Terry fielded an unchanged team for the first time this season and we got a perfect start. In our first attack of the game a smart turn from Burns released McFadden on the halfway line. His forward run saw him ghost past three defenders and deliver, from twenty five yards, and exquisite left footed curling shot high in the keeper’s right hand corner. It was a stunning strike and those of us lucky enough to be to the right of the goal in the Cooper Stand knew it was goal bound as soon as the ball left his foot.
But we failed to make the best of the early boost. For the next twenty minutes we found it impossible to enjoy any productive possession. All we could do was clear the line and prepare for the next onslaught. There would be few ‘Well fans who were surprised when Britton rose to a Grady cross to head home at the near post.
There was little from us for the rest of the half. Faddy was fouled on the edge of the box but Burns blasted high and wide from the free kick.
As the half drew to an end Corrigan decided to take matters into his own hands. From deep in our half he launched a fifty yard lazy run and delivered the ball to Pearson. In his only contribution he continued the attack by running a further twenty yards into the box and releasing a shot only to see Adams, in an offside position, block it!
We were all square at the break and struggling. There was no fluency, no obvious pattern to our play. Terry would need a good halftime team talk.
A couple of minutes after the restart, with the ball off the park for a shy, referee Rowbotham stopped play and, to the astonishment of the 6193 spectators, showed Pearson the red card for illegal use of the elbow.
Sleeves were rolled up and we began to dig in for a point. The referee started to wave yellow cards like confetti and we began to come more into the game. But there was little in the way of goal threat.
Thistle made a substitution with around twenty minutes remaining. Seconds later we were again ahead. Burns sent in a low cross from the right and McFadden got there first to finish from close in.
Could we hold on? No. Less than ten minutes from the final whistle saw and Taylor converted a cross with a good header. And despite Thistle being reduced to ten men in the closing minutes we were unable to score again.
Despite being well short of last week’s performance we nevertheless gained a point and can look forward to the min-break ahead with four points from the last couple of games.
Let’s hope that the club heavily fines Pearo. He was sent off twice last season and again today. He is no use to us watching from the stands.