U20s v Partick ThistleMonday, 19th Sep 2016
SPFL Development League:Sean Murdoch, Kallum Higginbotham, Michael Moffat and Joe Cardle start. Callum Wilson (41) 0-1
- - Listen to John Potters post match thoughts
DUNFERMLINE 0 PARTICK THISTLE 1
This Development League match at East End Park saw the welcome return of keeper Sean Murdoch. He lined up behind first team players Kallum Higginbotham, Michael Moffat and Joe Cardle.
First serious Dunfermline attack came in fourth minute came when Cardle broke through the middle to release the ball to Moffat on the edge of the area but his shot went narrowly over the crossbar.
It continued to be Dunfermline pushing forward with a Higginbotham corner headed wide left by Stuart Morrison three minutes later. Cardle had the ball in the net in 11th minute but rather belatedly, although correctly, referee Stewart Luke pulled back play for a foul committed by Ciaran Lafferty.
Thistle produced a good move to create their first chance two minutes later but Andrew McCarthy sent the ball across the face of goal. Back at the other end McCarthy was on hand to clear a Cardle cross that dropped in behind Higginbotham.
On the quarter hour it was McCarthy again who drove a fierce shot wide left but Murdoch had it covered had the Thistle man been on target.
In 17 minutes Dunfermline had the ball in the visitors net for a second time. Moffat made the break and fed the ball to Lafferty left on the edge of the Thistle penalty box but the stand side assistant linesman had his flag raised.
Moffat beat two men on the left side of the box but when his cross came in, Lafferty headed over the bar. The match was in its 24th minute when Cardle received the ball from Lafferty and played it through Moffat before driving the ball at keeper Conor Cullen.
Thistle were getting forward but their crosses were not troubling Murdoch. In contrast Moffat, Cardle and Lafferty were setting up many chances but the best were hit off target. Cardle was slipped a nice ball from Moffat but hit the sidenetting and next Evan Horne sent the ball wide left.
Twelve minutes from the interval Docherty swept the ball across the Pars six yard box but Neil McLaughlin just couldn`t get contact. Next Declan McDaid found himself in possession on the edge of the box instead of shooting took a touch and lost possession.
Wilson set up McLaughlin who hit the corner of bar and right post in 40th minute after an enterprising passing move. The Pars went behind in the next minute and it all came from a weak Dunfermline throw in down on the left. McLaughlin stole the ball away and found WILSON in front of goal. Murdoch blocked the shot but the ball had been well struck and spun into the net. 0-1
McDaid could have increased the lead three minutes later, he tormented Paul Allan twisting past him but then when in a great shooting position 12 yards out fell on his face. Murdoch held from Wilson before on the break Lafferty threatened but Cullen was out to get the important touch.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Partick Thistle 1
Johnny Galloway replaced Reece Duncan for the second half meaning Euan Spark moved to right back to allow the sub to take up a midfield role. Attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end, Cardle got a shot on target within 20 seconds but Cullen held. At the other end a 49th minute Jags corner was nipped away from McLaughlin by Galloway in front of goal.
Next minute McLaughlin did well to get himself into a shooting position but sent his effort wide right. Higginbotham worked hard to turn two players in his own half and then release a long ball through for Lafferty to run on tyo. He hit the ball past the advancing keeper but also past the right post. It did not matter however since the assistant on the North Stand side had his flag raised for offside.
On 55 minutes Cardle and Lafferty provided the touches to try and set up Horne on the left but the ball ended up behind and a goal kick followed. Two minutes later Duthie forced corner on the left and taken short to Cardle the cross allowed Galloway a left footed shot but when that was blocked then Spark had a crack but that too suffered the same fate. There were shouts for hand ball as Thistle got it away but those went on deaf ears.
Horne and Cardle were restrained by the Jags as they tried routes through the middle so Moffat took a snapshot the flew wide right. Penrice hit a 24 yard free kick over Murdoch`s crossbar and then in 66 minute the left back got forward on an overlap but disappointed his strikers with a poor delivery. McDaid was next to screw up in front of goal sending his effort woefully wide left.
Mark Lamont crashed a shot narrowly wide left and then McLaughlin avoided the offside flag on 70 minutes but Murdoch and his defence were quick to kill the chance. Next McLaughlin was allowed to fire the ball inches over the top annoying Murdoch who was very vocal at his defenders.
Horne was forced wide to shoot off target after Cardle, Moffat and Higginbotham were involved in a move that found Smith and then Horne. Moffat broke and he fired his effort at the keeper. James Thomas, scorer off four goals in the Development League match in march came on for Evan Horne for the final fifteen minutes.
Higginbotham smashed a shot past the post after a lay off by Thomas before keeper Cullen came out of his box to head the ball away from Moffat. With six minutes remaining the Pars gave the Jags plenty to worry about but despite enjoying possession deep into the opposing half did not really trouble Conor Cullen.
Play was condensed into the Thistle half, they had all eleven men back and hung on best they could. Callum Smith drove the ball at goal and again there were louds appeal for a penalty but only a corner was given. Duthie got the chance from the setpiece but drove the ball wide right from the left side of the box.
After four minutes of added time the referee`s whistle ended the game and it was Partick Thistle who took all three points.
SUBS NOT USED: Robbie Crawford, Johnny Galloway, Brandon Luke, Cammy Gill (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Cardle (38)
PARTICK THISTLE: Coner Cullen: Ian Stokes (Connor Higgins 86), James Penrice, Matthew McInally, Michael McMullin, Andrew McCarthy, Mark Lamont (James Stokes 75), Callum Wilson, Declan McDaid, Domonic Docherty, Neil McLaughlin
SUBS NOT USED: Ross Fleming, Jamie Hall
SCORERS: Wilson (41)
REFEREE: Stewart Luke
WEATHER: Dull 14C
NEXT MATCH: SFA Youth Cup (away) v Livingston 1.30pm on Sunday 25th September 2016
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