Thistle get Motherwell mauling

SPFL Premiership 2013/14,'Partick Thistle v Motherwell, Sunday 29th Dec 2013, 3.00pm kick off.'Plenty of action but it was not going to be Thistle's Day.'Full Time Score Partick Thistle 1  -   Motherwell 5'Photo by Paul Mc Sherry 29th Dec 2013
SPFL Premiership 2013/14,'Partick Thistle v Motherwell, Sunday 29th Dec 2013, 3.00pm kick off.'Plenty of action but it was not going to be Thistle's Day.'Full Time Score Partick Thistle 1 - Motherwell 5'Photo by Paul Mc Sherry 29th Dec 2013

Partick Thistle suffered one of their heaviest defeats with a 5-1 drubbing at the hand of Motherwell at Firhill this week.

Such a one-sided score seemed unlikely in the opening exchanges as Thistle pinned the visitors back, with Kallum Higginbotham prominent on the left flank.

Thistle were rewarded when Stuart Bannigan, Kris Doolan and James Craigen combined to set up Steven Lawless, who shot into the bottom corner of the net from 10 yards.

A set-piece then presented Steven McFadden with the chance to level but his stooping header from a corner was blocked, but he played a major part in the equaliser when it did come.

McFadden jinked past a couple of opponents on the edge of the penalty area before slipping a pass to Keith Lasley to tuck an angled strike past advancing keeper Scott Fox.

Zaine Francis-Angol was menacing for the visitors and he got forward to great effect on 21 minutes, dashing into the penalty area to squeeze a low shot in at Fox’s near post for his first Motherwell goal.

Kris Doolan then curled a long-range effort wide and Lawless was upended just inches from the penalty box as the hosts sought a response.

But it was the visitors who were to strike next as the home defence inexplicably stopped in their tracks and McFadden was able to profit from Piccolo’s awkward fresh-air swipe to coolly lift the ball over Fox.

After the turnaround McFadden took aim with a clever, dipping strike on the angle that needed an excellent fingertip stop from Fox. Thistle substitute Ross Forbes then sent in a similar effort from further out, with Twardzik also saving well.

The home side were pushing men forward in determined fashion but they were again undone by a defensive lapse as Motherwell increased their lead on 57 minutes.

Lasley intercepted a stray pass from Aaron Taylor-Sinclair to drive forward and tee up Ainsworth, with the winger sliding in a composed finish.

McFadden headed against the crossbar but Motherwell did not have to wait long for goal number five.

There was yet more calamitous defending as Piccolo let a high ball bounce off him and into the path of Sutton and the substitute slammed it in from 16 yards.

Doolan looked certain to grab a late consolation goal as he latched on to a poor pass-back from Simon Ramsden to poke the ball past Twardzik but the keeper did really well to get back to his feet and make a sliding tackle right in front of his empty net.