post.
The best chance probably came with 3 minutes remaining.
Pollard skipped past a couple of chances before squaring for Rigden who saw her shot blocked by a defender.