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Partick Thistle Balmoral Stadium Sat 01 Apr 23 / 15:00

Match Report | CRFC 2-2 Partick Thistle

A WONDER goal from Ryan Strachan deserved to win what was an astonishing League One encounter against league leaders Partick Thistle at Balmoral Stadium.

Unfortunately for us, Scott Tiffoney replied in equally spectacular style to earn a point for the Glasgow side in a thrill-a-minute match that was a brilliant advert for our league.

Strachan even ended up being the hero at the other end too, when he cleared the ball off our line deep into injury-time to at least maintain our record of not losing to Partick this season.

But our players will have gone off the park disappointed not to have claimed all three points after giving their all yet again in what was our third match against full-time opponents inside just three  days.

To more than match Partick in those circumstances was highly commendable.

We were the better side in the second period and Strachan’s astonishing long range drive really was worthy of winning any game – but especially one that was as top class and entertaining as this one.

Strachan had returned in the centre of defence after serving a one match ban.

There was also a return to the starting line-up for striker Rory McAllister.

We created the first chance after four minutes, when Adam Livingstone lofted the ball over to Blair Yule and his lay-off was met by Connor Scully, but his 18-yard volley went off target.

Partick skipper Ross Docherty was booked a minute later for a rough tackle on Fraser Fyvie near to the half-way line.

The visitors went ahead in the seventh minute from a hotly disputed free-kick.

Scott Tiffoney made an acrobatic fall after being challenged by Scott Ross on on the Partick left.

Despite the protests by the Cove defender, referee Craig Napier gave a foul.

TIFFONEY took it and his well flighted cross appeared  to go straight in, despite claims from Zak Rudden that he managed to get a touch to the ball.

Partick thought they had gone two up in the 18th minute when Tiffany cut the ball back from the left for Conor Murray to slot home but the near side ref’s assistant was well positioned to signal it had gone out for a goal kick before the cross was made.

Our 20th minute equaliser came from the penalty, which was awarded for Tiffany tripping Scott Ross just inside the area.

McALLISTER gave Partick keeper Jamie Sneddon no chance with a perfectly hit effort from the spot.

Brian Graham saw his 12-yard header held by Stuart McKenzie as the visitors threatened again in the 25th minute.

McKenzie made an outstanding save 10 minutes later to keep things level.

Ciaran McKenna’s cross from the right evaded Strachan at the edge of the six yard box and and when the ball went to Rudden his powerful shot was beaten away by McKenzie.

We also had a great opportunity in the 40th minute.

Leighton McIntosh laid the ball through to McAllister sand Sneddon did well to save the striker’s 14-yard shot with his feet.

Richard Foster then popped up on the left to cross the ball to Zak Rudden and his eight yard header was easily gathered by McKenzie.

Foster then rescued Partick by racing back to clear from Megginson as he prepared to latch on to a lay-off from McAllister.

The half ended with Docherty fortunate not to pick up a second caution for a clumsy tackle on Fyvie, that left the midfielder requiring treatment before he could continue.

If the first half was engossing, the second was simply astonishing.

It began with Ross Graham clearing the ball off the line after Tiffany caused problems at the edge of the six yard box.

We were unlucky not to go ahead in the 48th minute when Megginson latched on to a pass from McAllister and skipped past a defender before seeing his eight yard shot blocked by the legs of Sneddon.

Shea Gordon was booked two minutes later, for fouling Blair Yule.

Partick were perhaps fortunate to not go a man down in the 57th minute when Steven Bell was only booked for blatantly hauling down Megginson as the striker was racing in on goal.

McAllister took the free-kick and his low drive from 20-yards went inches wide of Sneddon’s left post.

Adam Livingstone also hit a 25-yard off target as we began to dominate the game.

We went agonisingly close to going ahead in the 63rd minute.

McIntosh slotted the ball through to Megginson and Sneddon dived to make a brilliant save from his 16-yard shot, with McAllister only able to steer the rebound wide of the target.

Our second, in the 75th minute, must be a candidate for goal of the season.

STRACHAN picked the ball up 30-yards out and showed outstanding technique to lash it past Sneddon in spectacular fashion.

To be fair on Partick, they drew level just two minutes later with an equally impressive strike.

A long ball forward fell to TIFFONEY and his volley from 15-yards, on the right side of the area, raged past McKenzie.

The latter stages were nerve wracking as both sides pushed for the winner.

Penrice almost claimed it in the 83rd minute after latching on to a loose pass from Yule but his shot rebounded to safety off McKenzie’s right post.

It was our turn in the 87th minute, when Livingstone’s curling cross from the left looked to be creeping in until Sneddon clawed the ball clear from under his crossbar.

Scully broke forward in the 89th minute to hit a 25-yard shot that was held by Sneddon.

We also went close in the last minute, when Fyvie fired a free-kick into the Partick area and Scott Ross saw his diving header blocked to safety by a defender.

Partick almost pinched it two minutes into injury-time when substitute Ross MacIver saw his header squeeze past McKenzie by Strachan was in place to the boot the ball clear before it crossed the line.

Partick manager Ian McCall was booked for appearing to claim the effort had gone in as the final whistle sounded on what had been an epic contest.

COVE RANGERS: McKenzie, Scott Ross, Livingstone, Strachan, Graham, Yule, Fyvie, Scully, McIntosh, McAllister (Smith 71), Megginson.

Subs: Watson, Higgins, Seb Ross, Logan, Ngwenya, Hanratty, Demus.

PARTICK THISTLE: Sneddon, Brownlie, Bell, Foster, Rudden (MacIver 81), Graham (Penrice 65),  McKenna, Murray (Cardle 46), Gordon, Docherty, Tiffoney (Niang 92).

Subs: Wright, Williamson, Geggan, Lyons, Reilly

Referee: Craig Napier.