Partick Thistle 2, Hearts 2. SPL. Saturday, September 28, 2002
An Alan Archibald double, on his 200th appearance for the Maryhill club, still wasn’t enough to gave Partick Thistle their first home league win of the season.
Archibald had blasted the Jags into a first-half lead in 27 minutes only to watch ten minutes later as Hearts French midfielder Jean-Louis Valois equalised with a tremendous 30-yard free kick after Jags striker Alex Burns had tripped Alan Maybury.
In the 79th minute, as the game flowed from end to end, Archibald regained the home side’s lead with another great strike but looked on in agony only two minutes later when Scott Severin headed in an equaliser.
It was a cagey opening by both sides as they took time to test each other out. But in the fourth minute good work by Hearts striker Graeme Weir ended with his hooked cross finding Mark De Vries inside the box but the big Dutchman failed to control the ball and the chance was lost.
But the incident sparked of a spell of Hearts pressure which only ended when midfielder Phil Stamp volleyed over the bar from 25 yards after latching onto a Jean-Louis Valois corner.
In the 17th minute Thistle had an escape when keeper Kenny Arthur fumbled a high cross under pressure from Weir but luckily the ball broke to a yellow and red jersey and the danger was cleared.
It was as close to a half chance as there had been up until that point although moments later Jags midfielder Martin Hardie made Hearts keeper Roddie Mckenzie save from just under his bar with a header from 16 yards.
In the 27th minute the home side took a deserved lead with a tremendous Archibald strike.
Jamie Buchan’s cross from the right hand side was headed out to the edge of the box and Archibald slammed a tremendous shot past the helpless McKenzie.
But against the run of play the visitors equalised with a sensational Jean-Louis Valois free kick. In the 37th minute Thistle’s Alex Burns brought down Alan Maybury 30 yards from goal and the Frenchman stepped up to curl a lovely free kick past Arthur who stood rooted to the spot.
After the interval the visitors nearly took the lead in the 53rd minute when a De Vries header from 12 yards had Arthur scrambling to palm away.
On the hour mark a Severin cross from the right put Arthur under pressure from De Vries but referee Brines came to Thistle keeper’s rescue by controversially blowing for a foul.
Indeed, Brines found himself constantly blowing for fouls as the game became fragmented with petty free kicks and in the 65th minute Stamp received a yellow card for a bad foul on Jags midfielder Jamie Mitchell.
In the 79th minute it looked good for the home side when Archibald grabbed his second with another tremendous drive from the edge of the box.
However, two minutes later, Hearts equalised for the second time when Severin headed home a Valois corner.
In the 88th minute, as the home side pressed for the winner, Jamie Mitchell drew a great save from McKenzie with a 20-yard drive.
Partick: Arthur, Lilley, Archibald, Craigan, Paterson, Whyte, Mitchell, Buchan, Hardie, McLean (Britton 67), Burns. Subs: Budinauckas, Milne, Waddell, McDermott.
Hearts: McKenzie, Maybury, McMullan, Pressley, McKenna, Boyack (Simmons 71), Stamp, Severin, Valois, de Vries, Weir (Wales 82). Subs: Gordon, Webster, McCann.
Referee: I Brines.