Hot Goal Time Machine: Partick Thistle

July 16, 2014

For a description of exactly what this series is about and how the idea was formed then be sure to read the open letter at the top of our opening blog. For the rest we’ll summarise: we’ve asked a blogger from every team in the Scottish top flight to recall their favourite goal from every season since 1998. This is the last edition from the teams in the 2013/14 Scottish Premiership which, unfortunately, didn’t quite get finished in time before our summer break. It’s the very best moments from the ‘draw, lose or draw’ Harry Wraggs. Written by Raymond Stark

My own personal favourite goals from the last 15 seasons, some are glorious for the right reasons and one or two may seem strange choices. In my defence when you’ve followed Partick Thistle for 40 years then all Jags fans are used to strange decisions…

99/00  Quinton Jacobs v Ross County (4-2 win)

Ahh our international star of that time… from Namibia. Jacobs was one of those players who was capable of moments of absolute brilliance. Equally he was also capable of moments of abject apathy, nevertheless he was entertaining. He was having one of his brilliant days when he ambled over to take a corner with the scores level against a high flying County side. He then proceeded to ignore the chance of a short corner and curled it straight into the net direct. Brilliant and the only one capable of doing that on the pitch.

00/01 Danny Lennon v Queens Park (1-0 win)

Strange choice but memorable for two reasons. Thistle hadn’t started the season fantastically well, we had also been on the wrong end of a 4-0 hiding from Stenhousemuir four games earlier but there was something in the performance that was different. The team looked tougher, capable of grinding out a result which is what they had to do on this occasion. Captain Danny Lennon scored the only goal of the game with his left foot. Strange for him as we all used to think he just used it for standing on. And it was a 20 yard effort which won the game for us. Also after the game I remember my Dad suggesting we were going to go on a run and win the league, whilst I suggested he lay off whatever he was drinking. He was right though we cantered to the league title.

01/02 Myles Hogarth Own Goal v Falkirk (5-1 win)

This was a magnificent victory over Falkirk as we marched towards our second title in two years. I think this game stands out for the second goal more than anything. Martin Hardie launched the ball upfield but with no Jags challenge the Falkirk centre half calmly rolled the ball back to keeper Hogarth from 40 yards out. Hogarth then seems to take his eye off the ball and it trickles past him into an empty net to put Thistle 2-1 ahead. Cue much hilarity amongst the Jags support. It’s a shame for Gerry Britton and James McKinstry who scored cracking goals as well but Hogarth’s blunder is what I will always remember.


02/03 Alex “Toastie” Burns v Kilmarnock (3-0 win)

What a season the wee man had. He finished third top scorer in the league as Thistle stayed up. He and Gerry Britton at times were on fire. Against Killie they had linked up well for a brilliant finish from Burns for the first. But the second goal was all Toastie’s work. The ball was played wide down the right hand side and the wee man got in behind the defence, then he looked up saw the keeper off the line and had the sheer audacity to hit a curling lob from out on the touchline into the back of the net. A quite exquisite piece of skill.


03/04 James Grady v Kilmarnock (2-2 draw)

This was the last game of a horrible season where we were relegated. Some will remember it as quite controversial. Although the Jags finished bottom Caley’s ground wasn’t suitable and they lost the vote at the SPL meeting. However they appealed and this time they won the vote with some teams changing their votes the second time (karma’s a bitch Hearts and Hibs, we haven’t forgotten). James Grady finished joint third top scorer in the SPL with 15 league goals and this was to be the last Thistle goal in the top league until Kris Doolan scored in 2013. Grady had already missed a penalty earlier in the game but stepped up in the last minute to tuck away our last goal in the top flight for too long! There’s nothing more to be said about that season.

04/05 Juan Ramon Escales v St Mirren (2-1 defeat)

The reason that this is one of my favourite goals of this season is one of my best friends who I grew up with in Glasgow with was in the St Mirren side that day. I’d spent a couple of weeks winding him up about what Big Ramon was going to do to him and his team. After about 20 mins a free kick from the left was met by a bulleted header from Escales to put the Jags 1-0 ahead. My mate on the park just looked across at where I was, going absolutely mental, and just starting shaking his head in disbelief. He had the last laugh as he scored an equaliser and we got relegated for the second time in two years. Another instantly forgettable season culminating on being relegated by my hometown team (at the time) Ayr on the last day of the season.

05/06 Stephen McConalogue  v Gretna (3-3 draw)

Most Jags fans will choose the play-off game but this was more enjoyable and less nervy! So it’s a miserable wet November day, the rise of Gretna is beginning and we are 3-0 down with around seven minutes left, most Jags fans have left and headed back for the pub. We haven’t been very good and they have been clinical. Another aimless cross ball to the edge of the box and suddenly Stephen McConalogue nips across the defender and fires a wonderful strike into the top corner. Thistle then score twice more to seal an amazing comeback.

06/07 Brown Ferguson v Ross County (5-2 win)

This was a cracking game up at Dingwall and also my first visit. But when I look at some of the players in that team I realise just how far forward my club has come! Step forward the much maligned Brown Ferguson who collected a pass from Young and strode forward and lashed a 30 yard shot low into the net to put the Jags 3-2 ahead and eventually on to a 5-2 victory which made the long journey home worthwhile.

07/08 Damon Gray v Rangers (1-1 draw)

This is a night no Jags fan will forget. A Scottish cup game at Ibrox where we more than held our own. What followed Gray’s goal were some of the wildest celebrations I’ve ever been involved in. Gary Harkins picked up the ball in midfield and then whilst looking the other way slid a magnificent disguised pass through to Gray who had got in behind the Rangers defence and he fired low past Allan McGregor to put Thistle 1-0 ahead at Ibrox. Cue the mad celebrations from Thistle fans and a chorus of boos from the home support. It didn’t last long as Boyd equalised two mins later but we held on for a draw and made some money from a full house for the replay.

08/09 David Rowson v Livingston (4-2 win)

Not only was “Rowser” a terrifically talented player he was a magnificent servant at Firhill. He also knew how to strike a ball. He didn’t do tap ins and although he wasn’t a renowned midfield goalscorer they were always special when he did score. His 30 yard half volley was met perfectly by his right foot and nearly ripped the roof of the net off as it crashed into the top right hand corner. A thing of beauty in a season where we would finish runners-up to St Johnstone.

09/10 Paul Cairney v Dunfermilne (2-0 win)

I flew in from Paris especially for this game as it was celebrating 100 years of Thistle being at Firhill. The club had put on events leading up to the game and it was hoped that the team could deliver on the pitch in their Centenary strips. They duly did as Thistle won the game 2-0 with the signs of what was to come from a young Paul Cairney who pounced on a short back pass, drew the keeper out, dummied to shoot before taking it round him and score from a tight angle. The performance and the result made the journey and flights all worthwhile.


10/11 David Rowson v Raith Rovers (3-0 win)

Not only was this another magnificent strike from Rowser but also a very poignant one. You see he had only lost his father hours before the game and it was not expected that he would play. He was superb on the day and capped it off with a few minutes left by firing an unstoppable 25 yard shot past McGurn in the visitors goal. I don’t think there was a dry eye inside Firhill when he scored and it was a fitting tribute to his father in the last game of the season.


11/12 Mark McGuigan v Ayr Utd (3-1 win)

Chris Erskine had scored a great goal earlier in the game which involved a brilliant passing move throughout the team but McGuigan’s goal was all about the celebration. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair’s shot was parried by the United keeper and as the ball broke he poked the ball home from about four yards out. What followed was McGuigan jumping over the wall at Somerset to join in with all the Thistle fans who then mobbed him. By the time he managed to get himself back on the pitch the referee was waiting with a yellow card, unsurprisingly. It was some way for the big man to celebrate his first Thistle goal and one that won’t be forgotten.


12/13 Stephen O’Donnell v Dunfermilne (5-1 win)

This was a top of the table clash on “Red and Yellow” day at Firhill. Both teams were flying at this point of the season so it was expected to be a tight affair. It turned into a rout. Thistle were unplayable on this particular day and were 2-1 ahead in the 1st half when SOD picked the ball up at the edge of the Thistle box, he beat a man and passed to Chris Erskine at halfway who then turned and drove forward holding off the Pars challenges before knocking the ball to the left to the on rushing O’Donnell who had continued his run. He then advanced on Gallagher before dinking the ball over him and into the back of the net. To be fair we were blessed this particular season with some of the goals we scored.


13/14 Gary Fraser v Hearts (4-2 win)

It could have been any number of goals from Taylor, Dools or Higgy but because of the importance of the game I plumped for this one. Jordan McMillan won the ball just inside the Hearts half and passed to Craigen who found Elliott wide. He cut inside and found Fraser who took a touch and then under pressure from 30 yards with no back lift pinged a screamer into the top corner to make it 2-2 before Thistle then went onto win 4-2 and seal their safety in the Premiership for another season. It cant be emphasised how good a strike this was in such a high pressure game for the Jags.