Blackpool were giving an extended trial to former Scotland goalkeeper Andy Goram. The veteran keeper spent the last three months of the 2000-01 season at Premiership champions Manchester United, and would play for Pool at Partick tonight as Steve McMahon looks to bring in some competition for Phil Barnes. The Partick game would also give an opportunity to see a highly rated 18 year old Australian striker, Mark Tsiorlas, who the Seasiders have obtained international clearance for in order that he can play. Tsiorlas was recommended to McMahon by an unnamed source earlier in the week.
Partick Thistle, who won the Scottish Second Division title last season, have just completed a two game tour of Northern Ireland where they had a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 win against weak opposition. They have been unconvincing so far, and were expecting a tougher match tonight.
Partick Thistle 1 Blackpool 1
Blackpool were without Brian Reid tonight, with Phil Thompson replacing him. On-trial Andy Goram played 90 minutes in goal. Partick Thistle's team announcement included references to a large number of trialists for the Glasgow side. The opening play was scrappy, although Ormerod lobbed just over the crossbar. Richie Wellens and John O'Kane did not really link up well in midfield, which was a battle that neither side was winning in the first half. Neil Mackenzie on the right wing was taking on far too many players and then being caught out. In the last 5-10 minutes of the half Blackpool showed that they could get on top of the friendly fixture, and had a couple of free-kicks. Paul Simpson scored from the first but this was ruled out by the referee and nothing came of the re-taken effort. Andy Goram resorted to punching the ball away from harm whenever Partick looked dangerous and to be fair they had most of the play in the first half. The highly rated 18 year old Australian striker, Mark Tsiorlas didn't really build an early understanding up front with the lively Brett Ormerod and looked poor. Phil Thompson and Ian Hughes both had a good game this evening but Macca will not have been too impressed by the disappointing first half performance.
The second half proved to be a far more entertaining game all round. The introduction of a mass of substitutes, especially the replacement of the Australian Tsiorlas with John Murphy, gave Brett someone to run off up front and after this poor showing, we may well have seen the last of Mark Tsiorlas. It was Brett being up-ended in the box that led to a penalty for Pool, but despite John Murphy's requests to take it the job was handed to Paul Simpson who missed his chance to put the Seasiders in front. The Jags came back into the game following the penalty, forcing a number of saves from Goram. Blackpool finally broke the deadlock when Jamie Milligan netted direct from a free-kick. The Seasiders lead was however short lived when, two minutes later, Partick's Fry hit a fine curving shot past the outstretched Goram from the edge of the Pool box.
Team Line-up Goram, Parkinson, Hills, O'Kane, Hughes, Thompson, Wellens, MacKenzie, Tsiorlas, Ormerod, Simpson.
Subs used: Tommy Jaszczun, Danny Coid, John Murphy, Lee Collins