Nadir Ciftci nets first Motherwell goal to salvage point in 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle

Nadir Ciftci hammers home his first goal for Motherwell in the 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Nadir Ciftci hammers home his first goal for Motherwell in the 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Nadir Ciftci scored his first goal for Motherwell as the Steelmen fought back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 home draw against Partick Thistle at Fir Park on Saturday, writes Craig Goldthorp.

In doing so, Motherwell continued an impressive unbeaten home record against the Maryhill men which stretches back to January 1996.

Thistle were first to threaten early on in Saturday's clash when Martin Woods shot over the bar from the edge of the box after a Cedric Kipre clearance had fallen to him.

'Well then came close to breaking the deadlock after two minutes, Craig Tanner's brilliant cross to the back post being controlled by Ciftci before his close range prod was turned round the post by Thistle keeper Tomas Cerny.

But it was mostly Thistle creating the early chances with Mustapha Dumbuya shooting over after Miles Storey's right wing cross had been struck clear by Kipre.

And Ryan Edwards then sent an effort off target from close range after brilliant spadework by the impressive Storey on the left.

Tanner then shot wildly wide for the Steelmen before a Chris Cadden cross from the right caused panic in the Thistle area and Curtis Main had a close range shot saved. Referee Nick Walsh then called proccedings back for a foul in any case.

Motherwell's best effort of the first half came on 39 minutes when Main took a Tanner pass and sent a lob over Cerny but the backpedalling ex-Hamilton keeper stretched to save.

Late action in a largely uninspiring first half saw Abdul Osman booked for a crunching foul on Campbell.

And the young 'Well midfield ace soon returned the compliment with a strong challenge on Osman before half-time.

Motherwell debutant Stephen Hendrie - on loan from Southend United - was replaced at half-time by Richard Tait as gaffer Stephen Robinson looked to boost his side's hopes of securing a vital three points.

And the hosts thought they had hit the front when a 51st minute Cadden corner appeared to be met by Tom Aldred in a mass of bodies and the ball was adjudged to have been blocked on the goal line.

Motherwell were then hit by a second major blow within the space of 60 seconds when Thistle took the lead in a goal that was a disaster for the home defence.

Prolific Thistle striker Kris Doolan was totally unmarked when he headed in his 99th goal for the club after Martin Woods' free-kick from the left.

Motherwell kept battling manfully and thought they had netted a 75th minute equaliser when Main's headed 'goal' was disallowed for offside against Ciftci who had nodded the ball across goal from a long Frear free-kick from the right.

But the Dossers did level the scores with 10 minutes remaining when a knock down by the outstanding Charles Dunne was blasted into the net by Ciftci, who ironically had appeared exhausted and on the verge of being substituted.

The final action of the match saw 'Well defender Cedric Kipre make a rare mistake which was pounced upon by Blair Spittal whose shot from a tight angle hit the inside of Trevor Carson's post.

Motherwell: Carson, Hendrie (Tait 45), Cadden (Petravicius 88), McHugh, Main, Dunne, Aldred, Kipre, Campbell, Ciftci, Tanner (Frear 55).

Referee: Nick Walsh

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