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Partick 0-0 Dundee Utd: Match Report
Partick 0-0 Dundee Utd: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Stalemate at Firhill
There were no goals as top-flight football returned to Firhill following a nine-year absence but no lack of action as Partick Thistle held former manager Jackie McNamara's Dundee United.
Both teams fed off a vibrant atmosphere created by a crowd of 7,822 with both the Jackie Husband stand and the main stand, populated by away fans, filled to capacity, as they threw everything at each other for 90 minutes.
The Scottish Premiership season started at a hectic pace and rarely let up throughout the night with chances and pressure at both ends.
For all their endeavour, Thistle lacked a real cutting edge and composure in the final third but that could come as they settle into the season and they showed enough organisation and passing ability to offer promise.
McNamara would also have been pleased to survive his first return to Maryhill with a point given he handed debuts to Andrew Robertson, Calum Butcher, Nadir Ciftci and former Thistle player Paul Paton while starting young players Ryan Gauld and Ryan Dow.
He will have some regret that Goodwillie did not finish off one of a handful of decent chances to score in his first match since rejoining United on loan from Blackburn, but Thistle did not deserve to lose and finished the match the stronger side.
McNamara and assistant Simon Donnelly left Thistle for Tannadice in January in what proved an acrimonious split as the two clubs became embroiled in a lengthy and sometimes public dispute over compensation before finally reaching a compromise in the summer.
And the pair emerged from the tunnel to a chorus of boos just as Thistle chairman David Beattie was due to unfurl the First Division title flag, although the banner got caught in the rigging as he pulled the rope.
Thistle named a largely familiar line-up although Gary Fraser started following his loan move from Bolton and the opening exhanges were even with deflected crosses causing panic at either end.
The Jags were enjoying some good possession but they were grateful for Fox's reflexes as the home goalkeeper made two good saves in quick succession.
Fox pushed away Goodwillie's header after Keith Watson sent in a cross and he then pushed over Paton's powerful long-range strike.
Goodwillie then ran at the heart of the home defence but did not get hold of his shot.
Thistle hit back and Kris Doolan was inches away from connecting with Bannigan's inviting cross.
Goodwillie had another good chance when Robertson's wonderful cross found his head at the back post but the Scotland international made a mess of his header and Rodoslaw Cierzniak made his first save late in the half when Aaron Taylor-Sinclair's cross cannoned off Butcher and looped towards goal.
Gary Mackay-Steven replaced Ciftci at the break and Goodwillie twice found space on the right channel and cut inside to fashion a shooting chance, but fired wide of the far post and saw the second effort parried by Fox.
Doolan saw a shot beaten away at the other end and Fox saved again from Goodwillie's angled drive.
Taylor-Sinclair fired a free-kick just over and Goodwillie had another chance when Dow's through ball sent him into a 50-50 with Fox. The striker emerged the ball and made his way through another challenge but Thistle got enough men back to avert the danger.
There was a flashpoint in the 70th minute when Butcher lunged into a tackle on Gary Fraser, sparking an angry reaction from the Thistle midfielder and a mass pushing match, but the dispute ended without the red card demanded by the home fans as referee Craig Thomson booked both players.
Cierzniak held a Fraser shot and then tipped over substitute John Baird's header while United sub Brian Graham had two efforts saved.
The hosts pushed for a winner but Taylor-Sinclair fired into the side netting and Cierzniak then beat a Ross Forbes drive away to cap a frantic start to the campaign.
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