By Blair McNally
Partick Thistle were held to a goalless draw for the third match in a row as Inverness took a share of the spoils back up the A9.
It was to be a hectic opening to the match as both teams came narrowly close to taking the lead.
The first real chance came the way of the home side. Backing into Robbie Deas, Zak Rudden turned sharply before playing a through ball into the path of Cammy Smith who opted to go low, drilling into the near corner and forcing Mark Ridgers into a strong-handed save.
Just a minute later it was the visitors turn to threaten as they came inches from breaking the deadlock. On the right flank, Tom Walsh collected a delightfully weighted pass before taking on the Thistle defence. He succeeded in doing so as he skipped inside before curling into the far post. However, his strike cannoned against the post, much to the dismay of the noisy Inverness fans.
Ten minutes before the break the woodwork was on Thistle’s favour once again. Finding space in the home sides box, Michael Gardyne smashed an effort high past Jamie Sneddon before it bounced off the underside of the bar and out.
In the 60th minute, Inverness were given the chance to take the lead from 12 yards as they were awarded a penalty. Referee Gavin Duncan judged Lewis Mayo to have tripped Aaron Doran as he collected a lobbed ball.
Up stepped former Jag, Sean Welsh who drilled low into the bottom left corner only to be denied by a tremendous save from Jamie Sneddon who continued his excellent form.
Next up for Partick Thistle is a trip to Rugby Park next Saturday as they face the tough task of overcoming league leaders Kilmarnock. Inverness face a doubleheader of away fixtures as they head to Ayr United in the hope of returning to winning ways.
Today’s match up has set the benchmark for a fixture that will most likely be seen in the end of season playoffs. A scrappy contest with battles for the second ball, both defences held resolute and will be keen to get back to winning ways next week.
Two strong outfits so far this season, form has hit a slump in recent fixtures with both sides failing to hit goalscoring form in previous weeks. This will need to be worked on if either side are serious about a promotion challenge this term.
Ever since his blunder against today’s opponents in September, Partick star Sneddon has picked himself up and staked his claim as Thistle’s number one with some excellent performances between the sticks at Firhill. Today was no different as when called upon he was there to keep his third clean sheet in a row with a penalty save.
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