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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle WFC v Motherwell WFC 10/09/23

Last season Thistle’s success in finishing in the top six was based on an ability to beat those sides considered their immediate peers and rivals for a top six finish. To repeat, or even better, that success this time around with be based on the ability to do similar once more. With that in mind the visit to Petershill Park of Motherwell, a side with genuine top six aspirations, was seen as the first real test of Thistle’s top six credentials this season.

There was just one change made to the side that so narrowly went down to defeat against Rangers with Megan Cunningham returning in goal having missed out against her parent club the previous weekend.

There was, however, an early blow for Thistle with Emma Lawton, so impressive this season, picking up an injury as early as the 5th minute and after treatment was unable to continue. Thistle were fortunate though in having in Clare Docherty, who has been waiting patiently for an opportunity to return to the side after her own injury issues, a player who could come on and slot seamlessly in at right back.

As these encounters with Motherwell often are, this was a tough physical battle that even from an early stage had the look of a match that would perhaps be settled by just a solitary goal. Although Motherwell had an early opportunity when an effort from Boyce drifted wide of Cunningham’s left hand post, it was Thistle that always carried more of an attacking threat and looked the more likely to score.

There were a couple of efforts from outside the box from Rebecca McGowan that although on target didn’t really test Mutch in the Motherwell goal.

Mutch though did have to make an important save just after the half hour mark. Imogen Longcake did exceptionally well to advance down the left hand side before finding Cara Henderson inside the box whose close control and strength allowed her to pick out Lucy Sinclair to her right. Sinclair took a touch and looked set to score only for Mutch to be quickly off her line to block.

Thistle were close again just minutes later when after good work down the right, Henderson saw her cross just evade Sinclair who had taken up good position inside the box. Seconds later a Henderson header from a Longcake cross slipped just wide of goal as Thistle looked to take a deserved lead into the dressing room at half-time.

There was one last chance before the break with a Sinclair shot following a Docherty cross landing on the top of the Motherwell net.

Chances were limited after the break as the game developed into a battle of attrition but what few opportunities there were continued to come in front of the Motherwell goal.

A Demi Falconer effort from an Amy Bulloch free kick wasn’t too far wide of goal and a Rosie Slater, who had done well to escape the attention of her marker, saw her header from a Bulloch corner go wide.

It perhaps wasn’t any great surprise then that it was a set piece delivered by Amy Bulloch that led to the game’s winning goal. The game was inside the last 10 minutes when her corner from the left found its way to substitute Megan Robb at the back post, Robb caught the ball sweetly on the volley and in it went via the underside of the bar. It was Robb’s second goal for the Club since joining from Dryburgh in the summer and underlined the strength in depth at Brian Graham’s disposal.

Thistle still had to endure a tense final 9 minutes plus an addition 5 minutes of injury time before the points were secured. Twice defenders had to put their bodies on the line inside the box as Motherwell tried to find a route to goal before Robb demonstrated her value in both boxes with a brave header at the back post to clear a dangerous looking free kick with the full-time whistle sounding a short time later.

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