Partick Thistle 2 – 2 Hamilton Accies: Thrilling draw bucks dead rubber trend

Kris Doolan (third from left) opens the scoring for Partick Thistle. Picture: Craig Williamson, SNS Group
Kris Doolan (third from left) opens the scoring for Partick Thistle. Picture: Craig Williamson, SNS Group
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Four goals, the woodwork struck three times and enough opportunities for the final tally to have reached double figures: this was hardly a case of two sets of players who were already on the beach.

For once, a campaign concluded with a cracker and, with both sides creating opportunities at will as their respective rearguards went AWOL, a draw was just about right in a match neither side deserved to lose.

“That wasn’t your normal end-of-season fare,” said Thistle manager Alan Archibald. “It must have been good to watch for the fans because there were plenty of goals and chances but defences weren’t on top, that’s for sure.

“I know, from our point of view, that we had six or seven missing today and you could see that. We didn’t have many guys in the middle of the pitch who could make a tackle so it was just a game of cheat and go for it.”

Thistle had won only one of their previous six home games but they wasted no time in breaking the deadlock here. There were only three minutes on the clock when Kris Doolan powered home a header from David Amoo’s cross after Accies failed to deal with James Penrice’s corner kick.

Unfortunately for the home side, their defending was just as substandard when the visitors levelled the score eight minutes later.

A lack of communication between keeper Ryan Scully and right-back Gary Miller led to them combining to bring down Danny Redmond as he chased a through ball, Eamonn Brophy converting the resulting penalty with aplomb.

Thistle’s second was a carbon copy of their first, only this time Amoo headed behind the static Alan Martin after another Penrice inswinger had caused chaos.

Seemingly determined to prove that teams are at their most vulnerable immediately after scoring, Thistle’s defence parted like, well, Thistle’s defence as Brophy latched on to Greg Docherty’s pass and took the ball round Scully before placing it in the net.

Both defences calmed down after that but Brophy was inches away from his first senior hat-trick in the 49th minute when his drive from 25 yards beat Scully but rebounded off the post.Scott Boyd ought to have fired Accies in front when he was picked out by Ali Crawford’s cutback but he shanked his shot wide from 12 yards.

Doolan then left Aidan Nesbitt one-on-one with Martin but the Celtic midfielder’s lob was fractionally too high and struck the crossbar.

Ziggy Gordon, making his final appearance for Accies, squandered the opportunity for a fairytale finish. Already captain for the day, he found himself on the penalty spot when Alexandre D’Acol’s knockdown reached him but, with the goal gaping, he spooned his shot over the bar.

“I would liked to have won but it was a pleasing day and we finished with eight academy players on the park,” said Accies manager Martin Canning. “That is what the club’s all about and it’s great we’re in a position where we can go and do that.”

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