Partick Thistle 1-1 Motherwell

Motherwell's Scott McDonald (right) celebrates the equaliser with Chris Cadden
Motherwell's Scott McDonald (right) celebrates the equaliser with Chris Cadden

Partick Thistle were made to pay for a string of missed chances as Motherwell equalised late to take a point from Firhill.

A poor pass by Steven Hammell gifted Chris Erskine the chance to nip and give Partick the lead.

Ade Azeez had three good chances to increase Thistle's lead, with Danny Devine also forcing a save from close range and Ryan Edwards heading over.

And they were punished when Scott McDonald headed in a late goal.

Missed chances

Partick Thistle would have been stung by regret. Having deservedly taken the lead in the first half, they should have established a commanding lead before Motherwell even managed an effort on target in the second half.

Three times Ade Azeez was presented with an opportunity while one-on-one with the Motherwell goalkeeper Craig Samson. The first was the clearest chance, when he was sent running through by Erskine's pass, but the striker pulled his effort wide.

He did the same with his next effort, while the third was blocked at close range by Samson. The goalkeeper also stopped an effort by David Amoo late in the second half, but Azeez will be haunted by his misses. The best of his work took place outside the area, and he was important for his side's tactical approach, but the spurned chances were critical.

Midfield balance

Steven Hammell
Stevie Hammell's mistake led to Partick Thistle's first goal

In the first half especially, Partick Thistle were in control of the game. The basis of that was the combination of attributes of their three central midfielders.

Ryan Edwards was a busy, scurrying figure who covered much of the pitch, hassling, harrying and shuttling the ball to and from teammates, while in the second half he lashed a 30-yard shot off the post. Alongside him, the debutant Adam Barton was a tall, strong figure, providing an air of authority.

They were the foundation for Erskine to prompt and create from the pocket of space behind Azeez. Erskine was the game's most accomplished player, taking his goal with expertise after collecting Hammell's misplaced pass. His poise was missed when he was substituted with 20 minutes to go, when his side was still leading 1-0.

Visitors' relief

Motherwell were out of sorts in the opening half, with the home side dominating play. It was a sign of their fortunes that Louis Moult - who scored four last week against Hamilton - was substituted without even having an effort on goal.

They did see a McDonald effort from close range ruled out before eventually forcing an equaliser late on, with McDonald converting Richard Tait's cross. Chris Cadden saw his shot from distance pushed away by the Partick goalkeeper Ryan Scully late on, but this was a rescue job for the visitors.

Mothererwell manager Mark McGhee will be looking for more from the likes of Cadden, Moult, and Ryan Bowman.

Scott McDonald (right) had an earlier goal ruled out for offside
Scott McDonald (right) had an earlier goal ruled out for offside

Manager's reaction

Partick Thistle's Alan Archibald: "We created a number of very good chances and we've got to take them.

"At the moment, to win a game it looks as though we almost need two goals. We've conceded again late on and we don't look like keeping a clean sheet. It's frustrating because we were in charge in the first-half. If Ade takes his chance at the beginning of the second half, clean through, the game could have been dead and buried.

"[Ade] probably needs one to go in off his rear end or just bounce off him and go in. With his overall performance, it's almost nearly there for him, he worked ever so hard and got us up the pitch. But he's a striker and he's paid to score goals. We'll back him to the hilt. We need to start scoring.

"Apart from the first day of the season, we've not had a clean sheet and that's frustrating because the defenders mostly did their job today. We didn't deal with a decent delivery into the box and we have to deal with that.

"It's out job to make sure the players [aren't downbeat], because there are a lot of positives to take. We need to make sure we turn these draws into wins because we don't want a gap to open up [at the bottom of the table]. We want to keep it as tight as we can. We'll keep working hard and move on."

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Highlights: Partick Thistle 1-1 Motherwell

Motherwell's Mark McGhee: "We deserved a draw in the end. Our first-half performance was lethargic, I don't know what went on there but we were disjointed, we didn't have the same team performance as of late. That was a worry but at half-time I had a word and the second half was much better. It took us a while to get the goal, although we had one disallowed that was a goal, but given the poor first half we'll settle for the draw.

"[The disallowed goal] was just a bad call, it happens. We make bad calls, referees make bad calls and you've got to forgive them, they do their best. Had it been given, it doesn't mean we'd have got the second one, so we take it on the chin.

"There was a time in the past when we could have lost that game but we've grown up since then and learned to dig in and take it the distance. We kept going, we kept trying to change it. Louis Moult hadn't trained all week, he'd hurt his hamstring, so we took him off. It worked out in the end."