Scorers: Partick Thistle - O'Ware (10), Fitzpatrick (34, 90+2), Mbuyi-Mutombo (36), Melbourne (89)

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TEN-MAN Stranraer were on the receiving end of a one-sided scoreline as Partick Thistle cruised to victory at a rainy Stair Park.


The Championship contenders were more than worthy winners, but the Blues - who saw goalkeeper Max Currie sent off in the closing stages - could count themselves unlucky not to have scored.

Stevie Farrell made two changes from the starting lineup which suffered defeat at Arbroath three days prior.

Defender David Brownlie was recalled along with midfielder Mark Lamont.

Stranraer had the first real opportunity of the game, as David Smith clawed a shot just wide of the post after receiving a through ball down the right hand side of the Thistle box.

But it would be the Glasgow side who opened the scoring.

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Thomas O'Ware escaped the attention of Blues centre back Adam Cummins to squeeze a header past Currie and into the corner of the net.

Grant Anderson almost found an equaliser after Jamie Hamill's free kick was nodded down by Brownlie into his path, but his shot on the turn was deflected wide.

Currie produced a good stop from lively debutant Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo's angled strike, but couldn't prevent Thistle doubling their lead moments later.

A well-worked move saw Aidan Fitzpatrick in plenty of space to slot into the bottom corner.

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And the visitors took full command of the contest when Mbuyi-Mutombo tapped home at close range on 36 minutes.

Neither side could find the target early in the second half, with Stranraer's best chances of an unlikely comeback coming later through Kyle Turner.

Thistle keeper Jamie Sneddon pawed away a Lamont corner just before the hour mark, with the ball falling to Turner 20 yards out.

The midfielder lashed at it but his powerful strike cannoned off the crossbar.

Turner drilled a low strike past the post with just under quarter of an hour to play.

The Blues had plenty of possession in the closing stages but ultimately came undone as Currie was dismissed for preventing a goalscoring opportunity.

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The keeper rushed out to meet the advancing Kris Doolan and brought the striker down as he was about to shoot.

Lyle Avci replaced Currie for the final few minutes, but was unable to prevent a quickfire double from the visitors.

Max Melbourne had the easiest of finishes from a Christie Elliott ball, before Aidan Fitzpatrick scored his second from a Chris Erskine assist.

With Stranraer's luck seemingly out for the evening, one positive was the return from injury of striker Isaac Layne as a second half substitute.

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Layne will hope to feature for Stevie Farrell's side as they face an Angus double over the coming weekends, with Forfar away on Saturday 18 August and Montrose at Stair Park the following Saturday.

Stranraer: Currie (Avci 86), McDonald, Brownlie, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Lamont (Layne 63), Turner, D Smith, Donnelly, Anderson (Ashmore 70).
Not used: McGowan, I Smith, Elliott.

Partick Thistle: Sneddon, Penrice, O'Ware, McGinty, Melbourne, Elliott, Storer (Wilson 65), Slater (Spittal 45), Fitzpatrick, Doolan, Mbuyi-Mutombo (Erskine 70).
Not used: Bell, Keown.

Referee: Alan Newlands
Attendance: 480
HT: 0-3

Photos: Stranraer FC

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 17 45
2 Raith Rovers 17 32
3 East Fife 17 26
4 Forfar Athletic 17 24
5 Montrose 17 21
6 Airdrieonians 17 20
7 Stranraer 16 20
8 Dumbarton 17
18
9 Brechin City 16 16
10 Stenhousemuir 17 15


Fixtures

2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)