Watt hat-trick fires Dundee Utd past Partick Thistle

Tony Watt marked his 30th birthday with a hat-trick as Dundee United swept past Partick Thistle at Tannadice to move two points behind Championship leaders Raith Rovers.

The United captain slammed in the first from close range as the hosts came haring out of the traps.

Late in the game, he took advantage of a hobbling Aaron Muirhead to skip past the ailing defender and drill home.

The third came from a header, with Glenn Middleton providing the cross.

Craig Sibbald almost made it four in stoppage-time but Jamie Sneddon was able to touch away the midfielder’s ferocious strike.

Thistle were fortunate not to be further behind during a strong opening from Jim Goodwin’s side but did have chances to level, the best of which fell to Aidan Fitzpatrick, who shot over the top just before the interval.

The Glasgow side remain third but are now nine points behind United, having played a game more.

Watt headed wide, while Louis Moult and Kai Fotheringham blazed too high before the star of the show settled the home fans’ nerves to complete his treble.

Dundee United captain Tony Watt: “Before the game I said I need to do it for the manager. He puts his faith in me every week and he has been brilliant.

“He is giving us a good game plan and we need to start being consistent. He was getting the stick after [the draw away to] Queen’s Park but we all need to take it.

“The game plan is right and we have just not been executing it properly.”

Dundee United manager Jim Goodwin: “We have struggled to score in the last couple of games and we have been very frustrated but tonight was a decent all round performance.

“There has never been any anxiety or nervousness from our point of view.

“We asked for an increase in the intensity and the tempo whilst keeping that quality. We started the game really brightly and that set the tone.”

Partick Thistle manager Kris Doolan: “I felt as if for most of the second half we were in command.

“We had a go at them. We took our chance to go after them and it nearly paid off. We had nothing to lose but, unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.

“We know the Championship, things always change between now and the end of the season. We always believe and we will keep at it. One bump in the road doesn’t put the wheels off.”

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Walton
  • 8Grimshaw
  • 31GallagherSubstituted forGrahamat 66′minutes
  • 4Holt
  • 33McMann
  • 14Sibbald
  • 16Tillson
  • 18Fotheringham
  • 32Watt
  • 15Middleton
  • 9MoultBooked at 78minsSubstituted forMochrieat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Denham
  • 6Graham
  • 13Newman
  • 21Glass
  • 22Freeman
  • 25Duffy
  • 26Mochrie
  • 28Anim Cudjoe
  • 53Stirton

Partick Thistle

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Sneddon
  • 2McMillan
  • 5MuirheadBooked at 78mins
  • 6NeilsonBooked at 67mins
  • 3Milne
  • 7McInroySubstituted forDiackat 77′minutes
  • 26StanwayBooked at 33minsSubstituted forAlstonat 68′minutes
  • 11Lawless
  • 8Bannigan
  • 21Fitzpatrick
  • 9Graham

Substitutes

  • 4Williams
  • 17Robinson
  • 23Alston
  • 24McCready
  • 27Lyon
  • 29Mackenzie
  • 34Diack
  • 99Adeloye
Referee:
Matthew MacDermid
Attendance:
8,110

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