Scottish Premiership
Partick ThistlePartick Thistle2Dundee UtdDundee United2

Partick Thistle 2-2 Dundee United

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport Scotland
Nadir Ciftci celebrates scoring for Dundee United
Nadir Ciftci scored for Dundee United to level at 2-2 at Firhill

Nadir Ciftci saved a point for high-flying Dundee United as they struggled to cope with a Partick Thistle side decimated by illness and injury.

Gary Mackay-Steven's early finish - his third goal in two games - appeared to put the visitors in control at Firhill.

But Thistle fought back into the game through a Ryan Stevenson header and a Kris Doolan tap-in.

It looked like Thistle would record their first win over United since March 1995 until Ciftci's fine finish.

United manager Jackie McNamara will have mixed emotions after an exciting encounter with his former club - missing a chance to overtake Celtic and move into second place in the Scottish Premiership, yet lucky to escape with a point after another disjointed away performance.

Despite Thistle having an extra festive rest thanks to Thursday's postponement against Celtic, counterpart Alan Archibald was still only able to find five fit men for his substitute's bench.

Kallum Higginbotham, Abdul Osman, Danny Seaborne and Christie Elliot were all ruled out, while James Craigen dropped into a dugout two short of the regulation seven.

Doolan, Steven Lawless and Dale Keenan returned to the side as teenagers Liam Lindsay and Declan McDaid were thrown in for their first starts.

Ryan Stevenson (right) celebrates scoring for Partick Thistle
Ryan Stevenson (right) scored Thistle's first goal against United

In contrast, McNamara stuck by the line-up that took apart Dundee in the New Year's Day derby.

Looking buoyed by that victory, United immediately took the game to the makeshift hosts and an early save from Paul Gallacher prevented Mackay-Steven adding to his two goals against the Dark Blues.

It didn't take long for the Scotland cap to make up for that miss as he was found in yards of space behind the Thistle defence by Ciftci's sublime chip and then clipped it past Gallacher and into the far corner of the net.

United's swift counter-attacks had Thistle reeling, but the home side somehow steadied themselves and already had a penalty claim denied before levelling, thanks in part to some poor defending.

Gary Fraser's corner kick found Stevenson unmarked 14 yards out and the forward's header looped over poorly positioned goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.

It was United's turn to look shell-shocked in the face of the opposition's confident passing and Doolan had already forced Cierzniak into a fine, near-post block before putting Thistle into the lead.

McDaid was unable to direct Fraser's low cross towards goal under pressure, but Doolan pounced to fire home the loose ball and two more Cierzniak saves - to deny Lawless and Fraser - prevented further damage to United by half-time.

McNamara brought on young midfielders Blair Spittal and Charlie Telfer for John Rankin and defender Keith Watson.

Tiring Thistle looked to have stifled the more attacking formation until the introduction of forward Ryan Dow in place of Chris Erskine was swiftly followed by a lightning break from Mackay-Steven.

The winger weaved his way from his own half to edge of the Thistle box before setting up Ciftci for a deft finish to extend United's unbeaten run against the Glasgow side to 17 games.

Jackie McNamara and Alan Archibald on the touchline
Jackie McNamara's former assistant, Alan Archibald, had a depleted squad from which to pick
Gary Mackay-Steven puts United 1-0 ahead at Firhill
Gary Mackay-Steven put United 1-0 ahead at Firhill
Ryan Stevenson heads over Radoslaw Cierzniak to equalise
Ryan Stevenson headed over the stranded Radoslaw Cierzniak to equalise for Thistle
Partick Thistle goalkeeper Paul Gallacher and Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci
Thistle goalkeeper Paul Gallacher and United striker Nadir Ciftci shared a joke at the end

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 12Gallacher
  • 2O'DonnellBooked at 61mins
  • 6Balatoni
  • 26Lindsay
  • 30Keenan
  • 22Fraser
  • 8BanniganBooked at 25minsSubstituted forCraigenat 79'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 11Lawless
  • 10StevensonBooked at 80mins
  • 28McDaid
  • 9Doolan

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 7Craigen
  • 19Eccleston
  • 23Wilson
  • 25Leyden

Dundee Utd

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 12WatsonBooked at 43minsSubstituted forTelferat 56'minutes
  • 2Dillon
  • 5Fojut
  • 3Townsend
  • 20ButcherBooked at 68mins
  • 8RankinSubstituted forSpittalat 56'minutes
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 10Armstrong
  • 17ErskineSubstituted forDowat 72'minutes
  • 7CiftciBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 16Wilson
  • 18Dow
  • 21Telfer
  • 22Connolly
  • 24Spittal
  • 26Szromnik
  • 33Spark
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
3,761

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Partick Thistle 2, Dundee United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 2, Dundee United 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  4. Booking

    Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Booking

    James Craigen (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Foul by James Craigen (Partick Thistle).

  7. Post update

    Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

  10. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Conrad Balatoni.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Charlie Telfer (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Dow (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Charlie Telfer (Dundee United).

  15. Post update

    Declan McDaid (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Booking

    Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

  17. Post update

    Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle).

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Craigen (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. James Craigen replaces Stuart Bannigan.

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