Leagues, Motherwell, Partick Thistle, Scottish Premiership, Story

Nadir Ciftci struck his first goal for Motherwell to earn Stephen Robinson’s side a Ladbrokes Premiership point at home to Partick Thistle.
The on-loan Celtic striker held off his man and turned and fired low into the corner from 16 yards in the 79th minute, securing a 1-1 draw.
Kris Doolan had opened the scoring in the 53rd minute with a free header after stepping into the team when the in-form Conor Sammon suffered a family bereavement.
Both sides threatened a winner towards the end of a second half which provided far more excitement than the first.
The opening period promised more when Ciftci forced a save in the opening moments after getting on the end of Craig Tanner’s excellent cross following a flowing move.
But Thistle went on to dominate possession in the opening quarter. Ryan Edwards passed up the best chance of the spell when he sent a diving header over the bar from three yards following Miles Storey’s cross.
The hosts began to impose themselves and Tanner produced their best chance of the half when his lofted ball sent Curtis Main clear, but Tomas Cerny pedalled back and leapt through the air to claw away the striker’s attempted lob.
Motherwell came closer when Cerny stopped Tom Aldred’s diving header following a corner amid claims the ball was behind the line, and they fell behind two minutes later.
Doolan was left completely unmarked six yards out as Martin Woods swung in a free-kick and he headed his 99th league goal past Trevor Carson, who had thought about coming out and decided against it.
Motherwell manager Robinson quickly brought on winger Elliott Frear and moved to a 4-4-2 shape but it took the home side a while to put the pressure on as Thistle set about trying to kill the game.
There was controversy in the 74th minute when Ciftci was flagged offside to his disbelief as he headed Frear’s free-kick into the path of Main, who nodded home from two yards as the whistle blew.
But the former Dundee United striker responded brilliantly to level five minutes later after Charles Dunne had kept a move alive by making a bouncing ball his on the edge of the box.
Motherwell had the momentum and Thistle looked satisfied to hold on but Jags substitute Blair Spittal came close in the final minute when his shut spun just past the far post.
The hosts had time to threaten again when Frear’s inviting cross had no takers.

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