THE goalkeepers took centre stage as the Scottish Premiership kicked off with a goalless draw last night at Firhill.
Promoted Partick and Dundee United were unable to find a winner as the former’s Scott Fox and the latter’s Radoslaw Cierzniak impressed.
“For the fans this is very good. This is very important for us. This is the first game and we wanted to win and we are maybe a little disappointed,” said the visiting keeper, a one-time Poland international.
United manager Jackie McNamara is a former Partick player and boss and Cierzniak added: “For the manager, this was very important and it’s a shame we couldn’t win. It’s one point and we could have lost today as well. We had a lot of chances and this was maybe a good result for us.”
Fox is hoping that home advantage will be key for Thistle this season.
“We were unlucky not to win the game. Radi made some great saves and I don’t think most teams will enjoy coming here this season,” he said.
McNamara himself said: “We had better possesion in the first half, then they changed it and caused us problems. I can see teams having problems here with the way they play. They are comfortable on the ball and well organised.”
So it was that top-flight football returned to Firhill following a nine-year absence and, despite the lack of an end product, there was plenty action.
Both teams fed off a vibrant atmosphere created by a crowd of 7,822 with both the Jackie Husband stand and the main stand, populated by away fans, filled to capacity, as they threw everything at each other for 90 minutes. For all their endeavour, though, Thistle lacked a real cutting edge and composure in the final third but that could come as they settle into the season and they showed enough organisation and passing ability to offer promise.
McNamara would also have been pleased to survive his first return to Maryhill with a point given he handed debuts to Andrew Robertson, Calum Butcher, Nadir Ciftci and former Thistle player Paul Paton while starting young players Ryan Gauld and Ryan Dow. He will have some regret that David Goodwillie did not finish off one of a handful of decent chances to score in his first match since rejoining United on loan from Blackburn.