Fife Athletic 4-1 Fife Thistle

Thistle's Ross Cameron.
Thistle's Ross Cameron.

Thistle’s unbeaten start to the league ended with them convincingly beaten at the hands of Fife Athletic in Dalgety Bay.

From the off the home side looked lively and opened the scoring in the 13th minute when a neat back heel from Hazel released Stanfield who slotted the ball past the advancing Kirk.

Thistle were struggling to string any real moves together with the midfield failing to match the energy of Athletic.

In the 26th minute the home side doubled their advantage when the two strikers again combined to open up the Thistle defence with Stanfield finishing well.

Provan should have reduced the deficit minutes later when he found himself one on one with keeper Franklin however his tame effort was easily saved by the keeper.

There was another golden chance for Thistle to get back into the game in the 33rd minute when Barrie was sent tumbling in the box resulting in a penalty.

The same player stepped up to take the spot kick but found his effort saved by the home keeper.

The introduction of top scorer Rab Watt at half time seemed to give Thistle a fresh lift and only a few minutes after the restart he set up a great opportunity for Provan but, again, the striker failed to take his chance.

Just after the hour Low brought out a good save from Franklin with a dipping free kick then Bissett saw a goal bound effort blocked.

However, as the game looked to be swinging in Thistle’s favour the home side all but sealed the points in the 70th minute when Ross Watt was allowed to travel with the ball before slotting the ball past a static Kirk.

Thistle’s day was going from bad to worse losing both centre halves to injury during the match then in being reduced to 10 men in the 78th minute when Low was harshly sent off when the referee adjudged him to have raised his elbow.

In the 85th minute Watt pulled back a consolation goal for Thistle when he latched onto a flick on from Provan and showed composure to hold off a defender before slotting past the keeper.

Kirk summed up his and the side’s performance when he gifted a penalty with a petulant kick at Stanfield resulting in a penalty and a red card. Kerr took over between the sticks but could do little to prevent the spot kick from finding the net.

A disappointing way to end the unbeaten start to the league but Thistle can have no complaints.

LM Joinery Man of the Match – Sam Walker.

Thistle – Shaun Kirk, Sam Walker, Fraser Spence (Rab Crawford 51), Michael Badu (Jonathan Gordon 70), Lewis McLuckie (Capt.), Michael Smith (Michael Bissett 35), Kris Low, Danny Mason (Willie Kerr 63), Ross Cameron, Greig Barrie (Rab Watt 46), John Provan.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Thistle have no fixture so will face Markinch in a friendly at Dixon Park, Markinch at 2pm.