Partick Thistle 3-4 Aberdeen FC: Match Report

Aberdeen's Ryan Christie (right) celebrates his early goal with Scott Wright

Aberdeen moved clear at the top of the Premiership after edging a seven-goal thriller against Partick Thistle.

A 4-3 win in Glasgow extended their winning start to the Premiership campaign – the only team in the top flight to win every game so far this season.

That was enough to leapfrog Celtic who drew 1-1 with St Johnstone at Parkhead.

The 2,014 strong travelling Red Army will be in dream land travelling back up to the Granite City after this thriller and results elsewhere.

Substitute Adam Rooney, so prolific for the Dons in previous seasons, underlined his importance by coming off the bench to score the winner with five minutes remaining.

The last time the Dons were at Firhill it was a 6-0 whitewash in May, but this was a game where the points were seriously in jeopardy.

The win had added significance for the Reds as they were able to fully capitalise on defending champions Celtic’s home draw with St Johnstone.

Aberdeen are now two points ahead of the Hoops.

Dons boss Derek McInnes made two changes to the side which edged past Dundee 2-1 at Pittodrie last weekend.

Scott Wright, who scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win on the Reds last visit to Firhill last season came in along with on loan Birmingham attacker Greg Stewart.

Defender Mark Reynolds and winger Gary Mackay-Steven both dropped to the bench.

There was no place in the Partick squad for attacker Miles Storey who recently left Aberdeen to sign on at Partick.

Aberdeen grabbed the lead in the fifth minute following interplay from Logan and May.

Logan then cut-back to Ryan CHRISTIE and the on loan Celtic attacker took a touch then fired home from eight yards.

Within two minutes the Jags were level as Chris ERSKINE unleashed a 25 yard drive that flew beyond Dons keeper Joe Lewis.

The Dons were rocked in the 14th minute when Partick capitalised on shocking defending to go ahead.

Midfielder Kenny McLean made a mess of an attempted clearance at a Blair Spittal corner and his wild kick was straight at goal from 10 yards out.

Keeper Joe Lewis instinctively blocked but the loose ball fell to Partick captain Kris DOOLAN who converted at the back post.

In the 20th minute the industrious May fired in a 20 yard drive but Cerny was well placed to save.

Defender Andy Considine suffered a head knock in a clash with Conor Sammon and had to go off to receive treatment.

Kenny McLean went into defence while he was off and Considine returned five minutes later with a heavily bandaged head.

Partick should have been two goals ahead in the 38th minute when Doolan was found completely unmarked from a free-kick.

With the goal beckoning he forced a 15 yard header wide of the far post.

Aberdeen levelled in the 42nd minute when Christie, who was moving away from goal, was pushed over in the box by Stuart Bannigan.

Midfielder MCLEAN comfortably converted from the spot putting Cerny the wrong way.

The Dons were denied the lead soon after when Cerny produced an acrobatic save to save a superb volley from Christie.

Aberdeen went ahead with a brilliant goal from WRIGHT who once again underlined his class with a moment of magic in Firhill.

The 20-year-old received a pass from Shinnie then curled a sublime 25 yard shot over Cerny leaving the keeper absolutely no chance.

It was a fantastic strike and underlined why the 20-year-old is so highly rated by the Red Army.

In a frantic game it was all square again within two minutes as the Reds were punished for poor defending.

They failed to defend a  Spittal corner and Niall KEOWN ghosted in at the back post to head in from close range.

Determined play from Wright saw him dance past two challenges to open up space but his shot from eight yards flew over.

With quarter of an hour remaining McLean curled a 25 yard effort over the bar as the Reds attempted to carve out a winner.

Christie was then denied at the near post as Cerny turned his low drive behind for a corner, which came to nothing.

Substitute ROONEY saved the day by latching onto a cross from Christie in the 84th minute.

The prolific striker, 20 plus for the last three seasons, guided a diving header beyond Cerny from five yards.

Boss McInnes immediately replaced Wright with Mark Reynolds to tighten up defensively and secure the points.

ABEREDEEN: Lewis, Logan,  Shinnie, Considine, O’Connor, McLean, Stewart, Wright, Tansey, Christie, May.

SUBS:  Rooney (for Stewart 66), Maynard (for May 82), Reynolds (for Wright 86).
Subs  not used: Rogers,  Maynard, Mackay-Steven, Arnason, Harvie

PARTICK THISTLE: Cerny, Turnbull, Keown, Spittal, Bannigan, Doolan, Erskine, Barton, Elliot, Nitriansky, Sammon

SUBS: Lawless (for Erskine 89),
Subs not used: Scully,  Devine, Edwards, Nisbet, McCarthy, Lamont.

Referee: Bobby Madden.