Thistle bounce back with convincing win over Motherwell

Partick Thistle vs Motherwell at Firhill. Stuart Bannigan scores Thistles first goal.
Partick Thistle vs Motherwell at Firhill. Stuart Bannigan scores Thistles first goal.

Partick Thistle bounced back with a 3-1 win over Motherwell at Firhill to banish the bad memory of the previous week’s defeat.

This was The Jags’ first win over them for nearly 11 years, but both teams were nervous with the visitors also experiencing a defeats the previous week.

Although it was Thistle who settle first, it was Motherwell, in a rare attack on the Thistle goal that almost snatched an 11th minute lead.

Josh Law was able to clip over a cross from the left to the near post where Henrik Ojamaa’s header brushed the frame of the Thistle goal.

Thistle though found themselves in front just five minutes later. Steven Lawless had a big influence on proceedings. When he found himself in a little pocket of space he spotted Stuart Bannigan to his left who fired high into the net for his second goal of the season.

Thistle continued to look the better side in the first half, but could not add to this lead. Kris Doolan in the 35th minute was able to get the better of McManus as the two players challenged for a long ball forward from Balatoni, and Doolan was able to work the ball out into the path of Christie Elliott but his shot neither had the power nor the direction to seriously trouble Twardzik.

Motherwell meantime were making little impact on a compact, well organised Thistle defence,but did end the half with a spell of possession.

Thistle started the second half in promising style. Steven Lawless’ shot was blocked by a Motherwell defender less than 60 seconds after the restart.

Thistle’s second goal in the 63rd minute was an excellent team effort. It began with Conrad Balatoni’s pass down the right hand side. Craigen’s flick sent Stephen O’Donnell clear and O’Donnell was able to use his pace to get clear and send over a cross that Doolan fired into the back of the net.

With Thistle well in control and Motherwell not a serious threat it looked like a comfortable home win as the game entered the final 20 minutes. But out of the blue Motherwell were able to haul themselves right back into the game with a long range effort from Lionel Ainsworth’s leaving Scott Fox with no chance of saving.

A third goal in the 82nd minute eased the Thistle nerves considerably. Nathan Eccleston had only being on the pitch for two minutes when he won the ball on the halfway line and he spotted Stephen O’Donnell’s run as Thistle caught Motherwell on the counter attack. Although left with just the keeper to beat O’Donnell still some work to do, but his confident finish had all the hallmarks of a class player.

Motherwell came close to another goal deep in injury time, but Fox’s made an excellent save.

Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Balatoni, Seaborne, McMillan, Osman, Bannigan, Lawless(Carroll 77), Craigen, Elliot(McDaid 90), Doolan(Eccleston 80). Subs not used: Stevenson, Gallacher, Wison, Lindsay.

Attendance: 3,405