A Brian Graham double gave Partick a first half lead. For the first the defenders got the wrong side of him, the second a gift from the Inverness defence with a loose pass across the box. It was a lacklustre performance from the visitors in the first forty-five with Billy Mckay having the best effort after an Aaron Dorran lay off, but David Mitchell was equal to the shot to deny the striker from twelve yards. We almost gifted a third early in the second half with a short header back, but Ridgers stood tall to deny Graham his hat-trick. A third did come from the spot after Carson was alleged to have brought down his man. Kevin Holt kept his cool to slot home. Anton Dowds bulleted a header home with five minutes left to add to our miserable night. George Oakley powerfully headed a consolation in time added on, but that won't detract from the rubbish on show tonight.
Embarrassing night for the Caley Jags, and on national TV too!
Inverness were without half a dozen regulars for this fixture. Out were Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh on long term injuries. Sean Welsh and Max Ram are in recovery mode with Danny Devine struggling. Wallace Duffy and David Carson are both nursing injuries and were on the bench. Scott Tiffoney and Brian Graham started up front for Partick with Steven Lawless.
From the off it was clear that Partick were up for this clash, the inexperienced Lewis Hyde being thrown to the wolves in this one. It's a difficult enough task for an official right back to try and contain the trickery of Scott Tiffoney, but without a go to right back, Billy Dodds hung young Lewis out to dry on TV at Firhill. Already skinned a couple of times in the opening minutes an opportunity arose for Cole McKinnon at the back post but he screwed his effort wide. Perennial thorn in our side Brian Graham also shot wide after eight minutes just after Delaney sliced a clearance over his own bar from another Tiffoney moment. Five minutes later and Steven Lawless brought a save out of Mark Ridgers.
The opening goal came after a tremendous reverse pass from Lawless released Mckinnon on the right side for him to cross to the front post where Graham got in front of his marker to score high into the net from a few yards out. Good strikers goal, poor defensively from Inverness.
We grew into the game after this and Aaron Doran chested down inside the box for Billy Mckay to get a shot away, but his controlled effort was well saved by David Mitchell in the Partick goal.
Moments later a long ball forward was closely watched by Robbie Deas. He cut the ball back across the box to the safety of keeper Ridgers. Unfortunately the first person to spot this move was Tiffoney who nicked the ball away from Ridgers which allowed Graham to step forward to score his second goal.
HALF TIME: 2-0
Doran and Hyde were withdrawn at the interval, but the damage was already done, with Carson and Oakley replacing them. The alterations saw a flurry of activity in the opening minutes of the second half, but that would change around the hour.
Graham almost notched his hat-trick courtesy of another error when substitute Carson was shorts with a headed back pass but Ridgers stood tall to snatch the attempted lob out of the air.
Before the hour Graham was upended as he latched onto a loose ball in the box by the over eager Carson who was booked for his protests. Harsh, maybe, penalty, maybe, goal definitely. Graham was denied his treble though as Kevin Holt took the spot kick calmly slotting into the opposite corner from the keeper.
The game was put to bed with six minutes remaining as Anton Dowds stooped to bullet a header behind Ridgers to compound our misery.
We ended the game firing in long range efforts from all angles which has probably skewed the statistics somewhat, but lets not beat about the bush, even before our consolation, we were well beaten.
George Oakley scored the consolation goal in the 92nd minute to round off the scoring and close the book on a poor night for the Caley Jags as he headed in from a corner.
One of our worst ever results at Firhill. Our second 4-1 defeat there beaten only by a 4-0 on December 13th, 2014. We were set up wrong and reacted too late to make a difference. Billy Dodds needs to take this one on the chin. Yes we were without some regulars, but that will be the same for big parts of this season. Second to every ball, lack of cover for young defenders, lack of bite in midfield, lack of quality where it was needed. I'm afraid there was only ever going to be one outcome, and frankly, we got off lightly. Meh!
Highlights from Partick Thistle FC
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