Saturday, 04 August 2012 23:29
Forfar Athletic 0 Partick Thistle 2
All at Station Park were full of optimism following last week’s victory over Dunfermline, and the Boss started with the same eleven, apart from Derek Soutar who was unavailable. David Scott taking his place.
The beginning to the match was a carbon copy of last week’s opening stages, with Danny Denholm easily beating his marker and homing in on goal, he crossed for Charlie King to nudge goalwards, only to see Scott Fox saving low to his left. The visitors soon settled into the rhythm of the match and started to take the upper hand. Sinclair and Erskine connected well down the left hand side before Erskine’s shot wasn’t too far off target. Then Doolan was picked out by O’Donnell’s neat pass and Scott did well to close down the danger. Forfar were showing signs that they too were hungry to score, Denholm again beat his marker before delivering a pin point cross which Templeman headed past, however Thistle took the lead in the 17th minute thanks to a fine goal. The Loons gave away the ball cheaply in midfield and CHRIS ERSKINE took full advantage, he powered his way past two challenges before lashing the ball past the helpless keeper.
Ten minutes later Erskine again had the opportunity to score but wasted a great cut back. On the half hour mark, Sean Welsh hammered a shot off the woodwork following good work from Murray. Partick were pretty much in control and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead. Erskine, who was a pain all afternoon sent an angled pass into the box for LAWLESS to run onto, he controlled the ball before making no mistake with a low drive. With the first half coming to an end, Forfar were thrown a lifeline. Charlie King fed the ball to Swankie and as he was about to shoot from 10 yards out he was felled by Murray. A penalty was awarded with no complaints, however the defender was unlucky to see a red card dismissing him from play. Swanks failed to take advantage however, and blasted his spot kick over the bar.
Forfar needed to up their game if they were to compete with Thistle in the second half, and fortunately they did. Good work by Denholm produced a corner from the left, and although Fox seemingly had cleared the danger with a long punch clear, Keith Gibson had other ideas as he hammered in a first time shot from 25 yards which beat the stopper, but rattled the crossbar. The Loons, with their one man advantage were able to reduce Partick’s chances in this half, however home chances were rare too. But there were encouraging signs for the home crowd during the second period of play. Some of the good stuff witnessed in the pre-season matches and against Dunfermline were on show, and it should be acknowledged that most of the teams Forfar will face this season wont be as competent as Thistle were. With twenty minutes remaining a goal almost came Forfar’s way, Fotheringham, on as a substitute, delivered a great corner which Bolochoweckyj flicked goalwards, however Bannigan managed to somehow clear off the line. As the minutes ticked away the visitors twice came very close to increasing their advantage, with only the width of the post denying both Welsh and Lawless. Forfar’s final effort was a cracking 30 yard free kick from Fotheringham which Fox handled well.
A strong performance from the visitors, which gave Forfar a stern test. No doubt the Boss will have the squad learn from this defeat, and the real business of League football begins this Saturday against relegated Queen of the South, who will provide tough opposition as the Loons aim to pick up three points.
Match report by Kevin Brown