Partick Thistle defeated Cowdenbeath 3-0 at Firhill on Tuesday evening, setting up a Scottish Cup Third Round tie against Dundee United.
League One Thistle started strongly and opened the scoring in just the seventh minute through Shea Gordon’s controlled finish.
The hosts largely dominated their lower-league opponents across the first period. Yet, Cowdenbeath keeper Nicky Hogarth was only really forced into one outstanding save from a Ross MacIver header.
There was a heart-in-mouth moment for Ian McCall just before the interval, when keeper Kieran Wright stumbled in possession outside his penalty area, but James Penrice was there to cover and the left-back took a booking to thwart the visitors.
Thistle came out after the interval determined to kill the game off and after several close shaves, Zak Rudden doubled their advantage by bundling home a Joe Cardle cross in the 52nd minute.
Both sides made changes shortly after the hour mark and it was the home side that benefitted almost instantly, with Connor Murray swivelling and finding the bottom left corner with a well-struck left-footed shot from the edge of the area.
To their credit, Cowdenbeath continued to fight in the closing stages, but Thistle still finished on the front and fully deserved their 3-0 victory.
Here are three things we learned:
Tiffoney a top signing for Thistle
Scott Tiffoney only signed on loan from Livingston a few hours prior to kick-off but it didn’t take him long to settle in at Firhill.
The 22-year-old showed great pace and close control to beat his man and pull the ball back for the opening goal and he caused headaches for the Blue Brazil defence on plenty of other occasions across a strong debut showing.
His assist should be the first of many between now and the end of the season and his threat from the left will take pressure off Joe Cardle, who at times has been too heavily relied upon to create.
Rudden finally breaks duck
When Zak Rudden signed from Rangers in January 2020, it was hoped that he’d provide regular goals for the Jags.
A pandemic, injuries and disciplinary issues have got in the way since then, but he finally opened his Thistle account here and that will be a great relief for the 6ft 2″ striker.
It wasn’t the most spectacular of goals but it’s a start and if his team are to challenge Dundee United in the next round and push for promotion in the league, it will need to be the first of many.
Jags’ finishing must improve
McCall’s side may have won this one comfortably in the end, but they squandered a whole host of chances prior to securing the win, leaving the experienced manager incensed on the touchline.
MacIver saw three close-range headers saved by Hogarth, Darren Brownlie fired a good chance wildly over the bar in the first half and Cardle fluffed his lines when through on goal early in the second.
They will need to be more clinical if they are to pull off an upset in the next round.