Fife Thistle 1-0 Fife Athletic

Thistle were back in league action as they faced the only side to have beaten them in the current league campaign.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 9:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 11:29 am
Ronnie Barnes
Ronnie Barnes

With the pitch at Balmullo suffering from the recent weather the match was switched to New Bayview.

There was a return to Thistle for Jamie Malone who went straight into the starting 11 in place of Scott Walker who was missing due to work commitments.

Fraser Spence and Danny Mason also came into the starting line up replacing the unavailable Rab Crawford and the suspended Kris Low.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There was little between the teams in the opening stages with both sides cancelling each other out.

The only real chance in the opening half hour fell to Malone who got on the end of an in swinging Ross Cameron cross buthis header was easily gathered by Franklin.

On the half hour Gavin Henderson had to be alert to thwart McCulloch as he latched on to a long ball but the big keeper did well to close the angle and block.

Ronnie Barnes thought he had opened the scoring in the 37th minute when great work from Rab Watt created an opening, but the Thistle front man saw his goal bound effort deflected wide for a fruitless corner.

But the new signing didn’t have long to wait for another opportunity.

He opened the scoring just over a minute later when a pass from Liam Carson saw Barnes take advantage of confusion in the Athletic rearguard to latch onto the loose ball before applying a deft finish over the keeper.

The second half saw Thistle looking the stronger side and they should have doubled their advantage just after the hour when Malone released Watt after a driving run. However, the usually prolific striker fluffed his lines with just the keeper to beat firing well over the bar.

Thistle were given a wakeup call in the 77th minute when errors from Spence then Badu allowed Cook to take possession inside the box. Thankfully from a Thistle perspective his poor effort failed to trouble Henderson.

With Athletic pushing forward in search of an equaliser they were leaving gaps at the back.

John Provan thought he had sealed the three points when he found himself through on goal before dispatching an effort on the angle which looked goal bound all the way.

However, the impressive Franklin managed to get his fingertips to the ball to turn the ball round the post but in the end some resolute defending ensured that Thistle came away with the full points.

LM Joinery MoM – Ross Cameron.

Thistle: Henderson, Walker (Provan 75), Spence, Badu, McLuckie (capt), Malone, Carson, Mason (Munro 78), Cameron, Barnes (Smith 85), Watt (Barrie 66)

Sub: Anderson.

Thistle now go into an extended winter break with no competitive match until the 11th January 11.