Partick done what we should have done to Dundee a few months ago, they sensed a weakness, and they went for the throat, and the downhearted Livi players never stood a chance. Marvin Andrews, the usually impressive man mountain was a molehill last night, and it was a moment of madness from him that led to Thistle opening the scoring. The big man was in no danger when he chased a long through ball, but the defenders pass back fell short of reaching Roddy McKenzie, and James Grady somehow managed to flick the ball over the advancing Livi goalie, and the ball trundled into the back of the net via the post. It was a terrible goal to lose, but from that moment on, Livingston were on the back foot.
Derek Lilley was racing all over the park, but Fernandez lacked confidence, and you could see the Livi players getting more and more frustrated as the match wore on. The chances for Livingston were sparse, and it was Thistle who were the side more likely to score. Jean-Yves Anis found himself with plenty of time out side the box, and he had time to sip his tea, then fire a curving shot that nearly caught McKenzie out, but the Livi goalie managed to get a decent hand to the ball, and despite him fumbling a bit, he managed to grab hold of the ball. A great save, but Livingston should have read the warning signs, but they didn’t.
A second goal was on the cards, and it was no surprise when it came, but what surprised most supporters was how easy it was for the Jags to find the net. In the 41st minute Anis crossed in the ball from the right, and Gerry Britton was unmarked just inside the Livi box, and he delicately headed the ball over McKenzie, who was just out side the six-yard box, and the ball hit the back of the net, much to the delight of the Partick supporters.
At this point, supporters were starting to think the worst, but Livi could and should have got themselves into the match straight away. McAllister ventured into the Partick half, and he played the ball to Fernandez, who saw McAllister making a great run in the box, and the Spaniard’s pass put the wingback through one-on-one with the Partick goalie, but McAllister fluffed his shot, and the ball went narrowly wide.
A couple of minutes after the restart, David Rowson nearly scored a third for Partick when he fired in an unstoppable 25 yarder past McKenzie, but the ball went inches wide, much to the relief of the stranded Livi goalkeeper. Alarm bells were ringing every time Partick advanced up the park, the Livi defenders were having a nightmare, and Grady and Britton were having a field day much to the delight of the home supporters.
Partick went three up in the 69th minute, but the goal was going to come from an unlikely source. Anis had time (once again) on the left and his cross found Livi player David McNamee, who tried to get out of the way of the ball, but the defender could only look on helplessly as the ball struck him, hit the upright, and found it’s way into the back of the net.
Things went from bad to worse five minutes later when Gerry Britton found acres of space in the Livi box, and he powered a shot past McKenzie and gave Thistle a four goal lead. The Livi defence had crumbled, and it was a case of damage limitation from now on.
Thistle did get a fifth when Thompson scrambled the ball home from close range, and the Partick supporters were starting to sing “we want six” and I thought that there was every chance they would get it.
It didn’t look as if Livi were going to get a consolation goal, but when it came, it was a cracker. With five minutes left David Fernandez was fouled 25 yards out. Lee Makel opted to take the kick, and his shot found the top corner, much to the delight of the embarrassed supporters.
Colin McMenamin got a second for Livi in the dying seconds of the match after he headed in a Burton O’Brien corner.
From now on, when people ask about this match, we say, “what match”