Pre-season friendly: Partick Thistle 4, Dunfermline 2
Played at the Garscube Sports Complex on the grounds of the University of Glasgow, the first pre-season game of 2017/18 saw 21 Pars players take part in a good run-out against a virtually full-strength Partick Thistle team. The first half featured what might be regarded as the Dunfermline first team, minus the injured Sean Murdoch, Jason Talbot and Declan McManus. The second half featured 10 different outfield players. Goalkeeper Cammy Gill played the entire game, while Callum Smith and Brandon Luke were unused substitutes.
Lining up in the familiar 4-4-2 formation, Dunfermline started with the following team:
Joe Cardle, who spent the majority of last season on the bench due to the form of Paul McMullan, used the opening 45 minutes to show the manager what he can offer, now that McMullan is no longer with the club. Cardle twice brought out good saves from Thistle keeper Tomas Cerny. David Hopkirk was given a golden opportunity to score but shot straight at Cerny when put clean in on goal. Debutant Aaron Splaine had a good game in central midfield and on this showing looks like a player who can make a real impact this season. Callum Morris was very vocal at the back, and although Partick had spells of enjoying more possession, the game was fairly even. Thistle fielded most of the team that gained a top 6 Premiership finish last season, including Cerny, Adam Barton, Steven Lawless, Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan, plus new signing Blair Spittal.
The only goal of the first period came in the 25th minute when Lee Ashcroft inexplicably handled in the box, with Lawless scoring from the resultant penalty kick.
The second half began with the Pars lining up as follows:
Jean Yves M'Voto and Michael Paton brought experience to what was a youthful Dunfermline side. Four trialists took part - Lawrence Shankland was the only one immediately recognisable, and was played on the left midfield. In central midfield beside Paton, Cameron King played reasonably well, always looking to get involved and playing the ball on the ground. Up front, Michael Coulson, most recently with St Johnstone, played alongside a taller as-yet-unidentified player.
Thistle went 2-0 up after Conner Duthie committed a foul in the box on the hour mark. Lawless again scored from the spot. The Premiership side then went 3-0 ahead in the 73rd minute when Kris Doolan fired in an unstoppable effort from 20 yards.
Michael Paton pulled a goal back with a good finish from inside the box but a minute later Thistle got a fourth goal through Mark Lamont.
Jean Yves M'Voto then hit the bar with a header and from the rebound, the tall trialist striker scored from a yard out. That completed the scoring after 85 minutes.
The 2 different Pars teams ultimately both lost by just 1 goal to Premiership opposition, and that included penalties in both halves. As always, players' strengths and weaknesses could be seen, but the first game of pre-season is not the place to be too critical.
1 line analysis of all the Pars' players performances today:
Cammy Gill: not to blame for any of the goals conceded - looked confident and will be a good understudy for Sean Murdoch.
Ryan Williamson - denied the opportunity to make many of his trademark runs up the wing but did well defensively including one important, potentially goal-saving, block.
Callum Morris - the new club captain was vocal and put in some strong tackles.
Lee Ashcroft - a steady display which was spoiled by his handball when under no pressure.
Lewis Martin - the versatile defender fitted in well at left back and could have got on the scoresheet, had he not failed to connect properly with a shot after his own good play got him into a position to shoot.
Kallum Higginbotham - busy as always but became frustrated and eventually was booked for a foul.
Aaron Splaine - easy to see why AJ has now signed this player 3 times for 3 different clubs. Composed, vocal, has an eye for a pass.
Nat Wedderburn - such a strong presence in midfield, and even got forward to shoot just wide from 18 yards.
Joe Cardle - 2 great efforts on goal that brought out superb saves, impressed throughout his 45 minutes and mixed his play up.
David Hopkirk - failed to score when one on one with Cerny and did not make much of an impact overall.
Nicky Clark - could have scored had he not lost his footing at a crucial time inside the penalty box.
Goalkeeper Cammy Gill remained in goal for the second half.
Paul Allan - young defender was played at right back, proving his versatility as he can also play in central defence and midfield.
Stuart Morrison - the teenage centre-half showed what a composed young player he is, never flustered and strong in the tackle.
Jean Yves M'Voto - very strong, dominant player and unlucky not to score when his header hit the bar.
Conner Duthie - conceded a penalty but had one great run up the left - possibly wasted playing as a defender.
Scott Lochhead - one of the few Under 20s retained from last season and was not short on effort in right midfield.
Cameron King (trialist) - fairly tall, skillful central midfielder, worth another look.
Michael Paton - centre midfield could easily become his best position - great ball control and took his goal well.
Lawrence Shankland (trialist) - played out of position on the left midfield, contributed little.
Michael Coulson (trialist) - robust, busy striker who did not lack effort - another who I would like to see again.
Trialist (unknown name) - tall striker who has an uncanny resemblance to Farid El Alagui, only taller and more mobile - scored from a yard out near the end.
Note: trialists names have been listed- they have already been named and discussed at length on other Pars' forums and on social media today, so it is pointless not referring to the players' names in this report when 3 of the 4 are are already known.
Tomorrow: full match photo gallery.
Photos and edits: Pars Review.