Rovers returned to Stark’s Park after 3 games on the road and the fans were eagerly awaiting the welcome return to action of Lewis Vaughan, on the bench after 14 months off due to injury.
Thistle had lost 4 goals in each of their last 2 games so how would they react?
Jamie MacDonald was the first to be called into action, blocking a shot from Bannigan in 7 minutes, but just 2 minutes later, Sam Stanton gave indication that Rovers meant business when he tried a speculative shot from 20 yards which Mitchell gathered without much problem.
Ian Murray’s men were playing some great football down the right and the breakthrough came in 12minutes when Ross Millen sent the ball forward to Kyle Connell who layed it into the path of Aidan Connolly to run in and fire an unstoppable shot from 20 yards high into the top corner past Mitchell.
Kyle Connell was keen to claim the title of long throw specialist when a throw into the box was cleared, but only as far as Scott Brown who fired a shot goalwards into the arms of Mitchell, but Connell was not giving up and it wasn’t long before his long throw skills bore fruit, in a repeat of his previous effort he threw the ball from just south of the tunnel straight to Aidan Connelly just outside the 6 yard box and the No7 made no mistake, turning and firing a left foot shot low past the helpless Mitchell with 30 minutes on the clock.
By now, Millen, Stanton and Connolly were running riot on the right and just before the break, Ross Millen sent over a cross to the far side of the box, Akinola pulled down Kyle Connell on the penalty spot, a stonewall penalty.
The Kilmarnock loanee dusted himself down to take the kick himself and he made no mistake sending Mitchell the wrong way.
After the break Thistle had a chance to claw themselves back into the game but Sam Stanton denied them clearing the ball off the line with an overhead kick, and when Jamie MacDonald uncharacteristically fumbled a cross, Liam Dick was on hand to get the ball clear.
With 5 minutes left on the clock, a perfect day was made even better with the long awaited return to action of Lewis Vaughan and it was almost a dream return for the fans favourite when Ross Millen sent a cross into his path as he ran in on goal but there was just a bit too much on it and it ended up in the arms of Mitchell.
Next up is Hamilton at Stark’s Park next Saturday and the fans cannot wait!
All the pictures from Rovers 3-0 victory over Partick Thistle at Stark’s Park.
Photos © TONY FIMISTER & JIM FOY.
Ian Murray spoke after the win against Partick Thistle: