Partick Thistle made it back to back victories with a 2-0 triumph over a much-changed Clyde in League One on Tuesday night at Firhill.
The first half was a difficult watch, with neither side able to settle into a rhythm.
Thistle enjoyed the better of the possession but Clyde keeper David Wilson still had very little to do. Joe Cardle dragged a shot well wide from the edge of the area in the 16th minute and Brian Graham headed over under pressure from a defender after half an hour.
The best opening of the first period fell to Graham six minutes later, but he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet after a swift counter-attack and scuffed his effort straight at Wilson.
Thistle started the second period with intent but it would be the 65th minute before the first clear opportunity was created and the deadlock was finally broken.
Scott Tiffoney showed electric pace to beat his man on the left flank before taking the keeper out of the equation with a brilliant cross that Zak Rudden – who had replaced Connor Murray just minutes earlier – chested home at the back post.
Josh Jack went close to equalising for Clyde soon after with their first attempt at goal, but Jamie Sneddon did well to tip his free-kick around the left post.
The game was much more open for the final 20 minutes, with Tiffoney causing more problems, David Goodwillie firing wide for the visitors and Graham going close with a glancing header.
Rudden struck again right at the death to make the points secure, though, with an emphatic finish into the bottom right corner following a cross from the right.
Here are three things we learned from the game:
Thistle take chance to put pressure on Falkirk
Ian McCall’s side’s chances of automatic promotion looked slim to none following draws with East Fife and Forfar, but six points in four days have changed things.
The first half wasn’t pretty but Thistle were undoubtedly the better side on the night and deserved their victory.
They now sit just four points behind league leaders Falkirk and a point behind second-placed Cove Rangers.
Goodwillie starved of service as crazy schedule takes its toll on Clyde
David Goodwillie is an top asset for a League One side, as his record of nine goals in 14 appearances prior to this game suggests.
However, he didn’t have so much as a half-chance until the 75th minute here, with Danny Lennon’s much-changed side unable to provide him with opportunities.
The former Scotland international was forced to pull out to the flanks to get on the ball and Clyde never really looked like scoring.
It’s tough to blame them, though, given that, incredibly, this was their sixth game already this month.
Rudden finally delivers in the league as quality shines through
Injury-plagued Zak Rudden waited over a year to score his first Thistle goal – which came in a Scottish Cup win over Cowdenbeath last month – and now he’s finally delivered in the league.
He was tasked with changing the game for his manager when introduced off the bench on the hour mark and he did so with two very different goals.
His first was a poacher’s effort, arriving at the back post at just the right time to chest in Tiffoney’s cross, while he showed real technical quality for the second, chesting down a cross before lashing a confident finish into the bottom right corner from just inside the area.