One of the best arguments for allowing referees to make human errors is that it keeps things interesting. Football is all about entertainment and over 4000 ‘Well fans were well and truly entertained – and frustrated – on Thursday. Iain Fyfe will probably be regretting his decision to red card McFadden and will be wondering how he managed to take around twelve names in a game that contained very few dirty tackles.
However, the referee’s performance aside, we should be pleased with what was another good days work. David Clarkson was a surprise starter ahead of Stevie Ferguson and he ran himself into the ground. He was left do work on his own for most of the game but he looked lively when he managed to get involved. His goal was far from spectacular but they all count and he will be full of confidence before our next game.
A special mention also goes to Dirk Lehmann, not only for his solid contribution at the back but he changed the game when he went forward. He played the role of target man exceptionally well and the Thistle defence had no answer to him. His headers off the post and bar were incredibly unlucky but his perseverance was rewarded when he hooked the ball in for Partridge to equalise. Dirk’s contributions are sometimes questioned by ‘Well fans but he showed exactly what he has to offer. If he does leave in during the break a replacement will be hard to find.
While a couple of players have been mentioned, the whole team deserve credit for their performance. The free kick that allowed Thistle to equalise looked soft in the extreme and Faddy’s red card shortly afterwards had an obvious impact on the outcome. When we were 2-1 down with a man missing it would have been easy to throw in the towel. Instead, we continued to chase the ball and prevented Thistle from passing us into submission. When we were a man down, we still managed to create at least as many, and probably more chances than they did. While this highlights Thistle’s deficiencies, it shows how impressive we were.
After our disastrous run of one point out of thirty-three, we have now taken nine out the last eighteen. The winter break has come at a bad time since it is breaking up our run of form but the long-term benefits are probably good. We have a lot of young legs that will be tiring and giving them a rest will do us no harm. If we’re still eleventh after another fifteen games we’ll be delighted!