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Partick Thistle 2-0 Livingston

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[media-credit name=”Pic: Phil McCloy” align=”aligncenter” width=”580″][/media-credit]

Thistle maintained their 100 per cent winning home record as two second half goals from Aaron Sinclair and Stuart Bannigan were enough to see off a stuffy Livingston and maintain the Glasgow club’s position at the top of the First Division table, albeit on goal difference.

Managerless Livi were impressive in the first half, but once Jackie McNamara’s side up their game after a lacklustre showing in the first 45 minutes there was only going to be one winner.

Thistle started the match looking slack with Sinclair in particular giving away possession needlessly on several occasions, but he was to the end the day not only as a goalscorer but also the sponsors man of the match.

Early efforts from both Stefan Scougall and Anthony Andrew highlighted the fact the visitors were clearly not in awe their table topping opponents.

The Jags were struggling to get into their rhythm and with the Firhill faithful becoming more and more anxious it took until the 33rd minute before they seriously tested the Livi goal with Chris Erskine firing just wide after evading a couple of challenges.

Four minutes later Bannigan came even closer for the hosts following a terrific run, when he cut in from the left-wing only to see his low shot go inches by Andy McNeil’s left hand post.

After the half time interval which no doubt consisted of a few choice words aimed his underperforming players there appeared to be a sense of much-needed urgency in the Thistle play and they were almost rewarded with a goal in the 49th minute when Kris Doolan’s low drive was tipped wide by McNeil.

Five minutes later the deadlock was broken as an unmarked Sinclair got on the end of a Ross Forbes free kick to head the Jags in front.

Nine minutes later and Partick doubled their lead as Stuart Bannigan brilliantly lobbed McNeil from 18 yards out.

Thistle were rampant now and came close to grabbing a third just a minute later when Chris Erskine’s cross was almost turned into his own net by Jesus Garcia Tena.

With their seventh successive Firhill victory behind them the mood amongst the home dressing room must be positive, something of which the bulk of the credit must go to Jackie McNamara, a very eloquent impressive figure with a good vision on how the game should be played.

He said: “In the first half we were too slack, with too many balls going back to front. I told them at half time if they started to do things properly then we would win the match.

“I’m not a ranter but the players have seen that side of me on a couple of occasions last season. And I’ve got to give credit to Graeme Smith, he made a mistake last Friday at Hamilton but had some good saves today.”

Caretaker Livingston boss Gareth Evans was short and sweet with his after-match thoughts saying: “Thistle showed why they are top of the table.

“We did ok first half and had the best chances but switched off at a set piece for the first goal and that let us down.”

Partick Thistle: Smith, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Murray, Muirhead, Balatoni, Lawless (Black 87), Bannigan, Doolan (McGuigan 81), Forbes, Erskine (Rowson 88)

Unused subs: Trialist, Archibald

Livingston: McNeil, McCann (Jacobs 68), Booth, Tena, Barr, O’Brien (Fordyce 85), Andrew (Mullen 67), Fox, McNulty, Scougall, Jacobs

Unused subs: Downie, Jamieson

Referee: John McKendrick

Att: 2508

Written by Robbie Devine

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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