Fife Thistle turn the heat on United as cold snap bites

Fife Thistle………..…….......2Burntisland Utd………...….1

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 12:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 10:57 am
Scott Finlay

Thistle finally returned to winning ways last Saturday when they took the spoils in freezing conditions with a decent performance.

There were several changes to the side that had slumped to Fife Cup defeat the week before with Wortley, Finlay, McColm, Barnes, Wainwright and Allan all returning to the starting eleven.

Thistle started brightly and should have been in front in the 11th minute when a Finlay free kick dropped for McColm who completely missed the ball a yard from goal however the ball continued to travel into the path of Harris who also passed up the opportunity with the goal at his mercy.

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In the 18th minute it was United who opened the scoring against the run of play when a long ball looked to be dealt with by Mackie however the defenders attempted header back to Wortley fell short and Robertson was alert to beat the keeper to the loose ball and slot home.

Finlay almost brought his side back level within a minute when Harris set him through on goal but the on form midfielder was denied by a great save from Johnson then Barnes saw an effort blocked by the keeper as Thistle turned the screw.

Midway through the half the United keeper pulled off another great stop to deny Harris from finishing off a pinpoint Allan pass but despite the pressure it was the visitors who had a golden opportunity to double their advantage in the 33rd minute when Wortley was adjudged to have pushed a United player during a corner with the referee pointing to the spot. Robertson stepped up but struck the crossbar with his penalty much to the relief of Thistle.

Barnes had another great chance to level the match within minutes of the penalty miss when a long ball put him 1 on 1 with the keeper however the normally prolific strikers struggles in front of goal continued as he fired straight at the advancing Johnson.

In the 42nd minute Thistles continued pressure paid off when they levelled the match after Allan forced a good save from the keeper however Begg was alert to prod home the loose ball for his first Thistle goal.

Thistle made the ideal start to the second half when they took the lead within 2 minutes of the restart with a great move ending with Begg picking out Barnes who sent a perfectly weighted ball into Harris who continued his goal scoring form of late.

Sean Allan thought he has increased his sides lead when he was sent through on goal by Barnes but again Johnson showed his 1 on 1 prowess with another good save.

Thistle were passing up chance after chance of increasing their lead with substitute Munro having the pick of the bunch when he looked to have a simple tap in at the back post however the normally reliable striker missed the goal with his effort from close range to sum up Thistle in front of goal of late!

Thistle were almost made to pay for their slack finishing when United were awarded a

penalty in the final minute of stoppage time just outside the box. Coupar stepped up only to see Wortley produce a terrific stop at full stretch to touch the ball over the bar in what proved to be the last kick of the match.

LM Joinery Man of the Match – Scott Finlay

Team – Ross Wortley (Capt.), Sam Walker, Jamie Mackie, Calum McColm, David Rintoul, Craig Begg (Callum Player 60), Andy Wainwright (Gary Spence 64), Scott Finlay, Sean Allan (Lee Munro 75), Steven Harris, Ronnie Barnes (Martin Brown 81)

Sub not used – Sam Anderson

Tomorrow (Saturday) Thistle travel to Lumphinnans to face Hearts of Beath in the league with a 2pm kick off.