Warming up for the main event

John Sutton is left frustrated.
John Sutton is left frustrated.

It was very much the calm before the storm as Motherwell and Partick Thistle finished the regular season with a drab 0-0 draw.

With one or perhaps both eyes on this week’s play-off with Rangers Ian Baraclough made nine changes to the side who lost at St Mirren the week before.

Only defender Simon Ramsden and midfielder Conor Grant were left in as John Sutton captained the side that despite all the changes retained an air of familiarity about it.

’Well looked bright early on, but failed to trouble Scott Fox in the Partick goal and the away side were able to work Dan Twardzik with long range efforts from Stephen O’Donnell and Gary Fraser.

A slip by Jack Hendry almost allowed Craig Moore to burst clear, but O’Donnell got back to prevent him pulling the trigger.

Moore did get a shot away right on half time, but his free kick from the edge of the box could only hit the pole holding up the netting.

At the break Jack Leitch replaced Lionel Ainsworth as the midfielder made is first appearance since October due to injury.

Callum Booth hit the side netting and Fraser forced Twardzik into a spectacular save before Leitch finally hit ’Well’s first shot on target, although not one that caused Fox any concern.

He did have to earn his pay moments later diving low to his left to keep out a Sutton free-kick.

With ’Well pushing upfield they were almost caught out at the back as Kallum Higginbotham burst clear with Lyle Taylor for support.

Anthony Straker was outnumbered, but the on-loan York City man managed to intercept the ball as Higginbotham attempted to give Taylor a tap-in.

Sutton played in Moore who held off O’Donnell, but blasted wide, and Sutton himself should have won the game nine minutes from time.

Fox was caught out of position and Moore put a cutback into the area, Sutton turned to smash the ball into the empty net, but missed the target.

A Grant header from Straker’s cross was gathered by Fox for the last chance of the game and both sides were happy to play out the final minutes.

Motherwell: Twardzik, Carswell, Ramsden (O’Brien 56), Ainsworth (Leitch 46), Sutton, Moore, Thomas, Watt, Straker, Laing (Law 62), Grant. Subs not used: Long, Erwin, Johnson, Mackin.

Partick Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Booth, Bannigan, Doolan (Taylor 66), Elliot, Higginbotham (McLaughlin 81), Richards-Everton, Fraser, Wilson (Craigen 76), Hendry. Subs not used: Gallacher, Osman, McDaid.

Referee: Steven McLean.

Attendance: 3,711.