Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle3Motherwell2

Partick Thistle 3-2 Motherwell

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Partick Thistle 3-2 Motherwell

Partick Thistle survived a Motherwell comeback to close to within a point of Dundee at the foot of the Premiership with victory over Motherwell.

Blair Spittal whipped in a superb free-kick to score the first of three goals in 13 first-half minutes.

Ryan Edwards smashed in the second before Conor Sammon side-footed home, Miles Storey the provider for both.

But Ryan Bowman's header gave Well a lifeline and Craig Tanner's low shot produced a nervy finish.

Elliott Frear might have grabbed an equaliser but his low header was saved by Tomas Cerny.

Victory - on manager Alan Archibald's 40th birthday - was only Thistle's third of the season, while Motherwell remain sixth after a third straight defeat.

Archibald had demanded a reaction following an "unacceptable" display in Saturday's 5-1 defeat at Kilmarnock, and he got one.

Spittal made the most of the first opportunity in the 16th minute when Carl McHugh was adjudged to have fouled Storey on the corner of the box.

Motherwell goalkeeper Russell Griffiths took a step to his right but Spittal went the other way and the ball flew into the roof of the net.

Thistle doubled their lead six minutes later after Charles Dunne failed to cut out a ball down the left side of Motherwell's defence.

Storey played in Edwards, who fired high past Griffiths.

Conor Sammon side-foots home Thistle's third goal
Conor Sammon scored his first goal of the season - in his 15th outing - to put Thistle 3-0 up

The visitors again presented Thistle with another goal after 28 minutes later when McHugh was robbed by Storey in the right-back position and he flicked the ball inside for Sammon, the on-loan Hearts striker slotting into the corner for his first goal for the club.

Wing-back Frear was Motherwell's one bright spark in the first half and he set up Dunne with a cross but the defender's header bounced wide.

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson introduced Gael Bigirimana and Tanner at half-time and the second half produced a different story.

Bowman headed well wide from a good chance before Cedric Kipre headed home Tanner's free-kick.

But the goal was belatedly disallowed by referee Don Robertson after a chat with assistant referee Gary Hilland, who had not flagged. Dunne was penalised for offside after moving towards the goal-bound ball.

Elliott Frear holds his head after missing a late chance
Elliott Frear might have snatched a late equaliser but his header was saved

Motherwell had their goal moments later when Cerny could not stop Bowman's header bouncing behind the line after Tanner's 56th-minute corner.

They continued to threaten from crosses and corners but Thistle weathered the storm.

Tanner reignited the game with 11 minutes left when he shimmied past two defenders and drilled home from 18 yards.

Storey curled just over on a breakaway but the Jags otherwise struggled to get out of their half, Cerny securing the points when he held Frear's stoppage-time header.

Post-match reaction:

Thistle boss Alan Archibald: "I was delighted with the first-half performance, we got the reaction we were looking for.

"We went a bit more direct and it worked. We had real energy and drive, and Martin Woods was key to that. Him going off probably didn't help.

"We knew what was coming in the second half; Motherwell have done that a couple of times this season. The boys were well warned, but they didn't get out the blocks.

"But I am delighted to get the win and the three points. It gets us back within touching distance with a chance of a real six-pointer at Dundee (on Saturday) now."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "If you make individual errors like we did in the first half, you are going to lose football matches, it is as simple as that.

"How the free-kick goes in for the first goal, I have got no idea. The second goal, we have good possession and give it away. The third one, Carl [McHugh] gets knocked off the ball.

"Bar Elliott Frear and the forwards, I could have taken them all off at half-time.

"We showed character in the second half and had goals disallowed, but if you give a team a 3-0 start, you are always going to be up against it."

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 1Cerny
  • 5Keown
  • 15Devine
  • 4Turnbull
  • 16McGinnBooked at 90mins
  • 19Edwards
  • 13Barton
  • 37WoodsSubstituted forFraserat 66'minutes
  • 7SpittalSubstituted forLawlessat 84'minutes
  • 39StoreySubstituted forDoolanat 87'minutes
  • 18Sammon

Substitutes

  • 9Doolan
  • 10Erskine
  • 11Lawless
  • 12Scully
  • 17Nitriansky
  • 22Fraser
  • 24McCarthy

Motherwell

  • 13Griffiths
  • 21Kipre
  • 8McHugh
  • 18Dunne
  • 2Tait
  • 4GrimshawSubstituted forBigirimanaat 45'minutes
  • 22Campbell
  • 15RoseSubstituted forTannerat 45'minutes
  • 11Frear
  • 12BowmanBooked at 70mins
  • 20PetraviciusSubstituted forMacLeanat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Hammell
  • 5Bigirimana
  • 24Newell
  • 26MacLean
  • 27Tanner
  • 29Livingstone
  • 31Turnbull
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
2,452

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home6
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away10
Fouls
Home11
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Partick Thistle 3, Motherwell 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 3, Motherwell 2.

Attempt missed. Charles Dunne (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.

Booking

Paul McGinn (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Elliott Frear (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Paul McGinn (Partick Thistle).

Attempt saved. Elliott Frear (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Paul McGinn.

Attempt blocked. Craig Tanner (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Kris Doolan replaces Miles Storey.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Paul McGinn.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Steven Lawless replaces Blair Spittal.

Attempt missed. Miles Storey (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 3, Motherwell 2. Craig Tanner (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Cedric Kipre.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Cedric Kipre.

Foul by Craig Tanner (Motherwell).

Miles Storey (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Tanner (Motherwell).

Danny Devine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Richard Tait (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Miles Storey (Partick Thistle).

Booking

Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Niall Keown (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle).

Attempt missed. Craig Tanner (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt blocked. Cedric Kipre (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Danny Devine.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Tomás Cerny.

Attempt saved. Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Niall Keown.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Ross MacLean replaces Deimantas Petravicius.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Gary Fraser replaces Martin Woods.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Martin Woods.

Foul by Charles Dunne (Motherwell).

Danny Devine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Jordan Turnbull.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Niall Keown.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic17125041113041
2Rangers18113437201736
3Aberdeen1811342820836
4Hibernian188642721630
5Hearts186661719-224
6Motherwell177282425-123
7St Johnstone176381726-921
8Kilmarnock184772126-519
9Hamilton184592430-617
10Ross County1844101728-1116
11Dundee1843111729-1215
12Partick Thistle173591631-1514
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories