Thistle entertain the crowd in last pre-season friendly

Partick Thistle completed their pre-season friendly with an entertaining goaless draw against AEL Limassol on Saturday.

Thistle included new loan signing Gary Fraser in their starting line-up and there was also a slot for Mexican trialist Gabriel Rojo de la Vega Piccolo in the centre of the Thistle defence. Gabriel, signed a two year contract shortly after full-time.

It was the Cypriot side that got off a better start, but Thistle responded with some nice football. Their first opportunity arrived in the 12th minute when Ross Forbes curled a free kick from the left to the back post. There was, however, just a little too much elevation of Forbes’ free kick and although Kris Doolan was able to meet the ball at the back post he was unable to keep his header down.

Three minutes later Thistle thought they had a penalty. Stephen O’Donnell sent over a cross from the right and in attempting to connect with it Kris Doolan was barged in the box. The referee immediately pointed to the spot only to overturn his decision when he saw the flag raised for offside.

AEL too were thwarted by an assistant referee’s raised flag when they had the ball in the back of the Thistle net in 18th minute.

Midway through the first half Thistle had another opportunity from a Ross Forbes free kick. He again aimed the ball for the back post but this time no Thistle player was able to gather the ball. Gabriel, however, was able to collect the loose ball and he sent over a cross that Forbes blazed high over the bar.

There was a steady stream of substitutions during the course of the second half which had an impact on the rhythm of the game. There was still some action in front of goal with Thistle having the clearer of the second half chances.

Their first opportunity came in just the third minute of the second half. Doolan was able to touch the ball back into the path of Steven Lawless who sent his shot over the bar.

In the 67th minute a lovely back heel from one of the many second half substitutes, James Craigen, gave Christie Elliott a shooting opportunity but his effort lacked power and Romero was able to save.

The AEL goalkeeper, however, was more severely tested by a free kick from Aaron Taylor-Sinclair that Romero did well to turn round the post for a corner.

John Baird shot over the bar from 25 yards with the game in its’ final ten minutes but the best chance of them all came with the final whistle just seconds away. Christie Elliott flicked the ball on for Henoc Mukendi who was able to lift the ball over the AEL keeper but only onto the roof of the net.

Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Taylor Sinclair, Welsh, trialist, Balatoni, Fraser, Bannigan, Doolan, Forbes, Lawless.

pic 1

Steven Lawless moves the ball up field. (M31316a)

pic 2

Kris Doolan counters a challenge from a Limasssol player at Firhill. (M31316c)

pic 3

Gary Fraser goes for a high ball challenge. (M31316d)